A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening


A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening

Declaration of Our Core

Commitment to Sustainability

Dilmah owes its success to the quality of Ceylon Tea. Our business was founded, therefore, on an

enduring connection to the land and the communities in which we operate. We have pioneered

a comprehensive commitment to minimising our impact on the planet, fostering respect for the

environment and ensuring its protection by encouraging a harmonious coexistence of man and

nature. We believe that conservation is ultimately about people and the future of the human race, that

efforts in conservation have been associated with human well-being and poverty reduction outcomes.

These core values allow us to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations of sustainability.

Our Commitment

We reinforce our commitment to the principle of making business a matter of human service and to

the core values of Dilmah, which are embodied in the Six Pillars of Dilmah.

We will strive to conduct our activities in accordance with the highest standards of corporate best

practice and in compliance with all applicable local and international regulatory requirements and


We recognise that conservation of the environment is an extension of our founding commitment to

human service.

We will assess and monitor the quality and environmental impact of its operations, services and

products whilst striving to include its supply chain partners and customers, where relevant and to

the extent possible.

We are committed to transparency and open communication about our environmental and social


We promote the same transparency and open communication from our partners and customers.

We strive to be an employer of choice by providing a safe, secure and non-discriminatory working

environment for its employees whose rights are fully safeguarded and who can have equal

opportunity to realise their full potential.

We promote good relationships with all communities of which we are a part and we commit to

enhancing their quality of life and opportunities whilst respecting their culture, way of life and


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Fernando, W. S. (2015). A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening:

Ceylon Tea Services PLC.

Text by

W. Sarathchandra Fernando

Photography, Design and Layout by

Kasun Pradeepa. Wild Studio

Printed and bound

Karunaratne & Sons (Pvt)Ltd.

ISBN: 978-955-0081-16-5

Ceylon Tea Services PLC

MJF Group

111, Negombo Road


Sri Lanka




A Guide to


Home Gardening

W. Sarathchandra Fernando

Message from the Founder

Being self-sufficient with our food needs and growing our own food seem, over time,

to have become antiquated concepts. When I was growing up, we had little choice

but to rely on our natural environment for our food. Most of the fruits and vegetables

we ate were grown, gathered or picked from our own villages, and even around our

own homes. So we knew exactly where our food came from and its quality.

But now, unfortunately, the situation has changed. With greater urbanization and

commercialization, we have become more accustomed to shopping for our produce.

When we buy raw produce from groceries, we rarely know where it comes from, what

goes into growing it or the adverse effects it may have had on the environment. As a

result, our younger generations are not as healthy as we used to be, and people are

getting sick far more often.

This is the reason that Dilmah decided to focus resources to reintroduce the traditional

practice of home gardening, to promote healthier and more environmentally-friendly

lifestyles. Since 2011, through the Dilmah Conservation Sustainable Agriculture

Research Centre (DCSARC), we have strived to create greater awareness among

urban communities about the tremendous benefits of home gardening, both to the

health of our families and to our environment.

Through this publication, I hope that readers will be motivated and inspired to start

their own home gardens and contribute in your own small way to a better, healthier

lifestyle and a safer environment for all of us. If you already have your own home

garden, I hope the information in this document will help you learn even more

about how to yield the best-quality produce for your family while protecting the

environment around you.

Not only will home gardening contribute towards healthier lifestyles, but it will also

contribute to addressing the food security needs of our country and the world.

Merrill J. Fernando

Founder – Dilmah Conservation

A Guide to


Home Gardening

W. Sarathchandra Fernando



Home gardening – particularly in urban spaces – has recently become a trend in some

countries. Families are realising that growing their own food is not only economical

but also healthy, without the dangerous agrochemicals used by commercial farmers.

The direct impact of home gardening is in improving the food security of families

while also increasing their purchasing power.

There are a number of other advantages home gardening provides for the planet as

a whole by promoting sustainable living. It keeps the environment free from harmful

chemicals, improves the soil and reduces waste. This book promotes the reuse of

material that would otherwise be thrown away bringing about benefits such as less

plastic in landfills. For anyone who feels like one individual cannot make an impact

in improving the environment, home gardening is the best example on how one

individual can make a big difference. This applies to rural and urban communities.

Now consider the greatest environmental challenge of our time: climate change.

Home gardens are not only helping humans cope with the adverse effects of climate

change by providing alternative food sources, but they are also helping fight climate

change itself. For example, the warming planet is bringing about severe habitat loss.

Landowners can help reverse this by creating healthy ecosystems to support life

within their garden spaces. Furthermore, the absence of fossil fuel-based chemical

fertilisers in home gardens also builds healthy soil that helps trap carbon dioxide and

keep it out of the atmosphere.

In this backdrop, this book is a timely intervention to help citizens become a part

of the solution rather than the problem in environmental degradation. I take this

opportunity to congratulate Mr. Sarathchandra Fernando for his efforts in creating

greater awareness among the general public through this publication.

Through the endorsement of this project, Dilmah Conservation continues its

commitment to sustainability and environmental protection. Furthermore, the

free extension service at the Sustainable Agricultural Research Centre (DCSARC) in

Moratuwa provides practical examples through which the general public can get

hands-on experience. Congratulations on another outstanding project, which is

really and truly a public service.

Professor Emeritus Walter Herath

Professor of Agriculture Biology

University of Peranediya, Sri Lanka

More communities are starting to realise the significance of home gardening toward

leading healthier lives. This traditional agricultural practice promotes healthy living

through the use of available space around households to grow food. Organic

gardening practices enable home gardeners to produce food within one’s own

property, minus the harmful agrochemicals used in much of the produce in markets.

Gardens have always been commonplace among homeowners, and gardening, in

general, has long been practiced as an activity that brings about relaxation. But it is

only recently that home gardening is being promoted for small spaces, even within

urban communities. So, whether you live in a sprawling estate or an apartment in the

city, there is always the possibility to use any available space you have to grow some

healthy produce for your family.

Home gardening not only enables you to produce healthy, good-tasting food, but

it can also be extremely economical. In addition to these benefits, however, there

are other less-talked-about benefits that have a significant positive impact on the


The absence of chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers not only keeps us safe

but also keeps the environment safe. Home gardens that are maintained by organic

gardening practices also help reduce pollution. When implemented on a wide scale –

home gardens undoubtedly aid in achieving food security. Furthermore, in the longterm,

home-gardening practices further sustainability and, when done right, help

retain biodiversity in an age when biodiversity around the world is being threatened

at alarming rates. Organic cultivation also helps reduce a family’s carbon footprint,

thus reducing the human influence in bringing about global warming.

