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Growing Indian Vegetables at home !!

home grown watermelon

Home grown watermelon!! The red arrows in the above photograph show the three watermelons.

home grown brinjal home grown bell pepper

Home grown tomatoes, and freshly harvested mint leaves, broccoli, eggplant etc....

home grown cherry tomatoes home grown veggies

Dear Readers,

Many of you have been asking about from where to get the seeds. I live in the USA and can't say about your local seed shop/ nursery. You will have to check with your local nursery for the seeds. You can also search online if they deliver seeds to your city. Lots of plants seeds like, bhutta, beans, karela, lauki etc can be made at home from the fully ripned fruit. Methi, dahniya, sarson (mustard), etc can be grown from the whole seeds we use for cooking. Hope it helps!!!

Many of you have been asking if eggplant (Brinjal / Auburgine), squash/ bottle gourd (lauki), tomato etc can be grown in containers or pots. The answer is "yes"!! This year we planted all the vegetables in the pots. The results are awesome! I took some pictures of the pot grown veggies to encourage you and show you the final produce. Be confident and plant the veggies in the pot, water them regularly, feed them and enjoy home grown veggies.

Many of you have also asked about the most natural way to get rid of infections in the vegetable plants. We use "neem oil" which is completely natural and does not affect the fruits/vegetables and just kills the infection. Neem oil also works well on the most common disease -- powdery mildew -- of bottle gourd/ squash. Please check with your area's local nursery for detailed information about planting!! Hope it helps!!

Happy Gardening !!!

Shuchi

eggplant baigan

Dear Readers,

Spring is the most beautiful time of the year. This is the time when I start planting the seeds and making other required preparations for my vegetable garden. I thought it would be a good idea to share these ideas with many of you who are thinking about growing your own vegetables.

Growing vegetables at home is becoming more popular these days. There are plenty of reasons as to why people like to grow things in their own garden....Some people worry about the use of chemicals/ pesticides in the vegetables and fruits, while others like to be close to nature, and find it relaxing to work in the garden. Some enthusiasts also grow rare vegetables which are hard to find in the supermarkets.... Whatever may be the reasons for thinking about growing your own vegetables; it should be fun for you, and not a chore....

I love gardening. My family shares this passion. We plant the seeds, wait for them to germinate. The seeds sprout, and then the first set of leaves appears. Kids keep an eye, and inform " Mom it is growing taller and taller". The cycle of careful watering and waiting continues. Slowly, the plants bear fruits, and the long awaited moment arrives- we enjoy the freshly picked herbs, fruits or vegetables.... When we harvest our homegrown plants, it feels like a big achievement, it is a pleasure, it is healthy, and it is satisfying to use home grown vegetables in our cooking.

I like to grow lauki (bottle gourd), Karela ( bitter gourd), different varieties of tomatoes, different varities of chilies, Eggplant, Spinach, and also some herbs such as mint, coriander (cilantro), fenugreek, basils etc.....

So if you have proper summer weather in your part of world you can easily grow vegetables at home. Many of these veggies and herbs can be grown in a pot as well. Here I am mainly talking about some vegetables which are sometimes hard to find outside India. When you find them they have already travelled hundreds of miles and are not as good and tasty as they could be...

 seed selection seeping preparation
Different seeds                                                                  seeds planted in the small container

Karela (Bitter Gourd)- Karela is a very bitter vegetable and is very popular in Indian subcontinent due to its medicinal values. Karela can be easily grown in ground as well as in a big (about 10-12 inch ) pot. This climber / vine loves hot and sunny weather. So if you have nice area where you get sun you can easily grow this non attention seeker vine. I start growing karela from its seeds. If you live outside India you can order seeds online.

karela seeds  karela after germination
karela seeds                                                               seeds planted in the small container

I have planted karela in the small pots so I can easily move them out when weather is nice and move them in when it is cold in the evening. In May When weather will be warm and there will not be any danger of the frost I will transfer the plants to the garden soil.

karela flower  karela after germination
Baby karela (left)and fully grown karela hanging on the vine from our last year's kitchen garden photo collection(right)

There are plenty of dishes made from karela like, Bengali dish Sukto, Fried Karela, Karela bhajji, karela pickle, karela juice, etc...Some dishes we have already made from Karela are- Karele ka thoran, Bharvan Karele, Karele ki bhajiya

Lauki - This vegetable is also known as Ghiya, Kaddu, Bottle Gourd and in America it is also known as Squash. Lauki contains about 96% water, it is rich in dietary fibers, is a good source of vitamin B and iron, and is very easy to digest. Just like karela, lauki can also be grown from the seeds. You can grow it in a big pot or in the ground. I have planted the seeds in the small pot because it is still cold outside. I will move the baby plants outside in the ground in the first week of May when the danger of frost is over.

germinated lauki seeds home grown lauki

Lauki seeds showing the growth after 9 days. I planted seeds on March 21. The right picture shows fully grown lauki hanging on the vine (from our last year's kitchen garden photo collection)

There are plenty of dishes made from Lauki. This is a vegetable which is normally eaten during the fasting days as well. I have separated the lauki recipes to make your search easier Lauki-Ghiya Recipes...


Along with Karela and Lauki you can also grow many other vegetables in your kitchen garden.

home grown cherry tomatoes  karela after germination

Hanging cherry tomatoes and jalapeño pepper from our last year's kitchen garden photo collection

Some Chili/ Pepper recipes

Enjoy Gardening,
Shuchi


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