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Grow Your Own Pumpkins !

A mix of vibrant pumpkin varieties is a valuable staple in your kitchen garden!

Pumpkin is one of the easiest garden vegetables to grow. If you have space in your garden for them, they are a relatively maintenance free. Pumpkin vines grow best in a location with lots of sunlight and good air circulation.

Did you know Pumpkins are also famous during Halloween? 

Modern Halloween comes from the Irish festival Samhain. Tradition dictated huge bonfires built in fields, and it was believed that fairy spirits lurked in the shadows. To distract these spirits from settling into houses and farms, people would carve rudimentary faces into large turnips, and set candles inside. 

As pumpkin carving grew into a multi-million dollar industry, American farmers began to examine the specific types of pumpkins they grew, and breed new lines of squash specifically for carving. Massachusetts farmer John Howden developed the Howden pumpkin in the 1960s, and it is still the most popular carving pumpkin in America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Pumpkin? 

In Hindi Pumpkin is called as Kadoo. Pumpkins come in unique shapes, sizes and hues and have diverse flavors. They are a rich source of Vitamin A, potassium and fibre. 

Where to grow Pumpkins?

Ideally grown on the edge of a garden bed where it receives adequate sunlight. As with most plants, they thrive in loose, well-drained soil and under direct sunlight which allows the fruit to ripen evenly. 

Add neem cake or neem solution to the soil a week before planting. Mix organic matter, wood ash and well-rotted manure into the soil.

The mound should be about 8-12 inches high and around 2 feet circumference at the base. This can also be done on a long raised ridge with the same proportions. Though they are considered monsoon crops, pumpkins can be grown throughout the year — successive planting will provide a steady supply of fruits.

How to sow Pumpkin seeds?

Soak the seeds in warm water for a day to promote germination. The seeds can be started in a nursery and shifted later, but for best results sow directly in prepared beds. If they are to be planted on flat ground, keep a distance of atleast 3 feet for the vines to spread out. For raised soil, flatten the top of the heap and press the seeds an inch deep — 3 seeds per mound or 3 feet apart if it is on a ridge. For terrace gardens, use large deep troughs with at least 1.5 feet depth and sow 2 seeds in each.

How to care for Pumpkins?

Once the seeds have sprouted, restrict weed growth around the seedlings with an organic mulch of leaves or grass cuttings. Remove weak seedlings at this stage. As the long vines supply nutrition to the plants, they should be well-maintained by trimming dead leaves and weak side vines. 

Watering is best done early morning or in the evening, preferably by drip tubes which supply water directly to the roots; excess water on the leaves can cause powdery mildew. 

Protect against aphids, ants and other pests by spraying with a neem solution; peppermint solution is another insect repellent which can be sprayed once a week. Look for squash bugs under the leaves and remove them by hand. 

Once the flowers appear, sprinkle wood ash around the plant on alternate weeks to supply potash. Pumpkins produce male and female flowers on the same plant and are naturally pollinated by insects. To ensure this, pollination can be done manually.

Identify the flowers — the female flower has a small fruit at the base and the male is distinguishable by its absence. Rub the male flower over the female flower to transfer pollen. This will increase chances of healthy well-proportioned vegetables.

Female flower

How to harvest Pumpkin?

Most pumpkin varieties can be harvested after three months, when the fruit has ripened on the vine. Pumpkins are ready to harvest when the stem has started to dry and the skin of the pumpkin begins to harden. Remove from the vine leaving about an inch stem.If the stem breaks, the pumpkin won’t cure or store well.

That’s all you need to know about growing pumpkins in your kitchen garden. Pumpkin has so many uses in the kitchen so learning how to grow pumpkins successfully will be truly rewarding experience.

Happy Halloween!

Happy-gardening

How to grow Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Common Name: Brussels Sprouts

Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea

Vegetable Type: Cruciferous

Varieties: Abacus, Maximus, Cronus, Diablo

Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable, which means they are closely related to broccoli, cabbage, etc. They are a long-season growing crop, with time from plant to harvest taking around 6 months for best results. However, its health benefits are worth it. They are extremely high in fibre, protein, and have been shown to significantly lower cholesterol levels. Now to grow this diet starter of a plant, let’s see its main features.

NOTE: You can buy brussels sprouts seeds from our online garden store – the best place to buy seeds online. We deliver anywhere in India.

Brussels Sprouts flower

Brussels Sprouts flower

Plant Features

Life-Cycle: Annual

Height: 60-120cm

Width: 10-20cm

Flowering season: Early summer (April-May)

Flowers: Medium sized, four-petals, yellow

Foliage: Long, smooth, light green stalk-like leaves

Planting/Growing Details

Sunlight: Full sun, requires 6-8 hours of direct exposure to sunlight daily

Water: Moderately, keep the top one inch of soil moist, but make sure the soil is well-drained and loose

Sowing Season: Brussels sprouts are a cool season crop, and need to be sown two weeks before the cold season begins, depending on your climate.

