Kerala’s Bijumon Antony grows various fruit trees using the air pot gardening method, which he says yields faster and better harvests.
Air pots are plastic with cone-shaped indents which have small holes at the tip. The sheet has a few screw-like fasteners and a flat round-shaped bottom piece.
The pots are assembled by wrapping the mat on the bottom piece. “With this, more air passes through the available holes thus benefiting the plants,” he says.
“Also, when the roots come out exposed to the atmosphere, they dehydrate and new roots are produced. Those will be fibrous roots that require less nutrients,” he adds.
The 47-year-old farmer grows 25 varieties of apple, orange, peach, pear, almond, walnut, and apricot at his ‘Miracle Farm’.
Bijumon initiated this method after planning to get into apple farming. He purchased a few pots online and claims that the results were great.
But he couldn’t make decent profits as the pots were expensive. So, he started making his own pots named ‘Miracle Pots’ which turned into a business.
The price range of the pots is between Rs 50 and Rs 1,000. To grow an average tree, a pot of Rs 350 is more than enough, he informs.
“Air pot gardening helps plants stay fresh and provides them with all nutritional needs. It gives results within half of the usual time and requires less labour,” says the farmer.
“All you have to do is purchase pots of the required size, fill them with soil, and plant the saplings. Occasional watering and fertilising are enough,” he adds.