During the lockdown last year, many people started gardening in their homes in their free time. Avtar Singh Sandhu from Punjab and his wife, Maninderjit Kaur are also one of these people. Today his gardening is an example for others, as he does not have to go to the market for green vegetables.
Avtar Singh, a resident of Talwandi Chaudharian village in Kapurthala district, is a computer teacher in a government school, and Maninderjit, a homemaker. They live in a joint family. He told, “During the corona pandemic and lockdown, we thought it appropriate to stay at home. During this the whole family was spending time together. We got the tandoor installed on the terrace by asking my mother and just started enjoying the tandoori roti, parathas of her hands. Maninder ji used to make good vegetables and vegetables. But then gradually I realized how good it is to grow vegetables in our own home and there is no special need to go out.
With this thought in mind, Avtar and Maninderjeet’s gardening journey began. They tell that they made some beds on their roof and arranged for some pots. Apart from this, he also took full use of plastic bottles, cans, tubs and buckets etc. He said that initially he faced many problems. But they were both determined that they had to do it.
85 types of trees planted on the roof
Avtar and Maninderjeet first started small and then gradually increased their work. He told that he first made three big beds on the terrace and started by planting mint, coriander, spinach etc. Then the number of pots on his roof started increasing. He told that today there are 256 pots on his terrace, in which he is planting different types of trees and plants. Apart from vegetables, fruits, you will also find medicinal plants and some decorative plants in their garden.
“We plant seasonal vegetables on the terrace and at present, there are around 13 vegetables like brinjal, tomato, capsicum, pumpkin, etc. Apart from vegetables, we have also planted 13 trees of fruits like mango, lemon, guava on the terrace. There are also 19 medicinal plants on the terrace, which include Odomos, Ashwagandha, Lemon Grass, Camphor Tulsi, Camphor etc. Apart from this, 40 types of ornamental plants are also included,” he added. Regarding the Odomos plant, they say that having this plant does not spoil the plants in your garden by mosquitoes and pests.
Avtar Singh says that almost 95% of his kitchen needs are met from his garden. Along with this, they are also delivering greens and vegetables to their neighbors’ houses. “We prepare organic manure and spray for our garden ourselves. It is our endeavor that no organic waste of any kind goes out from our house and garden. We make compost from all kinds of skins, dry leaves, twigs.” His garden is completely organic. They do not use any kind of chemicals in their garden.
some gardening tips
He further told that his maximum effort is to inspire other people to take up gardening as well. In this work they are also successful to some extent. He says that all people should think of planting some trees and plants in the free space available in their homes. Start small at first and then move up slowly. Giving advice on horticulture, he says, “The most important thing in gardening is soil. Therefore, bring soil from a place where no chemical has been used. Like we had brought soil from near Vyas river and some soil from near brick kilns. Because if you take soil from a land where chemical farming takes place, it will not be good.”
Next, it comes to seeds or plants. On this, the Sandhu couple says that whether you take seeds or plants, but always take it from a place of faith. Because less seeds or plants are needed for rooftop gardening. In such a situation, it is necessary that all the seeds or plants brought by us should develop well. Next, he says that potting mix for gardening can be prepared in two ways. For smaller plants such as flowers or vegetables, you can mix 40% of the soil with 30% cocopeat, 10% sand and 20% compost.
But for large trees like fruit trees, you should take more soil and less quantity of cocopeat. Also, plant trees and plants according to the season in the beginning and water regularly. He further told that when he started getting success in gardening, the children advised him that he should make his journey memorable. So he started making videos and uploading them on YouTube.
started my own gardening youtube channel
First he started his YouTube channel in Punjabi language by the name ‘Avtar Singh Sandhu’. But in Punjabi he did not get much good response from the people. After this, he started his another YouTube gardening channel , named ‘Green Life Diaries’. His channel got a good response from the people from the very beginning.
Through his channel, he keeps giving people information about his garden and other gardening related information. “I believe that all people should try to grow vegetables in their homes. This will not only improve their health but they will also be able to teach a lot to their children by doing gardening,” he concluded.
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If you are also fond of gardening and you have also made the balcony, kitchen or terrace of your house a place for trees and plants, then share with us the story of your #Gardengiri. Write to us with pictures and contact details and send your story to [email protected]!
Editing – G N Jha
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