10 Favourite Vegetables To Grow At Home
Are you tired of filling your grocery bags with frozen and shredded vegetables available in most of the markets smartly dubbed as ‘organic’? Well most of us are! In pursuit of finding fresh vegetables and organic produce, most of the city-dwellers have to satisfy themselves with subpar vegetables, greens, and fruits from supermarkets or grocery delivery apps. But have you thought that you can actually grow your favorite vegetables in your home without being dependent on the grocery stores outside? If you are thinking of dismissing the idea with the fear of having a ‘brown thumb’, here are some easy tricks to creating your own vegetable garden. While we know that you are a beginner gardener, here are some easy growing vegetables that you can try your hands at. All you will be needing for vegetable gardening at home are some planters, potting soil, seeds or saplings, and of course a little patience and get ready to have your own garden that can fill up your plates with lots of healthy food.
An essential ingredient of Indian cuisine, chilli is extremely easy to grow. You can produce the seeds from the dried red chilies in your kitchen.
- Mix equal amounts of cocopeat, compost and perlite (or tiny pieces of thermocol).
- Put the potting mix in a small pot and soak it in ample water overnight.
- Next day, press each of the chilli seeds gently into the soft soil and cover it with mulch/hay.
- Water daily till the seeds germinate into tiny saplings.
- As soon as the leaves appear, transfer each sapling to a bigger pot with a height of at least 20 inches.
- Water daily till the plant flowers. Reduce the frequency of watering after flowering happens.
- Harvest fresh chillies when fruited.
From exquisite salads to delectable gravy, tomato is the ingredient that adds charm to every dish. Here is how you can grow tomatoes easily in your veggie garden.
- Prepare the potting mix by mixing sand, red soil, compost, cocopeat and neem cake in the ratio 30:20:20:20:10.
- Sow the tomato seeds in the potting mix, equidistant from one another. Sprinkle with water after sowing.
- Mulch the seeds with hay/dried leaves and cover partially to create a semi-greenhouse effect.
- Continue spraying water every 2-3 days till the seeds sprout. After four sets of true leaves appear, transplant the sapling into a big pot and stake it with sticks on all 4 sides.
- Add a handful of compost to the tomato plant once in a week till it flowers.
- Since the tomato plant is vulnerable to attacks by mealybugs and leaf miners, spray diluted neem oil in dish-wash solution once in 15 days.
Are you a ‘baingan ka bharta’ fan? Now, grow your own brinjals in your garden and handpick them for your spicy ‘bharta’. Here is all you need to do to grow beautiful brinjals in your garden.
- Soak brinjal seeds overnight and sow them in well-drained soil.
- Prepare a potting mix with 30 per cent soil, 20 percent compost, 20 percent cocopeat, 20 percent sand and 10 percent neem cake powder.
- Once the saplings reach a height of 5-6 inches, transplant them into the new potting mix.
- After the plant has started flowering, control the amount of water given daily.
- Fold the flowers and gently rub them to induce pollination.
- For nutrition, add a handful of compost/banana peels/Jeevamrutham/eggshells/Panchagavya alternatively to the plant once every week.
The fragrance of fresh coriander makes every Indian dish more appealing. Whether it is a steaming bowl of curry or a tropical salad, coriander goes well with everything. It is one of the easiest vegetable plants at your home.
- Take a handful of coriander seeds and press them slightly to break them into two. Soak the broken seeds in water overnight.
- Mix sand, red soil, cocopeat, neem cake, and compost in equal quantities to make the potting mix.
- Drain this potting mix well and scrape lines through it to sow the seeds.
- Spread the seeds evenly along the scraped lines. Cover the seeds lightly with soil and dry leaves. Sprinkle with a little water.
- After the seeds have sprouted, spray with diluted buttermilk or Panchagavya once every 15 days and ensure that you do not overwater the plants.
- Harvest the Coriander once it’s ready.
5. Bitter Gourd
Bitter Gourd is loved by many Indian families and also has a lot of health benefits. Since growing a bitter gourd is a cakewalk, you can plant them in your homes. Here is how to grow bitter gourd in your kitchen garden.
- Soak the seeds overnight and sow them in small pots, such that only two seeds are sowed together.
- Prepare a potting mix with 30 percent red soil, 20 percent compost, 20 percent cocopeat, 20 percent sand, and 10 percent neem cake. Water this mix thoroughly and keep it aside.
