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Kitchen Graden

Kitchen Graden

Kitchen Graden

WHAT IS KITCHEN GARDENING?

Growing of fruits, vegetables, flowers in the available space around bunglow, galleries of flats, open terraces, windows wherever the sun light gets to plants.

Sun light is essential for manufacturing of food in the leaves of the plants. Soil, water, air and sunlight is required for food manufacturing by the plants. Therefore, select such a place, where the above elements will be available.

WHAT TO GROW?

Next in line comes choosing the seeds. The best option would be to choose disease resistant varieties. While in warmer climatic areas, you need to cultivate the soil to a fine tilth and then sow the seeds at the depth, in cooler zones, seeds need to be sown in trays or flats indoors. In case of the latter option, make sure you provide the seeds sufficient overhead light, ensuring satisfactory germination and growth. Before planting the seeds out in the beds, the seedlings need to be hardened off. For this, place them outside for longer periods each day, so that they adapt themselves to the outside temperature.

  • Some vegetables are growing all the year round, like tomato, brinjal, coriander, chill, palak, gaur, bhindi ( ladies finger), chinise vegetables, etc.
  • Vegetable to be grown in cool climate, are, cabbage, cauli flower, methi, raddish, green peas, cowpea, carrot, bottle gourd, ridge gourd, bitter gourd, etc.
  • Longer durational crops, like currypata ( curry leaves), potato, onion, garlic, sweet potato, rajama, cucumber, etc.
  • Perennial crops, (where open space is available - around bunglow), like mango, sapota, guava, coconut, lemon, papaya, orange, pomegranate, amala, banana, custard apple, etc.
SELECTING THE RIGHT CONTAINER

Two factors will help you decide on the right containers: available space and the plant you choose. For example, herbs will need pots that are between 6 to 10 inches in size. Tomatoes and brinjal will need larger pots(of at least 20 liters capacity). Capsicums and cucumbers require 4 to 8 liter pot per plant.

  • Opt for window boxes if you have a flat with many windows. They are convenient and look fairly attractive.
  • Terra cotta and stone pots, unlike plastic ones, allow plants to breathe freely but they dry fast and are difficult to shift.
  • Wood containers save plants from excessive heat but plants tend to rot.
  • Place plastic saucers under the pots to avoid soil and water spillage.
  • Get creative. Don't throw away buckets, wire baskets, etc. Use them along with hanging baskets for smaller plants.
  • Say no to containers with small openings.
  • Make drain holes in all the pots.
PREPARING THE SOIL

The planting media should be disease-free, lightweight and capable to hold moisture. It should be drainage-friendly and contain vital nutrients. Organic manure or compost can be a wonderful growing medium. You can add decomposable kitchen waste to it. Besides this, you can buy commercial or synthetic potting mixes made from sawdust, peat moss, vermiculite and wood chips. You might have to add a little lime to neutralize their acidic contents. A combination of loamy garden soil, sand and peat moss also makes a good growing mixture.

PLANTS CAN BE GROWN WITHOUT SOIL

Collect the organic matter like, leaves of the trees, kitchen waste, dried organic matter, etc. And put in the container. Water it sufficiently. Then put the seeds or seedling in the container. Daily such organic matter should be added in the container.

STEPS FOR GROWING VEGETABLES

The first step would be to dig the garden area to a depth of about 8-10 inches. However, make sure that you do not start the digging process, when the soil is too wet. To check whether the soil is too wet or not, you need to squeeze together a handful of it. If it sticks together in a ball and does not crumble under slight pressure by the thumb and finger, it is too wet.

To improve the quality of the soil, add some organic matter to it. This would help release nitrogen, minerals, and other nutrients for plant use. Thereafter, add some well-rotted compost or manure into the soil. You can even go for mulch of partly rotted straw, compost or crop residue on the soil. This would help to keep the soil surface in good condition and also slows down the process of water evaporation from the soil.