Building garden from barren backyard dump area


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Hi, We used to have a small garden back of my house, after building construction and repair work it became a dump ground and soil was buried under 1-2 feet below sand and construction waste

I left the place and gave the house on rent, as it was far from my work place.

After retirement, I moved back to my old place. I wish to collect rare plants for my garden and want it to be as it was before.

The soil had become barren and sandy, without a grass.

So, to restore soil I planted some leguminous plant, built a small pond.

Planning to create fountain, fish and aquatic plant eco.

Had collected few seeds of tropical water lilies, lotus, lemongrass, baby breath, oregano, camellia, coreopsis and etc to start with still getting a hard time to sprout them.:)
 
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:)Welcome to the forums @Rajesh Sethi. It sounds like you have a wonderful plan to reclaim this area. Starting seeds can be tricky, especially perennials. It would be helpful to know what your climate is (or what part of India are you in), if your summers are hot and winters cold, or if it is warm all year. All these things impact how and when to plant seeds. How have you been starting seeds? Inside in small pots, directly into the earth where you want them to grow? I am sure when we know these things there will be many people with good ideas to share with you.
 
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I did basically the same thing. I've owned this house since the mid-80's, but since being in the military I've lived everywhere, but here. I retired in 2005 and moved back and my yard was crap, but part of that is because I live very close to the beach and much of my soil is nothing but sand.

I didn't want to try and grow grass, because I knew that would be too expensive to keep up and I've always liked plants, so I started mulching over much of my yard with bags of leaves left on the curb for city pickup around my neighborhood.

It's incredible how fast life moves in and takes up residence once you stop mowing and provide habitat.I also started allowing "weeds" to grow and see how they fit into my little habitat zone and I was surprised at how so many so-called noxious weeds are vital to the local wildlife, especially pollinators. Things like spider wort and Florida Betony are now all over the place and they are an important food source for pollinators, not only that but they flower in late winter/early spring, so they are the first plants of the season that the pollinators go to, to replenish their needs. My policy for weed control is to not designate something a weed until I figure out if it contributes to the local ecology. Bermuda Grass is a WEED:D:p

Here's some pics of my plants, the first one is of my neighbors yard, which I took as a reference point of what my yard looked like...I wish I took a picture of my yard before I started mulching over it.











 
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Welcome @Rajesh Sethi.
Thanks @Beverly
In fact, I too started from barren ground in the ancestral property to where we moved in in 1998. If you start on organic methods, the results will be long lasting and more enjoyable. By doing that, you are sure to attract a variety of birds, butterflies and insects so vital in the eco system. I'm sure you will grow natural grass [Cynodon] instead of a lawn which will be good for the earth also.
 
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Sorry, for not providing much details earlier
winter min 10 deg C
summer max is 45 deg C

added herb seeds along with mustard seeds in paper pot to help to raise soil fertility
img 333 (3).jpg

img 333 (4).jpg



this is my small water tank planning to grow lily in them.

img 333 (2).jpg


this is my water pot with lotus and red zebra danio fish
img 333 (1).JPG
 
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Oh, nice photos @Rajesh Sethi. And wow 45 degrees c. is really hot. How do you protect your plants in temps that high? Do you use shade screens? Do you have 45c temps for periods of time or only on occasional days?
 
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Oh, nice photos @Rajesh Sethi. And wow 45 degrees c. is really hot. How do you protect your plants in temps that high? Do you use shade screens? Do you have 45c temps for periods of time or only on occasional days?
during summer 2-3 months, pouring lots of water in the evening so it could tolerate the next day hot sun, move most of the potted plants to shade.

Nice profile pic, passion flower or flower of five pain, This plant is good if you have honey bee, it has a lot of nectar collection at the base of flower, it is a good sedative, little toxic though. :)
 
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Agreed Rajesh...i love the fragrance, the flowers, and the fruits are delicious. In my area, it is also a host plant for 15 different butterflies, although i have just seen about 4 out of the 15. Lots of little caterpillars running around with an abundance of leaves to chew on, the Passifloras are very giving vines. Do you grow them?
 
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Agreed Rajesh...i love the fragrance, the flowers, and the fruits are delicious. In my area, it is also a host plant for 15 different butterflies, although i have just seen about 4 out of the 15. Lots of little caterpillars running around with an abundance of leaves to chew on, the Passifloras are very giving vines. Do you grow them?
Sorry, I used to have two potted varieties, the red one with thin petal and the blue one with thick petals. I could never witness a fruit growing from the same, flower used to blossom from each leaves joint. It require heavy nutrition. That was long back, I lost most of my plants.Here are some old pics.
05052013026.jpg
View attachment 16530
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Pics are little out of focus;)

I will find some old pics of the red color ones.

They are tough to grow in a pot, as they tender to grow fast, but if root system is disturbed entire length of vine will die.
 
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Yes, construction can be hard on gardens. There are so many varieties of Passiflora. I am not growing mine any longer either because my garden is small and that Passiflora was the size of Africa. When the climate turned humid, it would grow like crazy and laughed at my attempts to keep it trimmed. In addition, when there are little caterpillars all over i would never cut it. Most of my gardening hours were spent trying to keep that plant from strangling the neighbors house. I did give it to someone with a rancho and all kinds or space so i hope it is still flourishing there. I had such a hard time parting with this vine because it is so delightful in so many ways.
 
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A gardening friend of mine has downsized from a very big garden, about 4 acres i think , to a 3/4 acre and now to a small town house. She now has to be very particular about the choices she makes but , like you Beverly, her expertise, experience and gardening knowledge will ensure she will have a lovely garden. I think to myself which plants i would just have to have if I had to choose. Not easy. I love so many.
 
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Twenty-four years ago I bought a house (not my current one) and the previous owner owned a Bobcat or some type of heavy equipment. Anyway the city mandated that such equipment could only be parked on a foot of gravel...And since he apparently parked it in the back yard, I bought a house with hardpack dirt and gravel a foot deep! o_O

I had a bunch of topsoil and compost trucked in, and then purchased a seed blend formulated for like football fields. Very tough and drought-resistant. It took a couple of years, but that yard ended up really lush and dog-proof; I even planted a vegetable garden.
 
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I had the opportunity some years ago to purchase a plot of land on the northern edge of the city and not far from my house and for a very good price. I don't remember the dimensions but it was probably large enough for a couple of houses. The land was walled, and supplied with water, and maybe electricity. It would have been a smashing good investment, had no structures in it and i could have grown myself crazy there. The problem is that i am an up-close gardener and couldn't imagine having to get in a car to take care of the plants. I need to be able to walk out the door and be in the garden and to see and touch everything. So i passed on the offer Yes, i made a list too "the must haves" list. Some of the "must haves" took me 3 years to find because they were not commercially available.
 
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