QUOTE OF THE MONTH :

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

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Sunday, 17 July 2016

Delightful Tuberoses

Last time, I shared a blogpost showing how I prepared the tuberoses that have been there with me, in my terrace garden for a long time now. With the ending of the post, I promised that I will be sharing pictures from the garden with an entire blogpost dedicated to tuberose blooms. This year around, I can say I have got a good harvest from the tuberoses, with a lot of plants shooting those long slender stems laden with dozens of flower buds which bloom up over a period of time, and spreading their awesome fragrance in the evening when they usually bloom up.

So here I am, with some of the shots I have captured, of the tuberoses, over a period of time, this year around. Appears I am yet to have the double blooming variety I introduced this year around in my garden, and since this is usually the time for the tuberoses to bloom, around the place I live in, I think I will only get the blooms from these double blooming variety of the tuberoses only in the next year. Anyway, I have other plans with the garden, as the three year old dahlia is doing very well this year, so I am expecting beautiful and bountiful blooms this year in the winter season.

Metro Greens: Tuberose

Metro Greens: Tuberose

Metro Greens: Tuberose

Metro Greens: Tuberose

Metro Greens: Tuberose


Metro Greens: Tuberose

Metro Greens: Tuberose


Metro Greens: Tuberose

Metro Greens: Tuberose

Also, there is a new bud in one of the gerberas, and I will only get to know of the colour once it blooms, so, till then I have to sit with my fingers crossed that this be a colour different from the already available pale yellow one. I will be back with something new in the next post. Probably it will be the newest gerbera bloom that is in works for now. Till then, HAPPY GARDENING!

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Beginning the Tuberoses

Monsoon is here, and guess what, the tuberoses in my garden are blooming. And if you have visited this blog previously, and have by any chance read some of my previous posts, particularly, those about the tuberoses, you will know for sure that tuberoses are amongst one of my favourite flowering plants in my garden, even though, they bloom once a year, just for a month, and they lay dormant in the pots for the rest of the eleven months, thereby covering up the precious space, and the limited resources - the soil, water, and sun, but this one month of blooms is what makes me keep these alive for the entire year, just for those couple of sticks of white heavily fragrant blooms, that can make up anyone's evening stroll in the garden, an exceptionally fragrant experience.
That said, as with all the plants, tuberoses too need some level of care, even though these are among the plants that need the least care and will still give you a very good outcome. What tuberoses need is not much of hard work, but just a little care. Since these are bulbous plants, tuberoses tend to multiply exceptionally fast. I have a strong belief that if I get a single tuberose bulb, and sow in a small piece of land, tuberoses can very well take over the entire piece of land in just two years. Such extraordinary is it's propagation ability. Now since I have very limited space on my rooftop, that too is being shared by a number of other plants, I have containers, pots, and a number of grow bags to house my plants in, which means that I have to be on my toes all the time to get rid of plants that have died, or do something about those which have overgrown their container.
And, when it comes to tuberoses, as I have already told you, they multiply very fast, and thus, a pot that I plant a tuberose bulb in, will be full of numerous tuberoses by the end of a year, and hence I have to make sure that I get rid of the numerous small bulbs to let a few stronger ones grow better, and this was what this blogpost is all about. This year around, being fed up with numerous pots and grow bags with small tuberose plants, further aggravated by the fact that last blooming season, all I got was just one tuberose stick blooming, which meant there was a lot wrong with the way I was handling them. The tuberoses multiplied very fast and congested the limited space of the pot or the grow bag within no time, and when congested in limited space and resources, all my tuberose plants had been showing stunted growth, even when I was supplying them with enough nutrients in the form of vermi compost.
This time around, while the winter was fast diminishing and the temperature started increasing, I decided it was time to sow the tuberoses again, and this is how it's done.



1. Start by identifying the containers with a dense growth of tuberoses. a dense growth in a limited space means that gradually your plants will be smaller, and the flowers will also be smaller than expected. The uprooting and re-planting is normally done after the danger of frost has passed by. Since tuberoses bloom around monsoon, it is relatively safer to uproot them right after they finish blooming, however, since the winter season follows monsoon, it's good that you let the plants go through the winter, the way they are. Also, there are sometimes when tuberoses are seen to be blooming in the peak winter months, so, that is also one reason why I am suggesting the uprooting to be done after the winter season is over.

