Monday, May 14, 2012

Growing Veggies in shadenet

The shade net structure that we constructed last year has turned out to be a nice, little laboratory where we try cultivating seasonal veggies. So far we have cultivated Okra successfully, Radish and Spinach is work in process. Recently, we harvested chilly and tomatoes.

Sprouting of chilly seedlings within a week of sowing. 

Flowering occurred at approx 60 days.

Green chillies were seen at about 90 days.

Chillies turned red in approx 115 days.

So far, we have harvested a couple of handfuls of red chillies (from a bed of 3 ft x 9 ft). After drying them, we are looking forward to grinding it - totally organic and unadulterated. Apart from irrigation initial manuring, no sprays were applied.

Tomato seeds sprouted in about 5 days
At 20 days. Flowering occurred at 47 days.

Fruiting occurred at 60 days

At 115 days. Although the tomatoes were bright red and had a nice smooth texture to it, I was disappointed by the size. 

Although hybrid seeds were used for both of them, I was expecting a bigger fruit set. Having said that, I am almost convinced that the yield in hybrid seeds is only realised under "optimal" conditions of irrigation, fertigation, soil quality and temperature. Next time around, I will try using variety (non hybrid) seeds to see if the hypothesis stands.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Moringa at 3 months

Moringa was planted in February this year as part of short term / perennial portfolio. Happy to note that we have experienced a good growth so far, plants are already at 4-5 feet.
Fortunately, no major pest problems have occurred so far. We have been spraying an organic concoction every 2 weeks which has kept the bugs at bay. Irrigation is given every 3-4 days and we have refrained from using any chemical fertigation as well. .

Month of May brings hot weather as well as strong evening winds. A couple of days back, we experienced heavy winds, however the plants survived without any casualty. As a precautionary measure, additional soil was topped up at the base of the plant to provide additional support.

We completed first round of pruning 1 month back (90 cm above the ground). Second round will start in a few weeks when the primary branches are about the same length. In another 3-4 months, we hope to see some fruiting.