Friday, December 13, 2013

Winter Cleaning and Aromatic Plants

Happy Friday!
 
As a part of winter cleaning and as you know, I've been cleaning the terrace garden. Every day I've been repotting older containers. Pulling out plants, filling new soil mix, cleaning pots, and then replanting the plants. Cut the extra roots.
 
The citrus plants - orange and lemon - have tiny fruits. The seeds of spinach, cluster beans, tomato, and peas have sprouted. Today I thinned the fenugreek seedlings, and transferred eggplant seedlings to individual containers. The chilli plants too have different containers to grow in.
 
I visited the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Hebbal, and bought a few aromatic plants. The UAS sells sage, rosemary, thyme, and oregano plants for Rs. 10-20 each. Before you buy, ensure that the roots are well developed. Give a day or two before you transfer the plants to better containers.
 
I turned plastic disposable bottles in to plant holders, planted in them, and hung them all on our mango tree. Yes, our kittens got curious, surveyed the bottles and the plants, and then went away. Brownie was so excited that she hit one of the bottles hanging from the tree. I've warned her (with a "NO!") not to mess with the bottles. The cat and kittens love the plants and love to be with me while I work on the terrace.
 
Talking about our kittens, well, our cat, Kitty, is pregnant; she may litter in a few days or a week. I've been reading material from the Internet, asking friends who have cats about pregnancy and labor, and I'm freaking out thinking about my new future role of a midwife! Built Kitty a nesting box, told her that it's her box, and now, she sleeps inside it or is around it guarding from other kittens. I'm getting another box ready for her to keep her new born. As I type, my head is reeling; a lot of work to do.
 

 
 

DIY Plastic Bottle Plant Holders
Updated on Dec 14, 2013:

How to convert plastic bottles in to plant holders? Take a clean disposable plastic bottle. Cut two portions below the neck of the bottle. Make holes at the lower part of the bottle using a thick needle. Put soil mix inside the bottle, and then plant. Tie a rope or thick wire around the neck of the bottle, and then hang the bottle on a tree or a hook in the roof/ceiling. Water only when the soil seems dry. For clear instructions, see the following sketch.


Pregnant Kitty taking a nap
Regards,
Asha

17 comments:

  1. looking forward to seeing the precious new babies..just make sure you get her to a vet if they get stuck....I hope you will also spay her afterwards...there are too many homeless kittens in ththis world....

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    1. Yes, Sharon. It's sad that people have been leaving these kittens inside our gate, and then running away. We may not be able to adopt more kittens, and have decided to spay our kittens at appropriate age. Kitty is special; we wanted her to experience the joy of motherhood once. :)

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  2. Abhinav and myself would love to try your plastic bottle container thing :D They look lovely :)

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    1. Yes, please! I updated the blog with a sketch/instructions to make the plant holder. Hope that's useful.

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  3. Hi using plastic bottles as pots thats interesting ,by the way what have you planted in that plastic bottles....I have been searching for oregano plants but never found them hope I'll found them at university nursery

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Arun. I have planted cuttings of peperomia clusiifolia, cucumber creeper, impatiens, microsorum scolopendrium, and similar plants in the plastic bottles. The UAS (Aromatics section) has a good stock of oregano. I recommend that you first visit the nursery, ask if stock available, and then go to the billing section (in a different building - the nursery staff will guide you). You need to produce the bill to the nursery to procure the plants. Pick 2-3 plants of each type, as a backup in case one doesn't survive. All the best!

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  4. Oh, Asha your kitty is cute. Once the kittens are born do not disturb them. Cat has their own way of guarding their kittens. Thanks for your pic on bottle plant holders..

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    1. Thanks, Vasudha. I'll remember that! :)

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  5. I am guessing Kitty might have littered by now?! It is indeed a great blessing to start the new year with :) She is quite a colourful darling,would love to see how the little ones will turn out to be :)

    Have a lovely week,Asha :)

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    1. No, Vidya! She hasn't littered yet. We are growing anxious by the second while she walks/chats like a queen. :-)

      Oh, her newborn will be a lovely gift for the New Year!

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  6. Hey Asha,
    Even I have tried using plastic bottles as container many times but my plant dies within few days and moss gets collected inside the bottle.Please give me your valuable suggestion.
    Regards,
    Pratik

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    1. Pratik, please try to make holes to help drain excess moisture. You can also take a long stick and poke/chrun slightly the soil till the base of the bottle, ensuring not to hurt the roots. Hopefully these tricks will help.

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    2. I already have holes in bottle but still there's no solution .Mainly I have planted mint 3-4 times but it immediately dries up.Do you have any suggestions?

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    3. Can you try with a new bottle one more time? This time use a good soil mix and ensure that the excess water can drain easily from the bottle. Try growing fenugreek/spinach plants or any other plant that can grow in the plastic-bottle container. Mint may require shallow and wide containers. You can cut a 2-ltr or 5-ltr plastic bottle length-wise, and then use it to grow mint. All the best!

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    4. Hmmm...I tried using plastic bottle both horizontally and vertically but still didn't work.So will try one more time and will let you know if any issue found.

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Hi friends,

Thanks for visiting the blog site. Please leave a message to share experiments at your garden or to send me a feedback about my experiments. Even a simple "Hello" would make my day!

Regards,
Asha

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