2. Let the containers dry for a couple of days. Now there's no definite number of days I would suggest you do not water the containers, since, this entirely depends on the weather conditions in your area. This will ensure that no new growth takes place, since after uprooting, most of these will die.

3. Now carefully start digging the soil in the container, taking care that you don't damage the bulbs. And, don't worry, even if you do happen to damage a few, you still have a lot of them, but still, try to do this carefully.



4.  Once out, you will most probably see something like the above image. Roots of the plants tend to create a nest like structure around the soil, taking shape of the vessel, since they don't get a way to expand further. This is also a reason for the stunted growth of the plants in containers. So, I really suggest people who have container gardens to try and remove roots of their old plants, once in every two to three years, however this needs to be done with caution, as there's a huge risk of killing the plant.




5. Carefully remove the soil from the bulbs, you can take help of your gardening tools, though, I prefer doing this with my bare hands. This way, there's a less chance of damage to the bulbs. You can also use a stream of water to get rid of the soil.



6. Once cleaned, you will have something like the image above. You can now see how tuberoses propagate, and this is something extraordinary. One mother bulb gives rise to so many daughter bulbs, which, again will propagate to become more bulbs.


7. Once you've got everything out of soil, it's time to choose. Most medium to large sized bulbs are good enough to be sown. the smaller bulbs, once separated from the mother plant will die, so you have to take a decision in this. you can choose to give those away to a neighbour, and help spread the tuberose fragrance around your home.

8. Once you have separated the medium to large bulbs, you can let them dry for a couple of more days before sowing them again in the soil. This way, you will have a new and fresh crop of tuberoses.

For a good growth well before the blooming season, I suggest this operation to be done atleast four to six months before the expected blooming season of tuberoses in the kind of weather and soil conditions in your area. If you are not sure about this, you can try taking a look at the gift shops and vendors selling flower bouquets, and this will give you a rough idea about the blooming season of most seasonal flowers, tuberoses being one of those.
I being an emotionally fool gardener, didn't want to let even the small bulbs die and so, after removing couple of those I had to plant separately, I dumped them all in another bag full of soil, and within a fortnight, I had the bag full of lush green leaf spikes.
Since this is monsoon season, and I have the tuberoses blooming, yes, even the newer ones, of the single and double blooming variety are blooming, so, the upcoming post, in the next will be all about these blooming tuberoses. Till then, HAPPY GARDENING!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

The Grapevine

It has been quite a long time since I have written here. The last time, it was some juicy strawberries, and this time around, I have some grapes to share here. It has always been a pleasure to watch plants, that you sow seeds of or get small seedlings of, from a plants nurseries, care for, and watch them grow over the time. It is a sense of absolute happiness when these plants that you've so long cared for, blooms and a much better feeling when it bears fruits, ones which you can consume.
Talking about the grapevine, this has been with me for around four years now. It bore a good harvest the first year I got this plant. The next year, because of some unforeseen circumstances, the plant did not get a chance to bear fruits, even after it bore good enough inflorescences. The next year, that is, the last year, the plant surprisingly gave a miss to the inflorescences and thus no grapes, last year as well. This time around, however, I got lucky, and a few bunches of grapes showed up.



I had no option, but to wait - this is one thing nature makes you learn - WAIT! Whether you like it or not, the nature has her own way, and you can't really force her to work according to your wishes. So, I waited and waited and waited. For the inflorescences to show me small grapes, for the small grapes to grow bigger and bigger, and then for these big grapes to ripen. Well, it happened, but not as I had thought. The grapes grew, but didn't reach a size they already did, the first time the vine bore fruits. Though, this is not supposedly a variety with fruits of a good size, but, this year's yield just broke another expectation. Just a few bunches, and those too having tiny grapes, each of them filled with two to four seeds, so what have I got? I am still thinking over that. However, there's one consolation - the winged guests that visit my rooftop certainly like what's on offer, and they, probably never have any expectations, and thus, are happy with whatever is being offered. The birds do like poking the grapes, drinking all the juice with their beaks, and leave alone the seeds, right there, for me. :P







