Growing Spinach on roof top by Metal Head Pritham D'souza
Spinach on Basella alba is a widely used crop in the region of coastal karnataka. it figures in the top 3 vegetables consumed as staple diet in Dakshina kannada, Mangalore. since it is a long vine that grows, i decided to try and grow it on the roof top of my house using simplified hydroponic technique. read the following
i have used a discarded tomato box as a grower as seen above. make sure that the box is not damaged or has rusty nails.
make a drain hole 1 inch below the bottom using power tool or hand drill as shown above.
use the tank joint to drain the excess water as shown
use black polythene sheet folded as shown which acts as the base of the grower bed
next, use black polythene sheet as shown to cover the walls of the wooden box. note that i used a staple gun (gun tacker) to pin down the sheet to the wooden box
rice husk , washed and dried is a great substrate to use in the grow bed
add washed and dried coconut peat to it. mix in ratio of 50:50 or 30:70 peat to rice husk as shown below
place it on stool or other objects to get desired height. make sure there is a little slope as there should not be excess water logged in the box. it will start to rot the substrate & increase fungal growth
transplant the spinach vines. cut the vines to desired length & transplant. water immediately as shown.
i have used sea algae based organic manure treated with beneficial bacteria for rooting & growth.
since the vines used were cut from the mother source, it must be kept in shade for a few days till the transplanted vines establish themselves.
i will update this post after 10 days to see if the technique works. If it does, then growing spinach in the rains wont be a problem using simplified hydroponics, as the grow bed is portable & can be kept indoors when it rains heavy & can again be kept outdoors when it stops. even if kept ourdoors it should not be a problem as excess water gets drained out anyways.