Dilmah Conservation embarked on this project to publish a book on eco-friendly

home gardening for those who desire to reap the maximum benefits of this practice

while also making their own contribution to safeguarding the environment. The

publication is a part of a wider effort that also consists of the Dilmah Conservation

Sustainable Agriculture Research Centre (DCSARC) that has developed proven

methods in urban home gardening methods.

Since this publication is aimed at promoting home gardening within small spaces,

it includes a host of best practices to ensure that the home garden is successful.

Concepts of vertical agriculture, organic pest control methods, sound waste

management practices, water conservation and promoting biodiversity are some of

the aspects that are covered in this publication.

08 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening

A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening 09


The support and guidance of many individuals have made this publication possible.

While it is difficult to individually name every single person, I take this opportunity to

thank a few individuals whose assistance has been particularly crucial.

Firstly, I would like to express my appreciation to Dilmah Conservation without

which this book would never have materialised. I am also especially grateful to the

Founder and Chairman of Dilmah, Mr. Merrill J. Fernando, who has promoted ecofriendly

agricultural practices all his life. His encouragement was an invaluable asset

throughout the journey of completing this book.

I thank the supervisor and the staff of the farm at Dilmah Conservation’s Sustainable

Agricultural Research Centre (DCSARC) for their assistance over the years that resulted

in this publication.

Finally, I would like to give my gratitude to Prof. Walter Herath for reviewing the

publication and Mr. K.A. Abayakoon for the expertise and feedback he shared.

Almost all the concepts and methods discussed in this book can be seen at DCSARC

located in Moratuwa, in the outskirts of Colombo. This facility was of great benefit

for the publication because a guide such as this is futile without being able to

demonstrate the methods to the readers. However, the Centre serves a far greater

purpose for the public that can view examples of these agricultural practices taking

place in the real world.

Dilmah Conservation Sustainable Agricultural

Research Centre (DCSARC)

Free extension services can be obtained from:

DCSARC Farm, 340 Galle Road, Katubedda, Moratuwa (Next to K Zone)

Wednesday – Public Day 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Special day programmes for groups of 25 can be organised by

sending a request to info@dilmahconservation.org or:


Dilmah Conservation, 111 Negombo Road, Peliyagoda.

A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening 11


Foreword 08

Preface 09

Acknowledgements 10

1. Towards Environmentally-Friendly Urban Cultivation 13

1.1 The Benefits of Home Gardening 16

2. Organic Cultivation at Home 15

2.1 Why is Organic Gardening Important? 16

2.2 Preparing the Soil Prior to Planting 16

2.3 Using Organic Fertilisers 17

3. Vertical Agriculture 23

3.1 Choosing the Right Plants 23

3.2 Reusing Materials for Your Organic Garden 29

3.2.1 Crop Tables 29

3.2.2 Vertical Wall Racks 29

3.2.3 Pallet Beds 29

3.2.4 Pallet Can/Bottle Holder 29

3.2.5 Plastic Can Rack 29

3.2.6 Tyre Crop Tower 29

3.2.7 Lotus Tyre Crop Tower 29

3.2.8 Wall Sack Model 29

3.2.9 Barrel Crop Tower 29

3.2.10 V Rack 29

3.2.11 Waga Thepawa 29

3.2.12 Plastic Bottles Fence 29

3.2.13 Green-wall Tyre System 29

4. Organic Inputs 33

4.1 Heap method 23

4.2 Faith Garden (Food Always in the Home) 29

4.3 Starter Solution 31

4.4 Wormy Compost 29

4.5 Wormy Wash 29

4.6 Liquid Fertiliser 29

5. Organic Pest Control 13

5.1 Growing Plants That Are a Natural Deterrent 16

5.2 Margosa (Neem) Seed Solution 16

5.3 Margosa (Neem) Juice 16

5.4 Margosa (Neem) + Cinnamon + Garlic Mixture 16

5.5 Kerosene Oil + Cinnamon + Garlic Mixture 16

5.6 Setting Up an Insect Trap 16

6. Responsible Garden Maintaining 15

6.1 Water Conservation in Your Home Garden 16

6.2 Water Saving Tips for Home Gardening 16

6.3 Beautification 17

6.4 Promoting Biodiversity Conservation Within the Home Garden 17

6.4.1 How to Create a Butterfly Garden 17

7. Annex 138

Other new species and new records of Sri Lankan lichens

8. Glossary 172

9. Bibliography and Resources for Further Study 172

14 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening







Dilmah Conservation recognises the importance of organic cultivation methods,

alongside the socio-economic and environmental benefits of adopting these

practices even within limited urban garden spaces.

The Dilmah Conservation Sustainable Agriculture Research Centre (DCSARC)

was established to promote environmentally-friendly organic gardening

practices through research and innovation towards enhancing the quality of

agricultural produce, ecologically-sound waste management and recycling,

natural resource conservation, and promoting urban home gardening initiatives

by sharing knowledge and encouraging wider learning.

Presently, over 100 varieties of fruits, vegetables, and

medicinal plants have been planted at Tikiri Kotuwa and

the dedicated Conservation Park, which form a part of DCSARC.

Aside from conducting research on chemical-free fertiliser,

pest management and non-soil, hydroponic and vertical

agriculture, DCSARC also actively reuses refuse, such as plastic

cans, from Dilmah’s Peliyagoda Factory, including wooden pallets,

empty cans, buckets, and tyres to develop inventive agricultural tools.

Moreover, DCSARC shares its findings by way of community awareness

programmes on innovative urban gardening methods, which are suited for

limited spaces and also encourage the recycling of household and garden

waste. Through these educational initiatives targeting the urban public, DCSARC

seeks to encourage responsible consumption and the wider use of healthy, costeffective

and sustainable practices to help contribute towards a household’s

daily fruit and vegetable intake.

A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening 15

1.1 The Benefits of

Home Gardening

Within a space of about 1,000 square feet, a household can grow all the

fruits and vegetables it might need. However, it is important to be mindful of

optimising the space towards minimising soil degradation and facilitating pest

management effectively. Irrespective of the extent of space available, there is

scope for planting at least a few useful plants in the vicinity of one’s household.