Sowing Method: Start the seeds off indoors, until they reach a certain height before transplanting them outside. When the young plants are 10-15cm (4-6in) high and have around seven true leaves, transplant to their growing positions, leaving 60cm (2ft) between plants and 75cm (2.5ft) between rows. Before planting, water plants well and water well again after transplanting. However, after the initial transplanting phase, make sure not to overwater the plants as this can affect the quality of the crop yield.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Care: Make sure to use an organic fertilizer, with high nitrogen and boron content for your crop. Also spread out a layer of mulch over the soil to give a uniform feeding distribution for the plants. Mound the soil around the base to support the plants.

Pests: Birds and caterpillars are the main culprits which hinder the growth of this plant. They eat the leaves of the Brussels sprout in its initial stages. Make sure to keep a net or some sort of covering after transplanting the plants, to avoid this headache.

Harvest: The part that is harvested, are the buds which grow on the stems, in between the leaves. Usually the plant is ready for harvest around 6 months after planting. Wait for one frost to pass before harvesting, as sprouts are said to be the sweetest after a frost has passed. Simply snap them off of the stem, to harvest them. Cutting off the leaves makes the buds easier to reach, thus making harvesting an easier task.

Brussels Sprouts Kitchen

Brussels Sprouts Kitchen

Propagation: Brussels sprouts are primarily propagated by seeds.

As we can see, Brussels sprouts are a long-growing crop. For those of you who live in cooler climes such as hill stations, you can give this crop a go, and reap the rewards of your harvest. Use this sweet, crisp vegetable in your salads, or as a light snack on their own, with the satisfaction of having grown them yourself!

NOTE: You can buy brussels sprouts seeds from our online garden store – the best place to buy seeds online. We deliver anywhere in India.

Happy Gardening

How To Grow Cabbage

Cabbage

Common Name: Cabbage

Indian Names: Gobhi (Hindi), Muttagose (Tamil), Khosu (Kannada)

Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea

Vegetable Type: Cruciferous

Varieties: The different varieties of cabbage according to the different types are given below

  • White: Spring Greens, Dutch
  • Red: Ruby Ball, Red Acre
  • Savoy: Vanguard, Savoy King
Cabbage field

Cabbage field

The cabbage is a plant which is closely related to the cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and other cole crops. This plant is prepared in a variety of forms across various cuisines. It is rich in vitamins C and K, and dietary fibre. Over half of the cabbage produced in the world comes from China, as it is a very popular vegetable used in their cuisine. Let’s take a look at this vegetable’s main features.

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How To Grow Cucumber

How To Grow Cucumber

Common Name: Cucumber

Indian Names: Kakdi (Hindi), Sautekayi (Kannada)

Botanical Name: Cucumis sativus

Vegetable Type: The cucumber is actually a fruit.

Varieties: Slicing, Pickling, Burpless, Armenian

The cucumber is a plant whose fruits are usually consumed fresh, and used primarily in salads. Its crunchy texture and water content make it an ideal addition to any salad. It is also one of the few vegetables which is said to have parthenocarpic varieties, which means that they can give fruit without pollination. They are actually more than 90% water, but are also high in vitamin K and potassium, along with low calorie and fat content. Let’s take a look at some of its main features.

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How To Grow Onions

How to Grow Onions

No matter how much one loves cooking, there are some things that make one feel like crying when asked to do it. Chopping onions is one of those tasks! (LITERALLY) But, never the less, onions were and will remain an important ingredient in almost everything you cook.

With this article, we will come to know about this wonderful vegetable which has the power to make you teary-eyed with a stroke of a knife.

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How To Grow Radish

How To Grow Radish

Common Name: Chinese radish, Japanese radish, Oriental radish

Botanical Name: Raphanus Sativus

Indian Names: Muli (Hindi), Mulangi (Kannada, Tamil)

Vegetable type: Cruciferous

Varieties: April Cross, Bunny Tail, Cherry Belle, Champion, Red King, Sicily Giant, etc.

Radishes are enjoyed around the world, usually in their fresh form in salads, and cooked in various dishes, mainly in Asia. They are known for the fact that their usefulness is not only in their roots and stalk, but also in the leaves as well. Their health benefits are widely documented and are extremely high in Vitamin C, B6, Potassium, Fibre, Folate, and much more.

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How To Grow Sponge Gourd

Sponge Gourd

Common Name: Luffa

Indian Names: Tuppadahirekayi (Kannada), Peechinga (Tamil, Malayalam)

Botanical Name: Luffa acutangula

Vegetable Type: Cucurbitae (Cucumber family)

Design Ideas: It is a vine like plant, so it is usually along a fence for support.

The sponge gourd, also known as the luffa plant, is famous for its inner sponge, which is used as a handy scrubber primarily for the body, or for countertops, etc. As it is not a typical garden plant, some patience is required for the proper growth and harvest of the luffa. Once harvested the it needs be dried out and the shell can be peeled off, revealing the inner sponge-like texture. It is also used widely in Indian cuisine, in both the southern and northern styles.

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Easy to Grow Vegetables: 5 Simple Veggies To Grow At Home For Beginners

Heaven helps those who help themselves

-Samuel Smile

Hey! All you folks out there who don’t have vegetable gardens, and fantasize about having your own little vegetable garden, yet are petrified with how to begin and what to grow. Read more to learn about this.

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