Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jinx factor wearing off ?

You all know about how I kill plants.

In an effort to set the record straight, I would like to proudly proclaim that my current effort with plants is paying off.

Below given are pictures of the plants in my balcony, that is now no longer ashamed to face its peer balconies :)


I am especially proud of this small potted plant that sits on my end table. I bought it purely because of the orange color that brightens up the room even on a cold and dull day and I must say I am rather pleased with how well it has bloomed.

I know I am tempting fate by this post but I have to brag given that the chances are few and far between!

I am pushing my luck even further by writing these instructions but being noble (:D), I always think of 'yam petra inbam peruga ee vyyagam'**

10 Steps to have plants in the balcony
1. Buy Balkonkasten (plant holders) from Amazon, make sure they have a plate underneath where excess water can seep through

2. Make holes in the Balkonkasten for the water to seep through (usually there are 4 holes provided that can be easily opened with a small hammer and a screw driver)

3. Cover the hotels with something light such that water can seep through but not the mud (I bought a small terracotta flower pot for 50 cents, broke it into 4 pieces and covered the holes)

4. Add a layer of pebbles (Since I already paid for mud, I was in no mood to pay for pebbles, took it from my apartment garden, ofcourse after checking with my owner. I really don't want to be known as a pebble-thief!)

5. Add layers of mud until the boxes (balkonkasten) are 70% filled

6. Choose plants carefully. Do not choose only seasonal plants, buying new plants for every season can be very expensive. For example, the green plants in the pictures without any flowers do not bloom but they will remain green through out the year and so are the blue ones. This way I only have to change the plants at both ends.

6. If the plants from the nursery are dry, water them by immersing them into to huge bucket of water for a couple of seconds and then let the excess water drain in a kitchen sink. If the plants are too dry, immerse them once more. This ensures that water is evenly spread within the mud.

7. Take the watered plants from their pots along with mud so that the roots are intact and place them in the formation you need with enough gap between them (Usually plants come with instructions as to how much space they would need and to what extent they can grow)

8. Add some more mud so that the roots can eventually attach themselves to the mud in the boxes. The mud layer should rise only up to 85% of the height of the boxes (obviously this is an approximation and no, I do not really measure it)

9. Place the boxes within the hangers and check to make sure they are securely fastened (you don't want to your beautiful pots to fall on strangers' heads or ironically your own)

10.Water them based on weather (the warmer it is, the more water the plants require, just like us) and instructions (my potted plant needs only water once a week). The simplest way is to stick your finger into the mud. The mud should always be moist (NOT wet)

Ofcourse there are lot of people who do this professionally by measuring soil moisture, creating flower formations, using special manure...lets just say that I will cross the bridge if and when I get to it !

Happy Gardening !

** Let everyone else enjoy what I enjoy.
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