Home gardening can be a productive and enjoyable pastime

that can have a positive impact on individuals, their

families and households, and the environment.

Both a form of exercise and relaxation,

gardening can provide a variety of

psychological and physiological

benefits. A home garden can

supply a household with a

variety of herbs, leafy

greens, spices, vegetables,

fruits, tubers, yams, and

even medicinal plants.

These additions to the home

garden can contribute

towards a household’s

daily intake of fruits and

vegetables leading to a

healthier diet and better

nutrition. Not only is this

approach of growing

your own produce

simple and economical,

fresh fruits and vegetables

are also more flavourful and

retain more nutrients,

making them a

healthier alternative.


z Organic




at Home

Organic gardening is the practice of growing

plants, including fruit and vegetables, without

using chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertiliser.

2.2 Preparing the soil

Prior to Planting

2.1 Why is

Organic Gardening


Chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilisers

can be extremely harmful to our health and the

environment. Adopting organic gardening practices

helps reduce pollution and minimise the amount

of toxic substances affecting the environment,

contributing to both healthy living as well as

soil and water conservation. Even within

limited spaces, growing your own organic

fruits and vegetables at home is easy,

economical, and rewarding.

Turning over the soil a few times and exposing it to the air and sun help get rid

of existing pests. Disrupting the soil will destroy eggs, cocoons, and larvae, while

exposure to the sun will make it undesirable for pests.

2.3 Using Organic


DCSARC prepares many organic fertilisers

that are low-cost and effective. Organic

fertilisers are a good source of carbon

and nitrogen. They also help the soil

better retain water, which aids in

the improvement of the soil quality,

thereby producing a better harvest.

Adopting organic gardening practices within one’s

home garden by using chemical-free fertilisers and

pesticides ensures that the produce is not tainted

with residues of harmful agrochemicals. Organic cultivation

also has broader positive implications for the environment as it contributes

towards a reduction in one’s carbon footprint and consequently helps mitigate

global warming. The greening that occurs by way of home gardening also helps

the conservation of the environment and local ecosystems, and biodiversity at

large. Greening contributes to energy conservation as it has a cooling effect on

the environment, especially within urban areas.

Soil is integral to all life, be it plant, animal, or human, not only as a habitat or

a medium for growth, but also as a key component in essential production

processes such as crops for food. Organic agricultural practices, especially those

such as composting, also help rejuvenate the soil and improve soil health,

supporting a stable ecosystem of soil-dwelling flora and fauna. Healthy soil rich

in organic matter retains water and nutrients, thus improving plant growth and

yield. Composting allows for the recycling of kitchen and garden waste into a

nutrient -rich and chemical-free soil additive to improve plant growth and soil


18 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening





Based on the availability of space, gardens

can be categorised into the following

Large Gardens

Large gardenes are those possessing adequate or excess space, which allows for

a planned garden suitable for growing numerous crops and the availability of

raw materials for supplying one’s own carbon-rich fertiliser, liquid fertiliser and


Medium-sized Gardens

Medium-sized gardens which are relatively limited in space, but

provides adequate space for a planned plot and unplanned

gardening depending on what spaces could be optimised.

These gardens will have adequate space for pots

and installing structures such as crop towers.

However, there will be limitations in

the availability of raw materials

available for preparing

one’s own carbon-rich

fertiliser, liquid fertiliser

and pesticides.



Small gardens which

are very limited in

space with minimal

ground space

available for planting.

The availability of

raw materials for preparing

one’s own carbon-rich fertiliser,

liquid fertiliser and organic

pesticides will be very unlikely.


A plot of 30 x 30 feet can provide a substantial crop for daily household

consumption. In order to optimise this space in a manner which does not lead

to soil degradation and mitigate diseases, plants must be rotated to ensure a

perennial crop.

3.1 Choosing the

Right Plants

Choosing the right plants will rely on the type of garden space

available since it will influence soil conditions, drainage of

water, and the amount of available shade and sunshine.

Plants, seeds and cuttings of a variety of fruits and

vegetables can be planted in home gardens.

3.2 Reuse of Materials

for Your Organic Garden

Given the limitations in space within urban environs, maintaining a home garden

could seem like a daunting task. However, by reusing certain non-biodegradable

waste items, even small spaces can be optimised for cultivation. The irresponsible

disposal of non-biodegradable plastic, polythene and rubber waste has proved

to be especially damaging to the environment. Burning this refuse results in the

release of toxic gases into the atmosphere, while discarding them into landfills

leads to soil and water pollution with destructive impacts to ecosystems.

Further, carelessly allowing such items to gather within the home

garden creates favourable conditions for disease-carrying

mosquitoes to breed, and spread illnesses

such as Dengue Fever.

Typical Plants

Kathurumurunga, amberella, chili, tomato,

leafy greens, beetroot and kohila.


Cowpea, mung bean, long beans, ridged gourd,

snake gourd, bitter gourd, squash, cucumber, pumpkin,

spinach, carrot, turnip, thampala, okra.


Spinach, kohila, sweet potato, pennywort,

crepe ginger, spinach, sarana leaves, gotukola,

murunga, kiri ala, dehi ala, vel ala,


22 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening

Dilmah Conservation has taken a step towards using non-biodegradable

household refuse including polythene bags, old tyres, and plastic cans and

bottles, for an innovative and environmentally-friendly purpose. Refuse such as

used plastic bottles, empty cans and sacks can be used for planting. Additionally,

discarded wooden pallets from Dilmah Tea factories are also utilised to make

raised garden boxes to plant vegetables. Even at home, plastic bottles, cans,

containers and tyres can be reused as pots with simple modifications to grow

flowers, vegetables and other edible greenery. Not only are these methods

sustainable, cost-effective and useful in setting up a home garden,

they benefit both the household and the environment.

There are several methods to grow crop vegetables

with vertical models. The photographs shown

here are examples of models that can be

easily constructed at home for gardening

within a limited amount of space.


Crop Tables

You will need





Wooden pallet planks

Four 2x2 wooden bars

Soil mix made with equal parts

compost, top soil and coir dust

Your choice of seeds or saplings

How to set it up

1. Use the 2x2 wooden bars to build the stand or the four legs of the table.

2. Using the wooden pallet planks, build a rectangular frame with a smaller

rectangular space at the centre.

