Organic farming is a form of agriculture that relies on crop rotation, green manure, compost, biological pest control
and mechanical cultivation to maintain soil productivity and control pests.
Since in urban cities limitation is insufficient land for farming, the concept of terrace farming, vertical and container farmings are upcoming trends in urban farming. Here in this blog I will be sharing every single effort and techniques in building my Organic Roof :)

Location Details:

Country: India

State: Kerala

City: Trivandrum

Climate:Tropical, equable, hot, humid and dry.


Soil: Red soil in the Southern-most part of Kerala

Monday, December 27, 2010

Other varieties of plantations

Surrounding of my courtyard there is little space where I tried bigger plants those may not support the roof. In this Post I will share few other plantations that I did, also 'Vaalari Payar' (kind of a Pea). I will be updating this post when ever I try something new.



Banana plant, planted behind my house, but not on roof.











Drumstick Plant, planted behind my house, but not on roof.












Planted On Roof :
Big Pea (Vaalari Payar)
Seedling was grown in container it self and
appeared with long leaves.




This is a Pea plant called 'Vaalari Payar' in Malayalam.
Not aware on English name of it.











Big pea plant did not grow in size, it does not have
any vines and after 30 days of planting, it started
producing buds.





Another variety of beans known as Broad beans




Ready to prepare a dish with beans and grated coconut.
In Malayalam Language it is called -'Payar thoran'


















This dish was prepared with broad beans, potato and onions.

Mushroom Plantation and Research

I was attracted from few videos on growing Mushroom, but I was not sure how and from where I could get the seeds. Recently when visited one of the exhibition on HortiCorp conducted in Trivandrum town, I purchased a pack of Mushroom seeds. The institute is also providing training and guidance on mushroom plantation. Since I didn't find much time on attending the training session, I tried experimenting with it.

Measures to be taken:

1. Mushroom shall be grown in dark room.
2. Should be grown in a container that should have pores so that there will be ample space for mushroom to sprout.
3. Husk / straw is required for growing mushroom.
4.Husk or straw which is used in container should not get dry, so continuous water treatment is required.



Container was filled with Coconut husk and on top of it Rice straw was spread to keep the the seeds always soaked.











In 13 days white rashes was seen on the interior circumference of the container.

Used a Polythene bag as a container and was stuffed with husk. Seeds were spread along the outer circumference with in the container.











After 20 days mushroom sprouted out through the gaps in the container.







Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Elephant Yam Plantation

Experimenting with new types of plants, Elephant Yam is a root plant that can be grown in bigger containers and the yam grows in bigger size. I could collect a small yam and planted it in a sack.




Yam is 1.5 Kg in weight after 7 months. It could have been grown to bigger size but the container was not sufficient enough to accommodate the yam and its roots.





I am trying to grow yam with a small yam(seed).
Planted this baby yam on 20th of December 2010.













Here again I used plastic sack (bigger Container). so that it can grow in bigger size.









This root category plant is taking too long time to grow.
This snap was taken on March 22nd 2011.
From the date of planting it is is now 3 months for the
 plant to take this shape as shown in this image.







Roots penetrating into the soil. This plant require much bigger container.














Leaves growing out of the germinated











Trunk look like the textures of a python skin.












Yam was pulled out of the container after 7 months from plantation. Image shows the roots around the yam.




Green Eggplant



Green Eggplant looks a little different from Purple Eggplant, I was confused earlier as i created a post for Green Eggplant, but once it started growing I realized that it is purple egg plant. Now in my garden there are more almost 13 purple eggplant and just 2 green eggplant.


Seeds looks very tiny like purple eggplant and the germination of seeds was done in a tray and then transplanted to bigger container.



Germinated plant transplanted to sack container.
Image shows the plant with 15 days of growth.











After 45 days from germination, plant started flowering, flowers of green eggplant is different from purple eggplant.












First fruit appeared after 50 days of planting.
In this batch only two Plants. So may not fetch much of green brinjal.











Little fruit appeared with light green color. It may take another a week for few more fruits.









Total in two plants I could find three fruits.
also 3 to 4 buds appeared.














There are lot of pest attacks, so constant check is required.Either the worms can be removed manually or usage of garlic spray will restrict the pest attack to some extent.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Green Chilly



Dishes without green chilly is impossible. Not much of chilly plants that I grew in my roof, but planted 5 plants and one hybrid seedling that I bought from a Nursery.


Seed was germinated while sowing it in a tray, once seedlings grew in size was transplanted to sack.
Images shows few chillies.







I tried chopping off the top most part of one of the plants. and could find that lot of branches started coming. and end-result is more number of flowers and chillies.












This image shows a different variety of chilly that I bought from a plant nursery. I think usage of fertilizer would be one of the reasons the plant being in small size but with 3 big chillies.









Lessons Learned

Understanding and studying the climate, geography , water supply these are very critical factors that needs to be taken care while going for a roof garden. Here in this post I will share few images and loss of vegetables that happened because of some of the critical factors that I mentioned before.


When I found small worms on top of the fruit, I tried removing it with my hand, instead I could have used a plastic cover to protect from insects or worms.Gradually bottle guard dried.and i lost the fruit.











Cucumbers could not resist from sunlight since it was spread on plastic sheets. When I realized the issue and could use another carpet made of cloth, by then it was too late and cucumbers were perished.













Spreads that I used for the the cucumber vine was a wrong choice. Vines could not sustain continuous heat from the sun. Finally Plant with the container was shifted to a place where it will be protected from heat, also it will get moderate sunlight too.





Pumpkin was not properly covered, pumpkin is highly prone to insects and other pest attacks. Proper covering is required. Ideally a plastic cup moderately a bigger size will do. But plastic cup may not be the right choice where it is exposed to sunlight.







Container was not with enough size to hold 3 bottle guard plants. Growth was stagnant so unplugged one of the plants from the container.










Design of the net was not proper, in fact the net should either be parallel to the ground or else it should be in climbing. Here it was almost like hanging shape and because of that i think the plants growth was not proper and some parts it was getting dried.
Now i could change the pattern and made it  climbing.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Second Batch Plantation

First batch of plants were planted 150 days before the second batch during the month of June-July. Second batch during the month of November. Compared to previous batch, second batch has double the number of each verity of plants, also there are few new plants which I tried in second batch.

Nine sacks planted with egg plant, In few sacs I managed to plant 2 or 4 depending on the size of the container.













In this image you can see 4 plants in one container, not sure how productive this would be, lets wait and see.









Second batch of okra with 6 Plants.  
First batch of okra was removed, this time yield is 
much better than the previous batch, use of more 
of compost is one among the reasons. 










Soil mixture inside the container should not be hard, which can be avoided while using more of compost.










Among the previous batch apart from Okra plant, rest of the plants are still fetching vegetables. But yield is deteriorating. 





For instance tomato plant is still with 20 nos in one plant. Another verity of peas started flowering other plants that may fetch fruits within a week that includes, Green eggplant, purple egg plant, green chillies and bitter guard.








South Indian Palak (Cheera)


Seeds were initially sown on hydroponic filled tray.
Water should be sprinkled every day and should be protected from direct rain drops.














After seven days from sowing the seed, the seedlings can be transplanted to bigger container. Cheera can be harvested  in a month. Here in this image the container that I used is a plastic sack, and planted 10-12 seedlings.