Every once in a while, at WeWentGreen.com and Resurge Industries Inc, we come across someone doing something green to better their own lives and the World’s, and we like to share their stories with you.
The Green Champion’s story we’d like to share with you today is about Sindhuja Pandi, a sustainable gardener who has mastered the art of growing vegetables in a small space.
WeWentGreen: What persuaded you to start organic gardening?
Sindhuja: My toddler persuaded me. I didn’t want any unwanted chemicals in his food so I opted for organic and sustainable gardening.
WeWentGreen: What do you have to say to people who say “I don't have enough space for a vegetable garden”?
Sindhuja: Vegetables are so versatile. You can grow them in any space like a patio to even a small counter space. There is a crop for every space. To start with microgreens and herbs on the kitchen counter is the best way.
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WeWentGreen: Do you compost?
Sindhuja: Yes I do compost, and no not that big pile as we see in most composting videos. It is just in a container which could otherwise be a planting pot with a few extra holes in them and a tray underneath to collect any liquid that drains out.
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WeWentGreen: How often do you have to water the plants?
Sindhuja: Depends on the weather, the type of container, and the actual plant. Some plants need regular watering whereas others can go days without being watered. I just say feel the soil about an inch or so deep, and if it's moist then most plants will do fine. If it's dry then water them. Don't over water though, it is worse than not watering them at all.
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WeWentGreen: Do you use any natural pest repellent?
Sindhuja:Yes, it is a mix of turmeric, garlic and red chili powder in a liter of water. I let it infuse for 24 hours then strain it clear as it can clog the nozzle. I add the liquid to a spray bottle and spray it on the foliage for about 3 days to kill pests like aphids,worms and grubs.
WeWentGreen: What are the easiest crops you can grow in small spaces?
Sindhuja: Leafy greens and herbs are the easiest and best suited for shallow containers. Then you can move on to tomatoes, peppers, bush beans, roots vegetables, and strawberries could be easily grown in containers.
WeWentGreen: What do you recommend, starting from seed or from seedlings?
Sindhuja: If you are an experienced gardener, then starting everything from seed is great so we know what the plant is being fed from the start. But if you are a beginner, then start with seedling from the nursery so you will have better success with growing the plant.
WeWentGreen: How do you plan ahead for a growing season?
Sindhuja: Since I live in a cold place, I check for the last frost date. Let’s say my last frost date is March 31st. I start getting my seeds ready and sow seeds which have a longer growing season indoors on heated mats by February 15th. So once the soil is frost free and about 65 degrees then we can sow the seedlings, and seeds with shorter growing seasons, directly in the soil.
WeWentGreen: What would be an easy start for a beginner gardener?
Sindhuja: Microgreens and herbs are the best and easiest plants to grow for a beginner.
WeWentGreen: Any future plans?
Sindhuja: Someday going forward, I’m hoping to provide organically grown vegetables and fruits for my family and my community from my own farm.
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