3. Build a rectangular box using wooden pallets. One side of the box must

be open.

4. Attach the rectangular frame to the top of the table stand.

5. Insert the rectangular box in to the rectangular frame.

6. Fill the box with the soil mix.

7. Plant the seeds or saplings in the box.

8. Pour water in to the box.

The following plants can

be grown using this model

Salad leaves, lettuce, cabbages

26 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening

3.2.2 Vertical

Wall Racks

You will need




Wooden pallet planks

Soil mix made with equal parts compost,

top soil and coir dust

Your choice of seeds or saplings

How to set it up

1. Build the wall rack with wooden pallet planks by placing them

horizontally to construct the main frame.

2. Position 3 or more shelves with wooden pallets on the wooden rack.

3. Attach the wall rack on to a wall.

4. Fill each rack with the soil mix.

5. Plant seeds or plants on the shelves.

6. Water each shelf on the rack daily.

The following plants

can be grown using

this model

Radish, lettuce, long

beans, carrot and

types of chilli

3.2.3 Pallet Beds

You will need





Wooden pallet planks

Soil mix made with equal parts compost,

top soil and coir dust

Your choice of seeds or saplings

Withered plant parts for mulching

28 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening

A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening 29

How to set it up

1. Demarcate a plot using the wooden planks and fill with top soil and the soil mix.

2. Mark ridges on the plot to plant seeds or saplings.

3. Dig up ditches in between the ridges to facilitate efficient drainage.

4. Plant seeds or saplings on the ridges.

5. Cover the plant bed ridges using mulch.

6. Water the beds twice a day.

The following plants can be

grown using this model

Brinjals, ladies fingers, chili, long beans and

all other types of plants

3.2.4 Pallet Can /

Bottle Holder

You will need





Wooden pallet planks

Plastic cans or plastic bottles

Soil mix made with equal parts compost,

top soil and coir dust

Your choice of seeds or saplings

How to set it up

3.2.5 Plastic Can Rack

1. Cut the wooden pallet planks into long and narrow wooden strips and small

wooden bracket.

2. Position the longer wooden plank vertically to be attached to the wall.

3. Fix the smaller piece of wood onto the longer strip of wood.

4. Attach the wooden bracket under the smaller piece of wood as support, so

that it can bear the weight of the can.

5. Attach the can holder on to a wall.

6. Cut out the surface of a plastic can or a plastic bottle and drill holes onto

the other side.

7. Fill the bottles or plastic cans with the soil mix.

8. Plant the seeds or saplings inside the container.

9. Place one container per holder.

10. Water each container daily.






You will need

About eight 2x2 wooden bars

Waste pallet planks

Soil mix made with equal parts compost,

top soil and coir dust

Plastic cans

Your choice of seeds

and saplings

The following plants

can be grown using this model

Radish, lettuce, long beans, carrot, types of

chilli and leeks

How to set it up

1. Build 2 triangular frames using wooden bars.

2. Build 4 or 5 wooden shelves using waste pallet planks.

3. Fit each wooden shelf horizontally onto the two main triangular frames.

4. Setting up 2 shelves at the bottom of the frame keeps the main frame stable.

5. Two shelves can be positioned in the middle and one can be placed

on the top.

6. Cut a rectangular piece off one side of the plastic can and drill a few holes on

the other side to enable efficient drainage.

7. Fill each plastic can with the soil mix.

8. Place seeds or saplings inside the can.

9. Arrange the cans on the wooden shelves.

10. Water each can twice a day.

3.2.6 Tyre Crop Tower

Tyres prove to be a good material to be used in

home gardening as it is a very strong object able

to withstand a large weight and still holds its

shape when stacked on top of each

other. Its waterproof feature prevents

soil erosion and seepage.

Additional benefits of using

tyres include the prevention

of diseases spread by

mosquitoes as a result

of water retained in

waste tyres.

The following plants

can be grown using

this model

Radish, lettuce, long beans, carrot,

types of chilli and others.

You will need









Tyres of three different sizes

Bricks and coconut husks

An old PVC pipe

Soil mix made with equal parts

compost, top soil and coir dust

Your choice of seeds and saplings

A plastic pot

Drilling machine

A knife

A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening 35

How to set it up

1. Cut and remove one flat side of each tyre wall completely.

2. Place the large tyre on the bottom, and fill the tyre with the soil composition.

3. Place the medium-sized tyre on top of the large tyre and fill the tyre with the

soil composition.

4. Place the smallest tyre at the very top and fill it with the soil composition.

5. Cut a hole on the bottom of the plastic pot.

6. Place the plastic pot on top of the smaller tyre and fill the pot with the soil


7. Drill holes on the PVC pipe asymmetrically from top to bottom and insert the

PVC pipe to the centre of the tyre tower.

8. Make a large circle by placing coconut husks around the circle.

9. Make a secondary, smaller circle at the centre of the large circle using bricks.

10. Fill each circle with the soil composition.

11. Place seeds or saplings on the circles, the tyres and on the plastic pot.

12. Pour water into the PVC pipe.

Upon completion of the structure, a coconut shell can be used to cover the top

of the pipe to prevent mosquito breeding, and the shell can also be used to

water the tower periodically without having to water the whole structure.

The following plants

can be grown using

this model

Ground layer: Green chilli varieties, herbs.

Second layer: Lettuce varieties, carrots,

beet, turnip varieties.

Third layer: Salad varieties.

It is recommended to use

intercropping methods in

order to optimise space

utilisation as well as enhance

the soil nutritional level.

3.2.7 Lotus Tyre

Crop Tower






You will need


Soil mix made with equal parts compost,

top soil and coir dust

Your choice of seeds and saplings

Sharp drilling knife d Gloves

Wooden rod

Sharp iron rod


How to set it up

1. Cut the edge of the tyre into a zigzag shape

(representing a lotus flower) on one side.

2. After the tyre is cut, turn the tyre inside out to form the lotus design.

3. Place the largest tyre at the bottom and fill it with the garden soil mixture.

4. The same procedure can be followed for a smaller tyre, which can be placed

on top of the large one. The procedure can be repeated to the preferred

height, although two layers are recommended for optimum yield and

strength of the structure.

It is important to note that the choice of

plant must have a root system no

longer than 6 inches deep

for this design to have

an optimum yield.

