John Sherry, assistant director of the Agriculture Farm Innovation Bureau in Kerala shares a step by step of how he grew tomato, cowpea, bhindi, bitter gourd, snake gourd, chillies, brinjal and more in his home in an environmentally sustainable way.
By Roshini Muthukumar
May 15, 2021
In April 2020, when John had extra time owing to the COVID-19 lockdown, he decided to take up terrace gardening in grow bags. However, he did not want to add red soil to the mix. So, he experimented with a by-produce of rice, the husk, which is usually discarded as waste.
“Sometimes, to get rid of the husk, farmers burn it,” says John, adding that he decided to use rice husk owing to its chemical composition, which is high in silica, carbon, calcium, and magnesium.
The husk not only offers sturdiness to the bag, but it also keeps the mix well-ventilated and pest-free which in turn offers a good yield. Today, on his 140 sq-ft terrace, John grows 30 types of vegetables including tomato, cowpea, bhindi, bitter gourd, snake gourd, chillies, brinjal and more.
“The method is very effective as it utilizes maximum sunlight on the rooftop and causes no harm to the concrete terrace or house because it is lightweight,” says John.
If you wish to make this potting mix at home to grow your plants, here is the step-by-step process.
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