ACTIVITIES

Kitchen & Roof Top Gardening

HOME GARDENING (Growing organic food at home)

VEGETABLES GROWN IN HOME GARDEN AT AOL ASHRAM ,BANGALORE
What is Home Gardening?

Home gardening can be considered as a hobby, a relaxing escape from the pressures of an urban environment. Growing fresh vegetables, herbs, or fruits provides a great sense of joy and accomplishment can also reduce the family’s food budget. The main reason of home gardening is that, vegetables grown in the home garden are superior in taste, quality, freshness, vitamins & minerals to vegetables from super market.

Home gardening is to utilize space available in and around the home like terrace, Banglow open space, galleries, porch, walls, gates where sunlight is available for growing vegetables.

Benefits of Home Gardening:-
  • The main objective of having a home garden is to have uninterrupted supply of organic quality vegetables for the family throughout the year.
  • Home gardens are grown naturally, one can be assured that no chemicals are added that are harmful to the crop, the consumer, and the environment, so we can avoid long term sickness.
  • Practice of home gardening can save money on vegetables and save tne time of fetching them from the supermarket & be stress free.
  • This saves money, time & fuel.
  • Planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting add purposeful physical activity to our regular life
  • Gardening is also a way to relax, de-stress, improve concentration, get fresh air and sunshine.
  • Children also can take part and improve their knowledge and skills in environmentally sustainable gardening.
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 wellrotted com-post 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.


VEGETABLE CALENDER

Months Vegetables
January Snake gourd, Pumpkin, Ridge gourd, Bitter Gourd, Brinjal, Tomato, Beans, Cucumber, Radish, Chilli, Carrot
February Cabbage, Bottle gourd and all other crops mentioned for January month
March Cabbage, Onion, Knol Khol, Bottle gourd, Radish, Snake gourd, Beans and all types of leafy vegetables
April Beans, Bitter gourd, Cucumber, Bhendi, Carrot, Cabbage, Aspharagus, Leafy vegetables.
May Tomato, Onion, Brinjal, Chilli, Bitter gourd, Pumpkin, Potato, Coriander
June Beans, Chillie, Cluster beans, Ridge Gourd, Basalia, Brinjal, Cucumber, Cowpea, Onion, Tomato, Carrot, Knol Khol, Bottle gourd, Bhendi, Peas, Radish, Coccinea, Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, Curry leaves, Papaya
July All the crops mentioned for June
August Tomato, Turmeric, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Potato, Beans, Pumpkin, Chilli
September Carrot, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chillie, Knol Khol, Cabbage, Radish, Bitter Gourd, Bottle gourd, Palak, Leafy vegetables
October Potato, Palak, Carrot, Garlic, Knol Knol, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brinjal, Beans, Peas, Leafy vegetables,
November All the vegetables mentioned for month of Oct and Tomatoes
December Radish, Carrot, Potato, Chillie, Water, Yam
Leafy vegetables can be grown round the year