Top 7 Tips to create organic vegetable garden for NRIs
Creating your own garden is an art. One should have lot of patience and interests towards gardening. There is no doubt that gardening is one of hobbies for many but do you also know it has ranked as No. 1 hobby in some countries? As per National Gardening Survey in the US, gardening is grown to become top hobby in the spring. Especially for NRIs, it simply reduce your dependency and time by going outside even to buy a very basic vegetables which is mandatory in your cooking.
When you grow your own organic vegetables, it helps to get chemical-free fresh vegetables. This will not only save money, but also time and energy spent on several trips to the vegetable market. Then it cools the house, it is also good exercise while tending and watering plants. Micro-climates will change as there is an increased production of oxygen and a reduction of carbon dioxide etc. Above all, the biggest gain would be eating healthy, chemical-free vegetables.
One can start by growing very basic vegetables like celery, basil (tulsi), mint leaves (pudina), green leaves (spinach), chillies, lemon grass and different varieties of vegetables. They are one of the simplest to grow as they don’t require too much maintenance. These plants can be kept in a living room or placed near the window where very less air and sunlight is penetrated.
Growing celery (Apium graveolens) is generally considered to be the ultimate vegetable gardening challenge. It has a very long growing season but a very low tolerance for both heat and cold.
- Celery seeds are tiny and tricky to plant. Try mixing them with sand and then sprinkling the sand/seed mix over the pots you will be starting the celery plants in.
- Cover the seeds with just a little bit of soil. Celery seeds like to be planted shallowly.
- Once the celery seeds have sprouted and are large enough, either thin the seedlings or prick them out to their own pots.
You can try buying these vegetable seeds with high germination results.
- Basil (Tulsi)
Growing Basil is relatively easy as long as the growing environments have suitable light and temperature levels. Basil is grown for its fragrant tasty leaves that can be added raw to salads, sandwiches or used in cooked dishes such as the ever popular pasta with tomato and basil sauce.
- If growing Basil in pots then ensure that adequate drainage is allowed from the base of the pot (line with coarse gravel if necessary).
- If growing outside then ensure the soil is well dug over and weed free before sowing. Before sowing ensure that the compost or soil is moist (water generously the day before sowing)
- Sow at any time if the plant is always to be kept indoors. Sow the seed thinly and if growing in pots sow enough for a few plants in each pot. Cover the seeds with 1/2 cm of compost and firm gently.
- Basil seeds should germinate in about a week and once the seedlings have developed 2 pairs of true leaves then you can thin out the weakest seedlings in each pot, leaving each pots strongest.
- Mint Leaves (Pudina)
Growing mint leaves process itself advances quite quickly and it is a joy to watch your own mint plants grow in such a short time.
- Buy yourself a mint plant. This may seem weird, but the best thing to start from is an already grown mint plant. This will be the mother plant for your home grown mint plants.
- It would be a bad idea to try growing mint plants from seeds. I’ve read that this is very difficult and unless you are really dedicated I would not recommend trying it.
- Plant your mother plant in a larger pot. Mint plants need a lot of light and water. Mint however needs enough space to grow, choose a pot that is large enough.
- If you are choosing to grow in pots, then prefer pots with hole, this allows the excess of water to flow away. Supply your mother mint plant with enough water: unlike other plants, mint needs a lot of water.
- Cut off a sprig and put it in a glass of water. The sprig you choose doesn’t need to have a lot of leaves. Almost every sprig will do. When cutting a sprig, cut about a centimeter above a junction. This way new branch will grow just below that place. After about a week, small white roots may appear under water. Wait longer, so the roots have a decent length.
- Plant your new plant in a pot
- Green Leaves (Spinach)
When it comes to vegetable gardening, spinach planting is a great addition. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a wonderful source of Vitamin A and one of the healthiest sources of so many minerals and nutrients that we can grow.Spinach thrives in cool weather and short days so it’s best to grow it in the fall for most gardeners.
- Plant spinach seeds an inch apart in rows 14-18 inches apart and cover the seeds with a 1/2 inch of soil.
- Keep the soil moist and after the seeds germinate thin them to stand 3-5 inches apart.
- Most gardeners like to do this in several passes to determine the strongest plants to save. Thinning is very important and you must be ruthless in the final analysis or you will have a congested row of plants that don’t size up.
Fresh, homegrown tomatoes are the reason many gardeners get into vegetable gardening in the first place. There’s just nothing that compares to eating a perfectly ripe tomato, still warm from the sun. Tomatoes are also incredibly good for us, packing plenty of fiber, iron, magnesium, niacin, potassium, and vitamins A, B6, and C.
- Grow tomatoes in containers: Container sizes will vary depending on the variety you’re growing. If you’re growing an indeterminate variety, your container will need to be at least 18 inches deep. One tomato plant per pot, apart outside when the flowers of the first truss are beginning to open; plants for growing outdoors should be hardened off first.
- Tie the main stem to a vertical bamboo cane or wind it up a well-anchored but slack sturdy string. Those grown as bush or hanging basket types do not need support.
- Remove the sideshoots regularly when they are about 2.5cm (1in) long. Those grown as bush or hanging basket types do not need to have sideshoots removed.
- Water regularly to keep the soil/compost evenly moist. Feed every 10-14 days with a balanced liquid fertiliser, changing to a high potash one once the first fruits start to set.
- Remove yellowing leaves below developing fruit trusses.
You can try buying the Tomato seeds.
Chillies are most often grown in pots or grow-bags and are a good source of vitamin C. They also stimulate the circulation and boost metabolism so give a feeling of energy.
- Sow 3 seeds in each 1 inch cell of a seedling tray.
- After germination and when the seedling has reached 4cm in height you should transplant your plants into either a 4 inch pot or into their final position. An 8 to10 inch pot is ideal. Make sure your pot has good drainage – try lining the pot with a few cm of coarse gravel and make sure the drainage hole is not blocked.
- Make sure your Chilli plants have enough sunlight and should be watered regularly.
- You will see flowers developing on the plant, leave them on and they will die after a few weeks and chillies will form.
- Once the plant is producing fruit you can help it along by giving it a small amount of organic liquid fertilizer every few weeks.
You can try buying these Chilli seeds.
- Lemon Grass
Lemon grass is useful in the kitchen. It goes well in teas and makes a gorgeous ornamental herb in the garden. In much of the USA, it is grown as an annual or brought indoors to overwinter.
- Buy lemon grass stalks and place in a glass of water to root out.
- Once they have developed roots, you can plant them.You can also buy the ready plants available in nursery gardens.
- You can plant your Lemongrass in a container if you like; they do very well in pots.
You can try buying these Lemon Grass Seeds .