Hopefully, next year, I will have a better harvest that this year, and though, I do leave some of the harvest for the winged guests, I too want to taste the feeling of having your own harvest, right from your rooftop garden. There's some speculations of the monsoon arriving soon. And until it arrives, there's going to be a lean time, here, as nothing shows up in the scorching heat. The really hardy plants like the all season vincas - white and the pink ones are just the ones that bloom these days, and so is the arabian jasmine, that works wonders in the evenings with the superb fragrance. Hopefully, by the time the monsoon arrives, I will have better stories to share with you all, here. And since this time, I am expecting the tuberoses to give me a better yield, along with the new variety I introduced earlier this year, I can just hope to give you exciting food for thought here, in the coming weeks. Till then, HAPPY GARDENING!

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Juicy Strawberries

As promised in the last post, here I am with a blogpost on the strawberries I grew some time back. Though, as I already told you guys, the harvest was not a really great one, and the taste too appeared somewhat different from the strawberries I've had, with my harvest not being as sweet, and more of having a sour taste, even though it appeared to be blood red, and seemed ripe. Though this was my second attempt at growing strawberries in pots, which, going by numerous pictures in various gardening groups on facebook appeared to be pretty easy task. Thus, I placed an order for some strawberry seeds from eBay, and sowed them. What happened after that was quite unexpected. There was no germination at all, leave alone having those juicy red strawberries right from my own garden.
The second time, I happened to stumble upon these at a plants seller around my office where I used to frequent for my gardening supplies, as this one was quite equipped with almost everything I could ever need. And as soon as I saw these saplings, I knew these were strawberries, and bought some saplings home. Here I did my first mistakes planting strawberries in pots. The small pot I used for planting the saplings, thinking the physical characteristics of the plant will not need a big container, and lot of space too will not be required. But was I wrong? Yes I was. Though, the plant is small, the four saplings that I placed in the small pot became quite densely packed and this, I believe negatively affected the growth of them all. Apart from this, a fifth sapling that I planted in a bigger pot, alone, too didn't grow very well.

Strawberry saplings planted in grow bag
Strawberry saplings, re-planted in the grow bag
There's finally the blooms in the strawberry plants
Blooms in the strawberry plants
A lesson well learnt, I guess. This I believe will be of great help when I go in doing this the third time, as I will be better prepared about the space requirements, sowing time, and other necessary information about its lifeline, and other important things that will be crucial for a better strawberry harvest the next time I set upon to grow these in my rooftop garden.

There's finally the blooms in the strawberry plants
Blooms in the strawberry plants
For now, I will leave you with some remnants of the entire adventure that unfolded slowly over four-five months, and one that is still waiting to unfold itself completely with the last remaining two plants, two of the other three being dead after bearing some fruits, and a third one dying probably of loneliness of not being planted with one of its kind, though the expansive real estate it had got should ideally have it growing better than the rest.

Is that a tiny strawberry? Yes it is.
A tiny strawberry.
It's started to ripen.
There's finally a hint of red  the strawberries
It's started to ripen.
There's finally a hint of red  the strawberries
Ah! The final crop. Delicious, juicy, red strawberries, fresh from your own garden.
Ah! The final crop. Delicious, juicy, red strawberries, fresh from your own garden.
Huh! Strawberries are finally done! What next? Oh, didn't I tell you? There are grapes too, a few bunches, growing slowly, for some time now, with time that would force me to eagerly wait for a minimum of a month before I could relish those sweet-sour black round grapes, fresh from my garden. Who needs an orchard then? More on grapes, gerberas, moss roses and the wonderful crop of tuberoses, of which I have introduced a new variety, this year in my garden, and after a complete re-plantation of the previously planted bulbs, that is doing exceptionally well, in the bag, I replanted them this year, in the upcoming blogposts, in the coming weeks. Till then HAPPY GARDENING!