Updated: Jul 30
Gardening has always been a passion of mine since childhood. The idea of cultivating plants, nurturing them, and enjoying the fruits of my labor has always brought me immense joy. After moving to Bangalore from my village, due to space constraints I was looking for approach to gardening in smaller space – soilless farming. In my quest for gardening videos, I discovered the world of hydroponics farming, which promised the ability to grow chemical pesticide-free crops in a small area with minimal water consumption. This concept excited me, and I was determined to explore and practice it further. Little did I know that this newfound interest would lead me to the incredible journey I am about to share with you.
Meeting Belesiri: A Turning Point
While researching hydroponics farming, I came across an enlightening video by Belesiri, an experienced practitioner and advocate of soilless farming. Watching Belesiri's video made me realize that I needed guidance and expertise to accomplish my objective. Intrigued by the possibility of learning from a knowledgeable source, I decided to join a weekend course offered by Belesiri. This course provided me with the fundamentals of soilless farming and equipped me with the knowledge to get started on my own.
From Indoor Palak to Polyhouse Capsicum: A Growing Journey
Empowered by the newfound knowledge, I took my first steps into soilless farming by purchasing a small 40-planter Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) system and growing Palak (spinach). This initial experiment not only boosted my confidence but also convinced my husband to support my ambitions. Together, with the guidance and assistance of Guru sir (as Belesiri is affectionately called), we decided to build a polyhouse on our terrace. A polyhouse would enable us to create a controlled environment suitable for soilless farming and extend our growing season.
Constructing a 250 Sq.Ft polyhouse was no easy task, but with Guru sir's expertise, we were able to set up a 190-planter NFT system within it. The system allowed us to cultivate a variety of crops with ease. The first success story came from our Palak crop, which yielded a bountiful harvest. Excited by this accomplishment, we expanded our endeavors and set up 25 capsicum (bell pepper) plants. To facilitate efficient irrigation, my husband played a pivotal role in setting up an automated drip irrigation system using readily available kits from Amazon. This system ensured that our plants received the necessary nutrients and water without any hassle. I eagerly embraced the opportunity to learn about maintaining proper fertigation schedules and the usage of organic pesticides to promote healthy growth in our capsicum plants.
Exploring New Frontiers: DWC and Strawberries
Driven by curiosity and a thirst for knowledge, I delved into exploring different soilless farming techniques. Among these, the Deep-Water Culture (DWC) system caught my attention. DWC involves suspending the plant's roots in nutrient-rich water, creating an environment that facilitates robust growth. Intrigued by the possibilities, I decided to experiment with this system, envisioning a future harvest of luscious strawberries.
As I continue my journey into soilless farming, I am constantly amazed by the potential it holds. Not only does it enable me to cultivate chemical-free crops of my choice all year-round, but it also provides a sustainable solution to address the limitations of traditional gardening methods. The controlled environment of the polyhouse allows me to mitigate the challenges posed by weather fluctuations and pests, ensuring a consistent and healthy crop yield.
The Benefits of Soilless Farming for Health-Conscious Parents
As a health-conscious parent of two kids, soilless farming has become a revelation in my pursuit.
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