The following plants

can be grown using

this model

Vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers



Wall Sack Model

How to set it up






You will need

Used polythene or cloth sacks

A needle and string

A few wooden pallet planks

Soil mix made with equal parts compost,

top soil and coir dust

Your choice of seeds and saplings

1. Divide the sack into two sections by stitching vertically

along the middle of the sack.

2. Cut small slots on the two sections.

3. Fill the two sections with the soil mix.

4. Stitch the top end of the sack, loop it around a wooden

plank and stitch that end to the lower end of the sack.

5. Plant the saplings or seeds in the slots on the two

separated parts of the sack.

6. Attach the sack to a wall with the aid of a wooden plank.

The following plants

can be grown using this model

Types of chilli and spinach

38 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening

3.2.9 Barrel Crop Tower

3.2.10 V Rack

You will need





Used plastic barrel, old PVC pipe,

piece of bamboo/wood plank

Grinder and hot gun

Soil mix made with equal parts

compost, top soil and coir dust

Your choice of seeds and saplings





You will need

Wooden pallet planks

Four 2x2 wooden bars

Soil mix made with equal parts compost, top soil and coir dust

Your choice of seeds and saplings

How to set it up

1. Draw horizontal slots on the barrel to appropriate

lengths leaving sufficient gaps in between.

2. Cut slots using the grinder and heat the area

surrounding the slots with the hot gun and

pull the bottom strip outwards using a piece

of bamboo or wood.

3. Place a PVC pipe vertically at the centre and

drill holes asymmetrically from top to bottom.

Place end cap at the bottom.

4. Fill the bottom layer of the barrel with 4 inches of

small pieces of brick to facilitate efficient drainage.

5. Fill the barrel with the soil mix.

6. Place the seeds or saplings inside the slots and on

top of the barrel.

7. Pour water into the PVC pipe twice a day.

The triangular base made

with pallets is optional.

The following plants

can be grown using

this model

Radish, lettuce, long beans and

types of chili

40 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening

How to set it up

3.2.11 Waga Thepawa

1. Cut off two small triangles from both ends of two wooden planks.

2. Place the wooden planks horizontally on the V-shaped edges

of the two notched planks to make shelves.

3. Attach wooden pallet planks to the empty spaces

between the horizontally-placed wooden planks.

4. Make a small wooden frame using pallet planks.

5. Build a pallet bed using pallet planks and

place it on the ground.

6. Fill the pallet bed with the soil mix.

7. Place the wooden frame in the

middle of the pallet bed and

fill it with the soil mix.

8. Place the V Rack at the centre

of the wooden frame.

9. Fill each shelf on the V Rack

with the soil composition.

10. Plant the seeds or saplings

in each shelf of the V Rack,

on the smaller box and

the pallet bed.

11. Water twice a day.





You will need

Waste pallet planks and nails

Three 2x2 wooden bars

Soil mix made with equal parts compost,

top soil and coir dust

Your choice of seeds and saplings

The following plants

can be grown using

this model

Mukunuwenna, water spinach (kankun),

centella (gotukola), types of chili, types of

cabbage (athugowa), spinach

42 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening

How to set it up

1. Build a tripod using the three 2x2 wooden bars.

2. Build three triangular frames using the pallet planks. Different sized pallet

planks can be used for this with the largest at the bottom and smallest at

the top. Make sure to leave sufficient gaps in between.

3. Slide the large triangular frame to the bottom, the medium one to the

middle and place the smaller one at the top as a part of the tripod.

4. Cover the base of each frame as completely as possible using planks which

that were cut to size. Leave a few small gaps for efficient drainage.

5. Fill each box with the soil mix.

6. Place coconut husks around the base of the tripod and fill it with soil.

7. Place seeds and saplings in each triangular box.

8. Water twice a day.

The following

plants can be

grown using

this model

Radish, lettuce, long beans,

carrot, types of chilli and leeks





3.2.12 Plastic

bottles fence

You will need

Old plastic bottles

Wire, paper cutter or knife, nail

Soil mix made with equal parts compost,

top soil and coir dust

Your choice of seeds and saplings

How to set it up

1. Cut off the bottom of the bottle

using a paper cutter/sharp knife.

2. Pierce small holes on the lid using a

heated nail or sharp object.

3. Fill the bottle with a thin layer of coir

dust and fill it up with soil (made to the

above composition).

4. Attach bottles to mesh fence using wire.

5. Plants seeds or saplings depending on

your requirement.

6. Alternatively, if you don’t have a mesh

fence, you can set up a structure

using an old GI pipe and mesh.

7. Water the plants twice a day.

The following

plants can be

grown using

this model

3.2.13 Green-wall Tyre System





You will need

Large tyres

Soil mix made with equal parts compost, top soil and coir dust

Your choice of seeds and saplings

Drilling machine



How to set it up

1. Place the tyres vertically with 3 large tyres at the bottom, followed by two on

the second layer, and finally another at the top.

2. For this structure, cutting into the inside of the tyre is not required as the face

of the tyres will be useful for soil retention.

3. Drill a hole at the bottom of the tyres on the first layer for the excess waste

water to drain out.

4. Join each tyre to one another with two bolts each to strengthen the overall


5. Drill a half-inch hole on top of each tyre to provide a drip irrigation system

where water from the top drips to the layers on the bottom.

6. Constant watering is not necessary with this type of structure.

7. Drip pipes can be installed for auto-watering of the structure.

The following plants can be

grown using this model

All varieties of plants can be grown using this model, ranging from herbs

and beans to tomatoes and lettuce varieties. Climbers are especially

recommended for this structure. It is important to note that the choice

of plant must have a root system no longer than 6 inches deep for this

design to have an optimum yield.

Radish, green leaves, herbs,

lettuce, long beans, carrot

and types of chilli




Organic inputs are

biodegradable matter

obtained from the

environment. It could

include leaf litter from the

garden, kitchen waste, or

manure. The decomposition

of these materials can be used

to prepare organic fertiliser.

The nutrients in these

preparations can be

enhanced by adding other

commercially-bought organic

additions such as dolomite or

kieserite and rock phosphate

(ERP). Mixing 1kg of this to 50kg

of organic detritus (1:50 ratio) is

recommended. Moreover, other

organic inputs can also be added.