- Gently remove a sapling from the small pot with the soil and transfer it into a bigger pot.
- Insert sticks into the soil to support the creeper.
- Keep pinching the side stems so that the main stem grows up to 6-7 feet. Add a handful of compost once every week.
- Remove the leaves near the base of the plant to avoid any infection. Pinch the tip of the plant once it reaches a height of 7-8 feet.
- Once the female flowers appear, hand-pollinate them with the male flowers.
- Harvest the bitter gourds once ready. For procuring seeds, leave one or two bitter gourds on the plant itself till they are completely yellow.
Note: You can identify female flowers by the presence of a small fruit beneath them, which is absent in the male flowers. Cover the pollinated flower to avoid attack by fruit flies.
Yet another indispensable outdoor plant in almost all world cuisines, cucumber is high in potassium and has various health benefits. They are consumed raw, and the crunchiness gives all the flavors. Here is how you can grow cucumbers at home.
- Soak cucumber seeds overnight before sowing them.
- Use a potting mix with one part each of soil, compost, perlite and cocopeat.
- Using your thumb, make 5 mm depressions in the soil to sow the cucumber seeds.
- Cover with loose soil and water gently so as not to expose the seeds. The soil should be kept moist at all times.
- After the seeds germinate and at least four true leaves appear, transfer the saplings into bigger pots.
- Expose the plant to direct sunlight at least 6-8 hours in a day.
- Manual pollination by hand might be required to ensure fruiting. Harvest the fruits when ready.
One of the easiest growing vegetables in the kitchen garden is mint. Here is how you can grow fresh mint in your home.
- Keep aside a few sprigs of mint from a fresh bunch you got from the market.
- Choose a healthy, thick stem and make a cut at around 15 cm along the length, below the node. Remove a few leaves gently from the cutting.
- Put a few such cuttings in a glass of clean water. Keep it indoors, away from sunlight.
- In a few days, the cuttings will sprout new leaves and grow roots. You can use the leaves directly or transplant the seedlings into fresh potting soil.
Used in pastas, this iron-packed leafy vegetable is a must-have in your home garden. Yet another benefit of growing spinach is it grows really fast.
- Prepare a potting mix using well-drained loamy soil enriched with organic compost.
- Sow the spinach seeds gently in rows or blocks around 1-1.5 feet apart, cover loosely with soil and water well till germination.
- Once true leaves start appearing, space out the saplings around six inches apart to allow ample space for each plant.
- Keep under direct daytime exposure to sunlight or partial shade.
- Pick the leaves whenever needed. Leaves will continue to regrow until the end of the season.
Do you crave for ‘Gajar ka halwa’ in winters? If yes, this year you can enjoy it anytime, by growing these delicacies in your own garden
- Use a well-draining red potting soil rich in organic homemade compost and mixed with cocopeat.
- Sow the seeds by making dents of around 0.5 inches in the soil, at a gap of 1 inch.
- Once the seeds germinate in about a week, separate the seedlings around 2 – 4 inches apart. Ideally, potting containers of around 20 litres should be used for growing the long, white variety of indigenous radish.
- Add vermicompost after about a week. Water regularly
- Harvest after about a month. In some cuisines of India (eg. Bengali), radish leaves are also consumed often as a delicious saga.
The more popular cousin of chilli has now become an integral element in Indian kitchens, and urban gardens as well. Know how to grow them.
- Prepare the potting mix by adding cocopeat/peat moss, vermiculite (or perlite) and neem cake to the potting soil.
- Best time to sow capsicum seeds are late winter, spring and the beginning of summer. It thrives well in moderate temperatures.
- Use a seedling tray to sow the seeds initially and cover the tray with a plastic wrap to retain the soil moisture.
- Once the seeds germinate in 10-15 days, keep the tray in a sunlit area after removing the plastic cover.
- Transplant the saplings in larger containers once true leaves appear. Cover the soil loosely with potting mix.
- Maintain a strict watering schedule. Use a water-soluble organic fertilizer every two weeks.
- Fresh capsicum will grow fully in around 60 to 90 days.
Vegetable growing at home not only provides you with the freshest produce but also gives you inner satisfaction, seeing those plants grow every passing day. Create your own kitchen garden today and enjoy the freshness of these vegetables in your home.