Dr. Chandrashekhar Biradar has amazing rooftop gardening hacks. In this post he explains how you can grow five vegetables in one pot and save 90% water.
Dr. Chandrashekhar Biradar’s lush garden thrives with 50 species of natural fruits, flowers, and vegetables grown by multi-layer farming on his 50 square foot rooftop garden. His garden produces enough food to serve up to five family members. He frequently ends up giving away excess produce to friends and neighbours.
So, what prompted Dr. Biradar, a Space Scientist living thousands of kilometres away from his homeland, to embark on a large-scale gardening project?
“It’s a combination of genes, passion, and necessity,” Dr Biradar says over video call to The Better India, as he sweeps the phone camera across his gorgeous garden.
Dr Chandrashekhar Biradar, a PhD in space science and applications, grew up in a farmer’s family in Karnataka and was always fascinated with raising his food without the use of chemicals or pesticides. When he went to the United States in the mid-2000s, he was given the opportunity.
Dr. Biradar’s says, “My only choice was to raise my own food.”
He started gardening out of need. However, Dr. Biradar says,he has been gardening for over 10 years because of its many health benefits.
Dr. Biradar now resides in Cairo with his wife and three children, after his career took him to 33 countries. While he considers himself fortunate to have the area for his garden, Dr. Biradar feels that urban inhabitants with limited space can emulate his methods as well.
The 5-layer gardening system conserves both space and water. Dr. Biradar recommends starting with tiny pots for beginners. He recommends starting with easy-to-grow plants like tomatoes, spinach, fenugreek, eggplant, and chillies after adding a healthy and natural combination of soil, cocopeat, and compost.
Before introducing other plants, it is critical to observe how the plants perform under different weather, soil, and water circumstances.
Recognize the soil pattern and calculate the amount of nutrients your plants require. As a result, organic fertilisers or compost should be added. Make gardening a pleasurable pastime rather than a chore.
Dr. Biradar says you should start growing the following cycle and progressively adding all the layer, once you’ve figured out your plants. He emphasises the necessity of vertical planting in areas with limited space. In fact, he has made the best use of the walls on his patio by planting basil, oregano, rose mary, and garlic on them.
He has also employed snake plants and other creepers to give shade from the afternoon sun for other plants. He then discusses the symbiotic link between plants cultivated in a single pot. Place tomatoes, for example, next to basil, an insect repellant plant.
Dr. Biradar, on the other hand, has easily refuted this misconception by claiming to save 90% of water with two irrigation systems.
Most of us are familiar with drip irrigation. But, the ‘clay pot diffusion irrigation’ approach deserves your attention. He has excavated a modest clay container in the dirt to hold water for this purpose. Clay pots with good soil have the potential to hold water for an extended period of time. The clay pot wall releases the stored water based on the needs of the plants.
This guarantees that each plant receives a proper supply of water, he explains. According to Dr. Biradar, the clay pot requires only one litre of water every week, as opposed to the traditional requirement of ten, saving 90 percent of the water. Dr. Biradar also employs the “Pipe Composing” method to turn kitchen garbage into organic compost. It takes up little space and also supports the creepers.
He has put a 63-foot-long PVC pipe vertically into the pot soil. He describes the procedure by saying, “We pour kitchen waste or leftovers to the pipe.”
Dr. Biradar is proud every time he observes a child’s love for gardening. Furthermore, healthy and organic eating has rendered children immune to viruses, according to Dr. Biradar. Dr. Biradar is also a member of a WhatsApp group that includes Indians from all around the world.
The scientist has motivated other acquaintances to adopt a sustainable path by sharing his gardening suggestions and photos.