These include:



Dry compost

(Heap method & Faith garden)




Starter solution

Earthworm compost

Earthworm solution

d Liquid fertilizer using

manure and green leaves

A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening 49

4.1 Heap method

Black sheet of polythene

You will need

Green leaves and dry leaves, cow manure, ash, rock phosphate and lime,

water, pre-made compost that has partially decomposed.

Leafy matter

Cow dung mixed with water and

some pre-made compost


How to set it up

1. Locate a dry area in your garden which doesn’t get any direct sunlight and dig

a hole of about 4 x 4 x 2 feet.

2. Make a slurry of cow dung with water and mix it with some pre-made

compost and line the bottom of the hole with this mixture.

3. Mix in 6 inches of dry leaves followed by another six inches of green leaves

and repeat the steps until the hole is filled up.

After 2 weeks, if the compost

heap is dry, moisten it with the

prepared slurry.

If you require compost in a matter of weeks, the plant material can be cut

up into smaller pieces and stacked in shorter layers. The mixing would be

done after 3rd, 6th and 9th day after preparation, with the slurry added

for moisture. The compost will be ready for use on the 12th day.

4. Keep the opening of the hole covered with a black sheet of polythene and


2 weeks, if the compost heap is dry, moisten it with the prepared slurry, mix

the heap and leave for a month.

5. Repeat the previous step twice and moisten the mixture as required.

50 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening

4.2 Faith Garden (Food Always

in the Home)

Food waste, kitchen scraps and leaf litter from the garden can be used

to make your own organic fertiliser for free. Homemade compost can be

used as an effective soil additive and fertiliser that is rich in nutrients. It

can be mixed into soil when planting.

You will need

The simplest way to make your own compost is by collecting your

household and garden refuse. This could include food remains, tea

and coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable scraps, grass cuttings, coconut

husks, dried leaf litter and small twigs. This green and brown waste is

rich in nitrogen and carbon. You can also use cow dung and a little old

compost if available.

How to set it up

Keep adding to the bin or

pile and remember to water


Household waste materials

Leafy matter

Damp soil

Household waste materials

Twigs, dried leaves and

coconut husks

1. You can either use an old garbage

bin with holes drilled into it or build a

fenced pile using old scraps, wood

or wire mesh if space permits.

2. Place materials like twigs, dried

leaves and coconut husks at

the bottom. These help

with air circulation.

3. Add a layer of household

waste materials, followed

by a little more damp soil

and leafy matter. It is important

to wet each layer.

4. You can keep adding to the bin or pile

and remember to water regularly.

5. Continue to turn the contents of the pile with a stick or a shovel every

couple of weeks. This will enable the microorganisms and the worms and other

creatures in the soil to turn the contents of the bin into compost over the course

of a few months.

Turn the contents of the

pile with a stick or a

shovel every

couple of weeks.

52 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening

4.3 Starter Solution

This liquid is used to increase the microbial activity in the soil, which in

turn will increase the plant’s productivity.

You will need

Cow manure (20kg), livestock urine (20 litres), sugar cane jaggery

(2kg) or molasses (2 bottles) and 20 litres of water.

How to set it up

1. Mix the ingredients in a cement, clay or plastic container. Metal containers

are not advised due to the chances of undesired chemical activity that may be


Mix the composition every

morning and evening daily.


Sugar cane jaggery (2kg)

Gram powder (1kg)

Molasses (2 bottles)

2. Cover the opening with a cotton cloth and leave

for 24 - 72 hours.

3. Mix the composition every morning and evening


4. Strain this mixture using a cotton cloth and the

remaining pulp can be used as compost.

Water (10l)

Solution (1l)

5. Dilute 1 part of the solution with 10 parts water prior to

use. This can be used for up to 1 acre of land.

Livestock urine (20 litres)

Cow manure (20kg)

This Starter Solution has a short lifespan, and will only last up to 2-3 days.

If left in the container for a longer period, microorganisms will die and

be of no use for fertilising purposes.

A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening 55

4.4 Wormy Compost

This concoction uses the natural development of earthworms (Eudrilus eugeniae)

to cultivate microorganisms required for effective composting.

Collection of earthworms

Pick an area with dense, moist soil with a small quantity of cow dung

and spray molasses mixed with water and cover it up with a cloth.

A number of earthworms will have emerged by the next morning.

300 earthworms

Collection of compost

When it is time to collect the compost, stop

watering the container. The earthworms will then

move to the moist soil at the bottom. Compost

can be collected from the top for usage, and more

partially decomposed compost can be added

to fill the container so that the earthworms can

restart the process. This compost is high in

carbon and nitrogen and

is better for plants than




How to set it up

1. Add approximately 300 earthworms to a plastic, cement, or clay container

with partially decomposed compost filling 3/4th of the container.

2. Keep the container in a dry location, away from direct sunlight, but spray

water on the top daily to keep the compost moist.

Add cow manure, curd and jaggery

to increase the population of the


Spray water on the top daily.

56 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening

4.5 Wormy Wash

Similar to the Wormy Compost, this organic fertiliser collects the

excrement of earthworms (Eudrilus eugeniae) in liquid form as

nutrients for crops.

How to set it up

4.6 Liquid Fertiliser

This mixture is a combination of various kinds of green leaves, cow manure and

water, all added into a non-metallic container. It is covered and left for three

days, and is mixed occasionally during the course of 21 days. Once the foaming

stops, it is no longer necessary to mix the material, and the foul smelling yet

completely organic concoction is ready to fertilise your garden.

Leaves, hay,

and other


Cow manure and




At the site, set up a large plastic

bin holding (bottom to top): 6

inches of crushed brick, 6 inches

of sand, 14 inches of compost,

2 inches of cow manure and

earthworms topped off with 4

inches of leaves, hay, and other

biodegradables. A tap can

be fixed at the bottom of the

container to collect the solution.






You will need

100 litres of water

A plastic barrel

5 kg of cow manure

4-6 sugar cane shoots

10 kg of 15 varieties of plant leaves:

Gliricidia, Winged bean (Dambala),

Kathurumurunga, Kapparawalliya, Wild

Sunflowers, Kappettiya, Nika, Adathodaa,

Kohomba, Araliya, Kahabiliya, Edaru,

Gadhapaana, Ipil ipil, lemon.

