Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Planting saplings among weeds

By the time rain has made the land wet and ready to plant saplings, weeds also would be growing wildly. Some times I plant among weeds, and in no time, the saplings will be surrounded by weeds and later while cutting weeds, saplings also would be cut. When I was using brush cutter, in no time, the saplings will be completely cut, now a days I use only Scythe and it is much better now since the cutting pace is slow compared to brush cutter and also in between we look around, mostly saplings will be noticed.

Recently started putting sunhemp or green gram seeds around the the saplings, so that the patch of sunhemp or green gram plants will remind me of some saplings. Most of the time, when summer approaches, these guard plants can be retained so that they will provide some shade to the saplings,especially if it is sunhemp. Subash Palekar suggests to put pigeon pea while planting coconut saplings, so that they will provide nitrogen and shade in the summer.

Some photos...

Monday, October 1, 2018

Clearing and starting cultivation in a new area

In one area where there is no irrigation facility had been neglected for some time. This time decided to cut the weeds and clean it and make it ready for cultivation in the next monsoon.One possibility is turmeric since it does not need watering. Since some mulch is needed, in one area cowpea is put and another area browntop millet is put, not sure if there will be enough rain for these crops, but giving a try.


After putting cowpea, lightly tilled the area with a fork, so that seeds get into soil and it will germinate with available moisture. That light tilling worked.

brown top millet has started germinating.


Cowpea has established thickly...Browntop millet is also fine,may have to weed that area once

HappyHill Rice 2018-Season 2

I am left with just few seeds of Happy hill rice and carefully planted in 2 places after germinating the seeds. I am getting more requests for the seeds, hope to send after this harvest. Next monsoon, will be doing it on more area for sure.


Growing in 2 places,one in plastic bag 


have sown alfalfa under it

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Browntop Millet - Trial

Recently went for a seed festival in Chinnavedanpatty,Coimbatore and happened to eat rotis made by Browntop millet. Liked the taste and there was seed for sale, bought one Kg of seeds. When put in the farm, it didn't germinate, even though soil had moisture initially later it dried up.

Thought of trying it at the backyard garden at home. 

Some internet information




Information says,just 2 rains are enough for a yield,also within 70-80 days it mature.It can be grown under tamirind tree or under arecanut trees. Also the seeds which is fallen from the current crop is enough for the next crop. All these facts pushes me to give a try.


Seeds were put in the soil and watered. After 3-4 days, it germinated.



Earlier I thought this was foxtail millet,when it flowered it is brown-top millet.This was started in August 28th

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Alfalfa cover crop - trial

Fukuoka Jangli Khethi whatsapp group administered by Raju Titus sir, gave some information about Alfalfa and hence wanted to try.

Alfalfa seeds - Bought from amazon, 465 rupees per 0.5Kg


It readily germinated, but plant does not look very healthy, may be after some time, it will pickup


Applied little bit of cowdung slurry and growth seems to be fine.



Foxtail Millet - Trial

Had got some foxtail millet seeds from the stalls of Organic World Congress held in 2017 New Delhi. Wanted to try it, so first sown some at home backyard and some were sown in the farm. But in the farm, could not water it and rains suddenly stopped and none of them germinated. In the backyard, they germinated well and growing fine so far.

Some general information obtained from internet

Foxtail millet is the oldest cultivated millet. Carbonized foxtail millet has been identified in archaeological sites in China, with various reports of origination date more than 4000 years ago. For green fodder it is harvested in 70-75 days and for grain in 85-95 days. If crop is grown for green fodder, yields 15-25 tons/hectre, 3-4.5 tons per hectre of hay. Grains 0.9-1 tons per hectre.

Some photos...

August 28th - 2018

Seeds were put around august 28th

September 10, 2018



Sometimes with heavy rain it falls but gets up on the next day


It started flowering....

Monday, August 27, 2018

Planting in between coconuts

While planting vegetables between coconut trees, it has been a problem since taking care of small plants planted in between weeds is a problem. So thought of using some designated places for planting Ash guard, Pumpkin and Indian broad beans (Avarakkai). Reason for selecting these plants are since creepers just go over the grass once established and need less care.

Basically instead of planting anywhere just wanted to keep some designated places so that it can be easily located and since more mulching is given it grows well. Also if some cowdung is applied once, the residual fertility will be there for the next season.

In areas where Pureria is established planting in between is not possible since small plants will be strangulated. This issue wouldn't have been there, if the cover crop is white clover or similar which is 8-12 inches in height. Since we don't have such cover crop, this is the only alternative.

Initially cleared weeds in circles and tilled the soil using spade, then planted ash guard pumpkin and Indian borad beans seeds, along with green gram. Green gram seeds were sown so that area becomes noticeable after some time also if they provide some shade.

Later avoided tilling and just kept mulching around. One good thing is that once we have mulched places, we can keep mulching them in summer and apply some cowdung, so that next time when we plant it becomes easy, because of all that residual fertility. Also in mulched area soil becomes loose which makes planting also easy.

If the mulch is light, plants push through. Indian broad beans needs less moisture. Also young plants are eaten by slugs and other pests, when they are surrounded by green gram or other plants, are not easily attacked.

Pumpkin - this time moisture was less, so not sure, if they will survive, no rain for a month. Also need to put 3 seeds minimum so that at least one germinates and survive.

With cut mulches formed a bed, so can be used for ginger,turmeric or taro planting in the next year.