Friday, October 8, 2010

Magic Potion

I have used chemical pesticides and plant enhancers in the past. Only a couple of times. I realized that these were not dilute solutions, but heavily concentrated chemicals that needed to be handled with extreme care. Since my garden is a balcony garden it makes it all the more dangerous to use such chemicals as it lingers around your breathing space very much. The NPK fertilizers that are used are also heavy on chemicals and are harmful to the environment all the way from manufacturing to usage in the garden.
After realizing the effects of these chemical pesticides and fertilizers, I decided that I definitely would not use them. I realized this early in my gardening experience. Since going organic was the trend, I thought why not join the bandwagon. Especially since it would do less harm to the environment. I started reading about compost and organic mixes and started using them. However, the results were not amazing. My plants did reasonably well but they did not show much vigor in growth. One miss at watering them and I would find them drooping down, threatening to die. The compost was easy to use and I did not have to cover my face or make sure that I was using less than the prescribed amount to make sure that I was not harming either the plants or myself or any apartments around mine. I also like the texture of compost very much. I handle it directly by hand though many people would not prefer to do that. The compost was doing its job but I realized that the plants could definitely look healthier.
So after doing some research I found out about this solution called Panchagavya. It is a age old formula that has been passed down generations . It is as old as the vedas, it is like yoga, ayurveda or siddha medicine which are all early wisdom of ancestors that were recorded millenia before our generation. Various formulas are prescribed for different purposes. Some religious and some domestic. The domestic method of preparation is used to make Panchagavya for farming.  A lot of people that I have spoken to about this make funny faces when they hear about it. What they dont realize that this is less harmful(though  not edible) than what they eat for lunch. It is made using 5 components obtained from the cow. To those outside of India, the cow is considered a holy animal and is treated with great respect here in our country.  For many millenia, farmers have been using the cow for various purposes. They have also formulated the making of Panchagavya which is used for providing nutrition to the plants. It is made from the 5 basic components, cow dung, cow urine, milk, cow ghee(clarified butter), and curd. I guess all these components must be obtained from the same cow. The formulations and details are available on the internet. One of the popular formulations is made by Dr. K. Natarajan from a place called Erode.
Anyway after starting to use this solution 3% solution(i.e. 3ml in a litre of water) every week, the vigor in my plants have improved, they are more tolerant if I miss watering them once, and also are responsive in terms of flowering. I get my solution from the author of Panchagavya. He has been kind enough to provide me the solution each time he makes it. It does require some maintenance though as it is supposed to contain lot of microorganisms. You need to store it in a plastic container and keep it aerated. It needs to be stirred on a daily basis for a few minutes. I would not attribute all the credit to the panchagavya as I have also been focusig on the plants on a more regular basis. However, I do see a difference between plants where I use it and where I dont. So my trials so far have shown good results and I would say that this is a good addition to any gardener who wants to grow their plants completely organically.

This post has been in edit mode for a long time and hence looks pretty distorted and loses continity and flow very often. Apologize if the details are not enough and I will be glad to provide more if required.


catharine Howard said...

Does panchagavya work?

Natti said...

Hello Catharine
I do see a marked difference in the performance of plants where I spray panchagavya regularly and those where I dont. Especially in roses where I usually add the solution to the soil. I have not been able to do any controlled experiments to find out how much more effective it is. I do know that a lot of villages in South India use this as a natural way to keep away pests and provide nourishment to the plants and roots.

GoodEarth said...

Hi Natti,
Good to know that using panchagavya has given you positive results!
do you use it as a foliar spray or apply the diluted soln to the soil??
i had also requested Sai Kiran for panchagavya... but was too lazy to travel all the way to Chamrajpet to collect it... and maintaining this soln is another cumbersome task for a lazy goose like self :P

Natti said...

Hi Good Earth,
I use it as both. I use it mostly as foliar spray and whatever I have remaining I just add small amounts to the soil. Sai Kiran also mentioned that this can be used as a rooting hormone. Need to try that out sometime.