Cow manur( 5kg)

Leaves (10 kg)

Sugar cane

How to use

Crushed brick

Spray the contents at the top of the

barrel with water several times a day, or

use a drip method if possible.

A faucet is attached to the

bottom of the bin, and this

can be used to release the fluid

collected after 15 days.

Dilute 1 litre of fluid with

10 litres of water (8 litres

if it is during the rainy season)

prior to using as

plant fertilser.

Water (10l)

Water (10l)

Solution (1l)

58 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening

A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening 59

Mix once every 3 days

How to

1. Leave the sugar cane shoots on the ground for 2 days

prior to making the liquid.

2. Cut the leaves in to small pieces.

3. Pour water in to the barrel and add the cow manure.

4. Mix the cow manure with water.

5. Add the chopped up leaves into the barrel.

6. Add the sugar cane shoots in to the barrel and mix


7. Mix the fertilizer composition once every 3 days

8. The liquid fertiliser can be used after 21 days.

How to use

Mix 1 litre of liquid fertiliser with 6 litres of water (1:6)

and apply the liquid mix once a week.





Pest Control

Water (6l)

Solution (1l)

60 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening

Pest control interventions are not required up until about a year

and a half after commencing organic cultivation. This is due to

the fact that the beneficial creatures combat the harmful ones.

For example, snails are picked off by coucals, while il messas

are consumed by dragon flies. Moreover, instead of using toxic

chemical repellents, organic alternatives made using local herbs

and spices can be utilised until these beneficial insects visit the

plants. Methods for concocting these are described below.

Similarly, some plants act as insect

repellents, and these can be

grown alongside the principal

crop to deter pests. Examples

include planting a few coriander plants

with chili, or planting wild ginger with brinjals.

5.1 Growing Plants that

are a Natural Deterrent

5.2 Margosa

(Neem) Seed Solution

Take 40-50g of carefully cleaned Margosa seeds and crush them into a fine

powder. Add one litre of water and mix well. Place the mixture in a clay pot, cover

it with a cloth, and leave it in a dark room for 12-24 hours. Then, filter the mixture

well and mix in soap water. On a dry evening, spray this mixture on/around your

plot. This will eliminate insects that attack the external

parts of the plant (leaves, flowers, fruit) and will

not affect the plant or soil negatively.

The smell or taste of certain plants discourages insects. These could include

herbs such as basil, coriander, dill, fennel, peppermint, spearmint and citronella

grass which are also of practical use.

5.3 Margosa (Neem) Juice

In a clay pot, mix 1kg-2kg of Margosa leaves in three litres of water.

Cover the opening and place in a dark room for three days.

Filter and mix with soap water and spray as

desired. This will also eliminate insects that

attack the external parts of the

plant and keep flies,

cockroaches, fleas and

other similar

insects away.

A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening 63

5.4 Margosa (Neem) + Cinnamon

+ Garlic mixture

5.6 Setting up an

Insect Trap

Mix 2tsp of margosa oil, 2tsp of cinnamon oil,

5-6 cloves of crushed garlic into two litres

of water. Filter the mixture to remove

the pieces of garlic and mix it with

soap water and spray as desired.

You will need





Yellow polythene (bright yellow attracts insects)

Wooden plank pieces


An oil lamp

5.5 Kerosene oil + Cinnamon +

Garlic Mixture

Lightly crush 250g of garlic and 250g-300g of cinnamon leaves. Mix this

in approximately 400ml of kerosene oil and leave for 24 hours. Mix ¼ of a

bar of soap in one litre of water and then add to the kerosene

mixture. Due to its high potency, take 2tsp of the mixture and

dilute it with another litre of water and spray as desired.

Using organic manure and other naturally-sourced plant

nutrients can also help in cutting back on the use

of fertilisers.


Yellow polythene

Light source

Wooden frame


How to

1. Build a box frame with four legs or a stand using the wooden planks.

2. Wrap the box with yellow polythene.

3. Apply grease on the outside of the yellow polythene.

4. Place the structure at the centre of your garden.

Carefully placing an oil lamp or a lantern inside the trap box is optional.

64 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening

A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening 65




Garden Maintaining


6.1 Water Conservation in

Your Home Garden

6.2 Water Saving Tips for

Home Gardening

Maintaining a home garden can be a rewarding hobby and a simple and

economical means of growing your own herbs, fruits and vegetables.

Regular watering is essential to the health of plants. However, it is important

to bear in mind that plants must be given the right amount of both water and

nutrients to thrive, and over-watering your plants can be as damaging as underwatering


Over-watering is a waste of a valuable natural resource and adds an unnecessary

cost to household utility expenses.




Learn about the specific water needs of your plants

and water them accordingly as requirements vary

significantly. This is useful in choosing where to plant certain

varieties and can help you group plants according to their watering needs.

Adjust your watering in line with seasonal weather patterns. Where possible

choose native plant varieties which are suited to the climate and require

little upkeep.

Make sure to water around the base of the plant as water is absorbed by the

roots. Note that watering a little and often does not help with plant growth

since the water must be absorbed into the soil. Deep but less frequent

watering benefits plants more.


Choose a watering can or hose pipe with a low-pressure sprinkler nozzle to

water your plants to reduce wastage.


Water your garden before 8am in the morning or after 4pm in the evening

to minimize loss through evaporation.


Use compost with household and garden waste including grass clippings

and leaf litter which fertilises the plants and helps the soil retain moisture.


Weed control is also essential to ensure that the water and nutrients

added to the soil benefit the

intended plants.

A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening 69

6.3 Beautification

Ornamental Home Gardening

Vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices with decorative leaves can not only benefit a

household in terms of nutrition and income, but can also lend themselves to beautifying

outdoor spaces. There are many such plants with ornamental leaves, flowers, fruits and

pods. For example, mukunuwenna (sessile joy weed / dwarf copperleaf ) has colourful

dark green, light green, red, and yellow varieties. Similarly, types of thampala (Amaranth),

cinnamon, asamodagam (carom), ginger, velmi (liquorices) and other herbs, hathawariya

(wild asparagus), kapparawalliya (country borage), spinach, types of leeks, cabbage and

salad leaves can serve a decorative purpose. This can

be a very satisfying and beneficial experience

for the gardener.

6.4 Promoting Biodiversity

Conservation Within the

Home Garden

A list of nectar and host plants is given below. Pick from this list to plant in your

butterfly garden.

