Monday, 6 February 2012

New Beginnings

January is a good time of year to start plants in Chennai. The weather is as pleasant as can be. The sun shines brightly, but doesn't scorch the plants. This year, the temperatures touched a ten-year low in Jan, for which I'm very happy as I'd planted some carrots for the first time. Carrots here, are among the exotic "hill vegetables", (since we get all our carrots from the surrounding, cooler hills.) While the seeds sprouted in less than a week and have been growing steadily since, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It's too early to say whether my carrots will actually grow in Chennai's "cold" weather.
Carrot Seedlings: To be Thinned
Now in Feb, many of the seeds sown last month have transformed into sturdy little seedlings. Here are some photos. My earlier basil bush was overgrown, so I decided to start it from seed once more. Basil is so easy to grow here that starting from seed is much easier than re-potting and pruning an old bush.
Sweet Basil Starting Out
Last year's spinach went to seed after several wonderful harvests. So this year, I intend to invest in some more spinach. While I had nearly 100% germination success with the seeds, many of the seedlings have been trampled upon by squirrels and crows. The crows come to peck at pieces of egg shells that are part of the compost.
Spinach: A Year Old
Spinach: Less than a Month Old
The bell pepper plants look like strange chilly plants. The leaves don't seem too well. Perhaps it's because I've done something that is strongly discouraged. The capsicum seeds weren't bought, but saved from a capsicum that I got from the market. The capsicum was yellow-red and probably hybrid. Since it seems near impossible to get yellow and red bell pepper seeds from anywhere near my place, I was left with no better option. But seeds from hybrid plants yield poorly. I am just hoping that they will at least yield a couple of capsicums.
The curry leaf tree and the lemon tree (both in pots) are showing a lot of promise. Many tender green leaves have sprouted all over.
Curry Leaf Tree with Plenty of New Growth
Lots of suspense at the Tube Rose (Rajnigandha) plant. Buds have been growing a little bigger each day, for nearly two weeks now, but it is yet to flower.
Tube Rose Buds
While my other zinnias are beginning to fade and produce smaller flowers every time, the peach coloured zinnias have just begun to show off. These get lovelier as they age and in fact are in their best colour when they're nearly all dried up.
Zinnias Basking in the Sunlight
And just like my garden is making a fresh start, so am I. I've landed a new job after a longish gap. And while I am very happy about the job, it may also mean less blogging. (During the week, I have only just enough time to water my plants). So if you find fewer posts and comments from me, you know the reason.