MLK Quote

MLK Quote

Nature's Inspiration Movie -- Nature's Inspiration Movie: The photographs in this short video are from award-winning photographer, Ken Jenkins, and they are breathtaking. However, this video is much more than beautiful photographs! Peggy Anderson has compiled beautiful quotations from the likes of Emerson, Thoreau, and many others that truly capture the beauty of nature and solitude. Absolute must watch for nature lovers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Diary of a novice gardener in Boonton-- Beginning -- Part1

I knew nothing about gardening. In fact, my attempt at keeping the house-plants alive during my undergraduate and graduate days usually ended up in disasters. I just knew that I love nature and anything green - small plant, tall plant, bushes, shrubs, weeds, grass, even emerald stones (who told diamond is girl's best friend though I would like to have a diamond to cut and experiment with my rock/stone collections). So, I took full opportunity of our backyard and the ample bright sunshine it gets throughout the year to go out to Garden Centers, Wal-Mart and Home-Depot to buy small plantlings (a term I am coining because they were not seedlings and at the same time not yet fully grown plants, but somewhere in between). I bought tomato, cucumber, eggplant, hot pepper (chili pepper) and green bell pepper (capsicum) plants, onion and garlic bulbs.

[Caption: The left is an eggplant flower; the right is an okra flower].
Of course I bought the plants on whims but then lethargy took hold of me. The plants laid outside on the patio, in their small seed-growing containers, for quite a while. And I sat inside doing research on internet on how to transplant plants from pot to backyard soil, what to do to grow those vegetables and started observing the areas that receive maximum sunshine in the backyard. This is a very important observation to be made and recorded by any gardeners. A gardener has to know which portions of her backyard receives how much sunlight and for how long every day. She then needs to do research on how much sunlight each individual plant needs, on average, every day.
Empowered with all the knowledge, I embarked on planting the plantlings. It was a back-hurting, sweat-producing, extremely tiring job. I gained new respects for all the farmers around the world; for all the farmers in the past whose hard work helped in the flourishing of the human civilization. To have a successful vegetable garden, one needs to clean all the weeds and grasses, till the soil, put fertilizers and prepare and till the soil some more. Then only the plants can be put. But that is not the end of the story. After the plants are put, more fertilizers poured around their base and watered, one needs to keep vigil for plant eating big insects, aphids, snails and re-growth of any weed. Meticulously each insect and snail has to be removed away from each plant (please do not kill them as they are very beneficial for your backyard. Take them away to another part of the backyard, away from your vegetable garden. Why they are beneficial will be part of another diary entry), and all the weeds pulled out. Weeds need to be pulled out because they take away the essential nutrients from the soil and you want to provide as much good food to the plant as possible to make it grow into a healthy fruit producing plant and have a successful garden. However, once the plants are established and have grown tall and have started producing fruits, you do not need to pay so much attention to weeds, contrary to whatever anyone else or the book says. The weeds might actually help in locking the soil moisture and snails and insects will attack the weeds instead of the plants. That has been my experience so far and I am producing good amount of vegetables.
As the plants are transplanted into the backyard, one needs to pay attention to their water requirements. Water-need, fertilizers and soil treatment will be part of future entries.


  1. a lovely post my dear KL....learning so many different things about kitchen gardening from keep it updated regularly and share your experiences and tips.......congrats...great job :)!!
    well....the left one is brinjal, right?? have seen the right-flower too....but what plant is that??

  2. it bhindi???!! photographs r beautifull too :)

  3. Very nice photo shot, thanks for sharing.

  4. Hi Rental Mobil,
    Thank You and thank you for visiting my blog.

  5. Hi Time Traveller,

    Thank You. Yes, the left one is brinjal and the right one is ladies finger. I used the English words used by Americans. I should have also provided the alternatives. I will do post more about gardening...soon..