Botanical Name

Sinhala Name

How to Create a Butterfly Garden

Many natural butterfly habitats have been lost

due to human activities like building and roads,

cultivation, and deforestation. Creating a butterfly

garden is an easy way to invite butterflies and spot

them right from your doorstep. You are also helping

in the conservation of these beautiful creatures.

It is as easy as growing the right kind of plants to which

they are attracted to increase the number and diversity of

butterflies in your garden.

Step 1

First, find out what type of butterflies appear in your neighborhood.

This will help you determine the Butterfly Nectar Plants and Butterfly

Host Plants, which will be useful for you when creating your butterfly


Step 2

After you get an idea of what types of butterflies are found in

your neighborhood, choose the site of your butterfly garden

carefully. Butterflies like sunny places. Therefore, look for a relatively

sunny spot with some shelter as your garden space.

Step 3

Carefully select plants for your garden. Butterflies need two types of

plants to complete their life. Most adult butterflies feed on flower

nectar for nutrition. Host plant or larval food sources help

keep butterflies in the garden for longer periods.

Host plants, also called feeding plants, are the major

determinant of butterflies since these are the feeding

plants for butterflies in their larva stage.

01 Dredge solubilise wÕ=K

02 Calotropis gigantean Jrd

03 Aistolochia indica imai|

04 Abrus precatorius U,s| je,a

05 Aegle marmelos fn,s

06 Annona muricata wfkdaod

07 Flacoutia Indica wfkdaod

08 Bamboo Ng

09 Nerium oleander lfkare

10 Asclepia curassavica lka l=U,

11 Palm (Red Palm)

12 Palm (cane Palm)

13 Bryophyllum calycinum wlalmdk

14 Cassia fistula weye,

15 Mangifera indica wU

16 Litsea glutinosa fndaUq

17 Crataeva religiosa ,qKq jrK

18 Flacourtia indica W.=/iaid

19 Ixora sp. (Red yellow) udoka

20 Ixora coccinea r;au,a

21 Limonia acidissima osjq,a

22 Citrus Limon foys fodvï$ f,uka

23 Murraya koenigii lrmsxpd

24 Sesbania grandiflora l;=re uqrex.d

25 Cassia didymobotrya we;af;dar

27 Cassia tora meks f;dar

27 Mussaenda uqiajekak

28 Cassia momosoides f;dar

29 Passiflora foetida oe,angq

30 Cycass spp Indian Madu

31 Cycass spp Uvq

32 Ficus hispida fldg lsUq,

33 Cinnamomum l=re÷


72 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening

List of nectar plants (Scientific Name and the Common name) for the butterfly


Botanical Name Sinhala Name

01 Stachytarpheta n¨kl=g

02 Walidda antidysenterica Boao

03 Heliotropium indicm we;afyd~

04 Elephantopus scaber we;a wä

05 Catharanthus roseus ñkSu,a

06 Zinnia Iskshd

07 Duranta repens

08 Pentas lanceolata

09 Tagetes patula oyia fm;s

10 Murraya peniculata

11 Clerodendrum Mskak


Step 4

After studying the list of host and nectar plants, decide

which plants are suitable for your garden. Then sketch a

plan. The following example, created using plants from

the lists above, may be helpful. This sample butterfly

garden has a large variety of host plants.

Butterflies are sensitive to pesticides and can even

be harmed by chemicals meant to control other

insect species so don’t use pesticides in your

garden. If you have rich plant diversity in

your garden, you most probably won’t

need to use pesticides.

74 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening



Life Cycles


Species/Family Life span of the crop Yala season Maha Season


Heeen Miris

150 days

Maalu miris/ Capsicum 150 days

Kochchi/Crow Chilli 150 days

Thakkali/ Tomato 135 days

Wambatu/ Brinjal 130-140 days

Elabatu/egg plant 130-140 days

Solanum melongena



90 days

Phaseolus vulgaris

Maa Karal/ Long beans 90 days

Vigna unguiculata

Dambala/Kiridambala 90-120 days

Winged bean

Psophocarpus tetragonolobus


90 days

Phaseolus vulgaris


90 days

eyed pea

Vignaunguiculata unguiculata

Mung/Green Gram 75 days

Vigna radiata

Rata kaju/Pea nuts 110 days

Arachis hypogaea


Labu/Bottle Gourd 120-150 days

Lagenaria siceraria

Wattakka/Pumpkin 120-150 days

Cucurbita maxima

Puhul/wax Gourd 120-150 days

Benincasa hispida

Watakolu/Ridged 120 days


Luffa acutangula

Mar Apr May Jun

Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb

Species/Family Life span of the crop Yala season Maha Season



Cucumis melo


Cucumis sativus

Pathola/Snake Gourd

Cucumis sativus

Karawila/Bitter Gour

Momordica charantia

120 days

130 days

100 days

100 days



90 days

Abelmoschus esculentus


Gowa/Cabbage 120-150 days

Brassica oleracea

Athu Gowa

120-150 days

Mal Gowa/ Cauliflower 100 days

Brassica oleracea Botrytis

cultivar group


60 days

Raphanus sativus


70 days


Niwithi/Spinach 30-50 days

Spinacea oleracea


Salada kola/Salad leaves 20-30 days

lettuce Lactuca sativa



1 year

Mentha spicata

Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb

Species/Family Life span of the crop Yala season Maha Season

Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb



20-25 days


Amaranthus oleraceus


1 year

Alternanthera sessilis


Karapincha/curry leaves days

Murraya koenigii


Bada Iringu/ corn 115 days

Zeamays indentata

Idal Iringu

140 days



1 year

Centella asiatica


100 days

Daucus carota



20-30 days

Zingiber officinale


1 year

Curcuma longa


Mayiyokka/Cassava 1 year

Manihot esculenta



5 years

Lasia spinosa

Kiri Ala

8 - 10 years

8 A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening

Species/Family Life span of the crop Yala season Maha Season



Canna indica



Cynara scolymus




Trianthema portula




water spinach

Ipomoea aquatica


Alternanthera sessilis



Spondias cytherea


Gas labu/Papaw

Carica papaya



Musa Cultivars


Neera Leeks

Lasia spinosa

Red Onions

Wanduru mala

6-8 months

6-8 months

6-8 months

20 days

30 days


1 year

180 days

3 years

330 days

180 days

105 days

4-5 months

Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb

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