Nandakumar Palaparambil

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since Dec 08, 2011
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Recent posts by Nandakumar Palaparambil

Thanks for the insights...

will have a look at how Gypsum can be used.

Thanks for the video, never watched this, didn't give much attention to seed ball, thought I knew how to make them. Red chilli powder or pepper powder looks to be a good idea to deter ants. May be in my case, as you suggested, bigger balls and some chilli powder or black pepper may do the work, will update how it goes.

I may use summary of suggestions came from you in my blog, so that others can benefit, hope that is fine with you.


Thanks once again.


Regards,
Nandan
2 months ago
Thanks for the detailed reply.

I don't like to use cement, so will avoid it.

Yes, seedball is small and I have to make it bigger next time. The way I make it is, first I will put a handful of seeds make them slightly wet and then will add powdered and sieved soil and mix it with thoroughly, keep adding little bit of water and soil and each time mixing, so each seed gets a coat of soil. If I have to make it bigger, this process has to be repeated many times. Last time, I made 0.5Kgs of sesame seedballs in 45 minutes. Completely mixing seeds with soil and making one by one will take a long time, not sustainable...If I can make them retain moisture after one irrigation, that will be excellent, so coir, may be an option, but how to add this in the procedure which I use is a question?

Mulching one layer under and one layer above also is a workable solution, has to try it out.

Thank you so much for these thinking, as people say, 'devil is in details' we have to observe and keep correcting and it should work for the local situation, that is the challenge in natural farming.


Regards,
Nandan
2 months ago
Our climate is also dry now, but I irrigated the land, since anyway sesame does not need much water. Yes, without enough moisture, seeds won't germinate anyway. But if you lightly till the land, you will be able to use the residual moisture in the land.



Regards,
Nandan
2 months ago
I have kept a 0.15 acre land for my no-till experiments where I have grown multiple cover crops of cowpea, green gram,sunhemp and now was trying to grow sesame crop. Previous to this, I tried to grow rice, which didn't establish uniformly, so yield was very poor, just handful of seeds.

This field had grass already growing along with rice and I cut the long grass using Scythe and kept them on boundary and used a brush cutter to cut all the small grasses. I made seasame seed balls using white ant hill soil and brodcasted them and then flooded the field which takes around 2 hours of time. Mulched with cut grass lightly. I had used around 0.5Kgs of seeds for the area of around 0.15 acres. But I could see only a few seeds germinated. Wanted to find the reason and could see that since seed balls were having very thin coating of soil, after flooding, most of the coating would have gone and seeds would have been eaten by ants.I found out this by putting seedballs in a glass of water for 1.5 hours and seeds just came out.

Any guidance will be appreciated. More detailed pictures can be seen in the following link.

https://farming-experiments.blogspot.com/2018/01/no-till-experiment-2018.html


Regards,
Nandan
2 months ago
Thanks Chris.

But in olden days, people used to use cowdung thick slurry on the earthen floor as a means of cleaning it. Even I have slept on such floors on my child hood days. Still in some villages they use fresh cowdung and make a circular shape, dry it and use it in place of firewood. But all these were traditional cows and this cowdung is very thick and no watery at all. At least the fear of pathogens are not seen while handling it.

Anyway I am planning to cover it with soil, just to be on safer side.


Regards,
Nandan
1 year ago
Chris,

I have one question...why do you say if manure is not completely processed, it is better to cover it with soil? Would like to know the reasoning behind this and also if there are any material to read on this.


Regards,
Nandan
1 year ago
Thanks  Phil, Chris and Bryant for the responses...

Will update  on the progress...


Regards,
Nandan
1 year ago
Hi All,

I am from Kerala,India and do natural farming and also maintains a small backyard for vegetable cultivation. Summer here is very hot and soil becomes very dry. I was using mulching on raised beds earlier, but in summer if plants are not watered for a day, they start wilting. I have been hearing about "Lasagna method' where multiple mulch layers and soil/manure is added for boosting fertility. Recently I started doing this,not to great scale, but keep a mulch of 2-3 layers after each layer of mulching apply some cowdung slurry and then little bit soil. So far it works fine, I am also greening this area with cowpea+pearl millet seeds and then transplant or put seeds of the crops like cowpea,okra etc..

Just wanted to get some opinions about this. People say, in tropical climate mulch gets oxidised quickly and hence humus generation is less, if I put soil above the mulch, oxidisation gets prevented and humus formation is better?


Regards,
Nandan
1 year ago
Quite interesting...good to hear that white clover + wheat works at this large scale. Thanks for sharing.


Regards,
Nandan
1 year ago
Dear Collins,

Thanks for the reply.

One more thing I heard was that some seeds germinate only at the beginning of a season..Right now I have sown a local variety which is of 8 months duration and they don't interfere with next crop.

Yes, I can send you some happy hill rice seeds, may be around 20 seeds. My email  - p_k_nandanan@yahoo.com



Regards,
Nandan
1 year ago