The rains are here. If you are thinking of ways to protect your plants or of creating a garden this season, pay a visit to Aapti Gardening Solutions. It is a venture by Sumithra Srikant, a passionate gardener, and a one-stop shop for organic gardening needs.
At her home Sumithra grows 22 varieties of vegetables and is very proud that for the last three years, she hasn’t bought sugarcane or turmeric for her family’s Pongal celebrations.
Educated in computer technology, she was an interior designer. Then, gardening began initially as an effort to give her family healthy food.
“We built our house 13 years ago. One of the first things we did was to lay out a garden. Though the soil we used was natural, our gardener used pesticides for the plants. We got a yield of 20 kgs of tomatoes that year. I then realised that this wasn’t something I wanted for my family; I want to cut out chemicals from the food we have”, says Sumithra.
So she got her hands dirty – saw to it that no chemical fertilisers or pesticides were used in the garden. “We began initially with greens. I had many failures – in fact for about 2 years, I couldn’t grow anything more than greens. I learnt from my mistakes and then started growing vegetables”.
As her garden flourished, friends and family started asking for help. This was the spark to turn a favourite pastime to a business venture.
Aapti Gardening Solutions has all supplies necessary to start an organic garden or to maintain an existing one. There are starter kits – a coir pot, potting soil and native seeds with instructions on what to do with these. Aaptialso stocks containers, organic pest killer and repellant, composting needs, coco peat, native seeds, gardening implements, decorative accessories and more. A few saplings, grow bags, troughs, seed trays are also available. Consultation services will also be provided.
“My husband runs a fabrication plant. So I have designed some stands and I get them made from our plant”‘, says Sumithra. When you have a terrace garden, these stands will help water drain out of the pot and prevent stagnation and hence, leaks.
Workshops are also conducted periodically to teach and train people on gardening and composting methods.
Aapti located at 83, Krishna Avanue, 4th Street Abhiramapuram. Ph: 7358320442.
When the Kanchi Shankaracharya visited Mylapore last summer, Sumithra arranged to collect all the flower, fruit and vegetable waste from that camp and composted all this waste.She says she got a ton of compost which is being used at a friend’s farm