A Platform for Indian Homemakers

Archive for September, 2007

Furniture Fair – ’07 Chennai

Posted by Vivek on September 30, 2007

Furniture Fair

We saw an ad on  “Hindu” yesterday and decided to pay this exhibition a visit.

We will cover the major findings and other updates on Aavaas over the next few days. Of-course the posts would be coupled with some pictures.

Sit back and enjoy your Sunday morning..


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Most Popular posts – 30 Sep ’07

Posted by Vivek on September 30, 2007

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I am giving links to our top 5 articles since 19th Aug ’07.


Image Courtesy: onflex.org

Vitrified Tile – What is it exactly?

Electrical Sockets

Modular Kitchen – Introduction

Vacuum Cleaner – Myth or reality

Modular Kitchen – Zones

We will update “most popular posts” on the last day of every month.


Update : Added the “Email this post” feature on top of this post. Please try it out.

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Posted by sudarsan on September 29, 2007

I have tried a few garden plants at different places, please adapt my experience to your space & location.

Home Grown Vegetables

Image Courtesy: homegrownwisconsin.com

Tomato/Coriander/Tulsi/Green Beans/Ginger/Turmeric/Yam/Guvar/Chilli – All these respond well to Indian weather conditions, and as long as you provide some sand in a pot, and get good amount of sun-light they yield good results without much pest attacks.  Green beans, Guvar, Chilli and Tomatoes should be planted 2 months before summer.

Cabbage, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Potatoes: Grows well in cool climate only.   Need loamy and wet soil. Need protection from frost and hail, best to be grown 3-4 months before summer.

Curry leaf, Plantain, Lemon, Sweetlime – Need clay type soil, with some amount of sun-light, but easy to take care.  Plant it before rainy season, to reduce your work. 

Bittergourd, Snakegourd, Sweetpotato, Grapes – All these are climbers, that grow quite well in Indian conditions.   For Grapes, pick local varieties for pest resistance.   Snakegourd needs a horizontal mesh, while the rest can take up vertical or horizontal mesh.   You can harvest 3-5 kgs of grapes with a single plant, that can be raised in a 1sqfeet land-space.   However grapes, like pepper needs additional plants in the vicinity as they need some level of ground cover near their roots.  Other than grapes and pepper , other plants have to be planted soon after the rainy season, so that they start yielding in Spring and Summer.   You can choose late spring planting too, but you may spend more water.

Roses, Groundnuts, Karamani (black eyed white peas), Leek, Radish, Onions – Respond well to loamy, red-soil.   In fact all the potted plants on the first line can be raised on this kind of land.   Groundnuts need to be harvested shortly after their flowers start withering.   Good to plant them shortly after the rainy season.

Pumpkins & Potatoes – If you do Vermi composting (organic wastes from the kitchen with live earthworms and sand), you can throw any seed on it and can be assured that you can get a healthy sapling.   Note that healthy saplings replanted elsewhere have a 80% higher success rate than direct sowing.   Anyway vermi composting locations are as such good places to plant pumpkins, and all you need to do is direct the climber to your nearest terrace or shed, and you will see lots of pumpkins.    In villages pumpkins thrown over rubble has seen 30-40 pumpkins within 3-4 months, provided the weather is cooperative (plant towards the end of the rainy season, so that harvesting happens around spring time to early summer).

Pumpkin and Potato

Image Courtesy : Google Images

There should be more vegetables and fruits, you may want to try for your kitchen garden. 

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Spread the word

Posted by Vivek on September 28, 2007

If you are looking at ways to share our blog with your friends, you can try to use the Social Bookmarks which are found on all key posts on this blog since 24 Sep ’07.

 In case you are looking for some material to forward to your friends and family, we have created a small e-flyer.

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Please click on the thumbnail above to download the large jpeg image. (upon clicking the picture will appear on another browser window. Save it from there to your computer.)

Feel free to share this with your friends and family.



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Indian Plants : Easy, Aesthetic and Useful

Posted by sudarsan on September 27, 2007

Seeing places abroad as well as commercial establishments locally, influenced a lot of Indians to move away from fruit & flower bearing trees to landscaped gardens with exotic grass, palms and evergreen shrubs.    Lets analyze this in detail and see what works well for us.

Home Garden

 Image Courtesy: http://www.casabaan.com

Korean Grass

Though Korean grass does not need periodic trimming it need a lot of water, periodic manuring, as well as well prepared landscape. Arugam Pull(used in prayers to Sri Ganapathy), is a versatile local variety that grows well without much personal attention, and does not need big investments nor maintenance.  A big plus with this grass is that it is soft and cool to sit on.  Crab grass from Malaysia or US ($10 seed+manure packet can cover 1000 sq feet) consumes less water, but needs periodic trimming to maintain the green patch.

Ornamental plants for landscaping

1. Ixora – This is a shrub endemic to India, and very popular in Europe as well.   Ixora has thin stalks with star like flowers that comes as a bunch (as a child we used to take one by one and suck out the little honey out of these flowers).  It comes in colours such as white, pink and coral red.   It can be maintained as a small shrub or can be allowed to grow as  a tree.   A bunch of flowers remain fresh for at-least a week and adds a mild fragrance to the breeze.   With this plant you will have tiny bees and butterflies visiting your home.  The flowers can also be harvested to string garlands.  This is a perennial, so you can see flowers throughout the year. A picture is shown below.


Image Courtesy: http://www.tradewindsfruit.com

 2. Turmeric, Ginger, Chitharathai, Yam – All these plants have a similar look and grows very well in our climate.    Suited for planting on the side of the pathways.  These plants can be used for culinary and medicinal purposes.

3. Climbers – Sweet potato (Velli Kizhangu), Jasmine (Nitya Malli) are excellent climbers that need very little soil, manure and water, but offer extensive coverage.   Nitya Malli flowers daily throughout the year.

4. Flowering plants – Chrysanthemum (Samanthi), Bhadrakshi, Jasmine (Gundu Malligai), Kanakambaram, Sampangi are nice flower bearing plants.  My pick is Bhadrakshi for landscaping as it is easy to grow and is a perennial.

5.Exotics – If you have a large home with huge grass lawns, adding a lotus/lily pond would be very appealing.   However you may have to populate the pond with some fishes and frogs to get rid of mosquitoes.

6.Trees – Arecanut (Paaku), Jackfruit (Palamaram), Gooseberry (Nellikai), Plantain/Banana, Casuarina, Bamboo, Teak, Badam are the best picks for trees that add to landscaping value as well as good utility value for homes.  Mangoes, Coconuts, Sappotta, Maghizamaram, Shenbagham are very nice trees too, but may not necessarily fit into a landscaping profile.

7. Plants for remote spots – You may have noticed hard-to-reach points in your building that would look nice with some plants.  At such places Perandai (Cactus variety, but can withstand downpours as well), Aloe Vera (Katrazhai) can grow well without letting in pests.

 It is a long Indian tradition that food itself is treated as medicine, so lets look at landscaping the Indian way: Easy, Aesthetic and Useful.

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