More Bengalureans sign up for Organic Terrace Gardening

Kala has a beautiful garden outside her house that she wants to protect from pests. She wants to improve her garden and grow lots of fruits and vegetables out there. She came here to learn this "the Organic way".

Like Kala, many other people from Bangalore attended the Organic Terrace Gardening (OTG) workshop held at Vittal Mallya Scientific Research Foundation (VMSRF), in BTM Layout II stage. VMSRF is an organisation dedicated to biotechnology research to generate newer products and processes in the field of health-care and agriculture.

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Kala, 50, an engineer by profession, stays in JP Nagar, says that "Organic" is the way to go. "I have a garden outside my house. It has got a lot of pests in it now. I came here to learn how to remove those pests without using chemicals and also improve it."

Going by the saying "what you grow is what you eat", this event educated people on how to cultivate fruits and vegetables in even the small gardens of your homes and eat healthy.

Around 20-30 people between the age group of 8 to 62 years participated in the event. They were people from all fields – students to engineers and businessmen attended the event. Some even came with their families.

How to ensure healthy plants?
Collect seeds for your plants:

  • From disease free plants
  • From earliest crop
  • On a dry day
  • From a dry and shady place
  • Stored in a dry bottle with air tight lid and labelled container

Govind K, 32, a resident of BTM Layout says, "I have been pursuing gardening as a hobby. I want to transform the whole garden to organic now. So I have come here to learn specifically organic gardening."

Dr. B Narayan Vishwanath, freelance consultant on organic farming, terrace gardening, landscaping and bio fertilisers, gave an insight on organic terrace gardening, how to grow, what can be grown, how to take care of it, what material is required and much more. The participants were given practical knowledge by taking them to the foundation’s terrace gardens and explaining them in detail about pests, weeds and more.

Some of the most frequently asked questions about organic terrace gardens are:

What are the benefits of OTG?

OTG helps you grow chemical free fruits and vegetables in your own compound. Growing crops leads to some healthy exercise for you and also some fresh air in your surroundings.

What are the limitations of OTG?

OTG requires a lot of sunlight. So the plants have to be grown in an area that gets maximum sunlight. Also it is difficult to grow plants if the roof is weak or leaking.

How much does it cost to set up an OTG?

Initially, it costs around Rs. 20,000 to set up an OTG with a variety of around five crops. This cost includes the pots, mulch, seeds and all the other equipment required for OTG.

What specific care should be taken while having an OTG?

Some of the things to be taken care of are:

  • Availability of proper sunlight to the crops must be checked before setting up an OTG.
  • The plants should not be grown very close to each other.
  • Do not go for cheap transplants. They will not grow properly.Transplants are young plants grown from seeds started indoors or bought from a store.
  • Water the plants frequently and in the right amount. Too dry or too wet is harmful for the plants.
  • Plant the fruits and vegetables according to their seasons. Off season crops will not grow properly.
  • Do not over fertilise. Over fertilisation will lead to decrease in the product output.

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