Daily planting series - Coconut peel can help the plants cross their first year!
I mentioned yesterday that my nursery is almost always full. I strongly argue for farmers to have their personal nursery, atleast of some small scale (I also wish every one in the world does farming, so effectively everyone in the world should have a nursery!).
Last September I had visited Lalbagh Bangalore. It was the flowering/fruiting time for a tree erstwhile unknown for me. The name was present in the name plate, it read ‘Castanospermum Australe’(Castanospermum - from two words, castanea Latin for chestnut and spermum Greek for seeded. australe - Latin for southern, here referring to the southern hemisphere.), one of the large leguminous trees (in Fabaceae). I collected the impressive sized seeds which I got back as souvenir. I have around 4-5 grownup plants in the nursery waiting to be planted.
Coconut peel for moisture retention
I had a pit ready dug 2 years back by JCB. I had to just remove the soil out using a ‘Hoe’(ಹಾರೆ/ಕೊಟ್ಟು). I have seen impressive results earlier by filling up the pit with coconut fibre. I have now taken a simpler alternative, just using coconut peel instead of pounded fibre, which is an external supply. It can easily absorb many litres of water when available and slowly release it back to the plants thus helping it during first year’s dry season. Approximately 4-5 coconuts’ peel is what I am using per plant, I can’t carry more from home along with Hoe, the plant and peel together.
|Stages of planting - along with a seetaphala plant|
Forest litter will give added benefit
Our natural forest is just adjacent to all my work areas. Nowadays I collect abundantly available leaf litter which has already started decomposing, to seed the soil with decomposing agents. This will help coconut peel decompose faster which would otherwise take much longer.
Thats it!, Just dig out soil, loosen the soil below as much as possible, keep the plant(s), cover it with as much degradable matter as possible. Cover once again with a thin layer of soil. It is upto this plant and to mother nature to fight for the plant’s existence and survive.
2 Plants in a pit
Planting 2 different (types of) plants in a single pit is another technique I often employ. Combining 1 monocot with 1 dicot is most suitable i suppose. I have found good results so far, it makes work easier and fills up greenery faster. It is highly probably that these 2 plants complement each other and aid in their growth.
|Sterculia Urens with Ensete superbum, growing together happily|