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Start your own vegetable garden – Part III

Posted by Royal Sundaram on 14 Dec 2010

It’s time to change the habit of “buying vegetables” to “growing vegetables”. Let’s make a resolution to eat fresh, healthy greens without fertilizers and pesticides, by growing it ourselves!

In our last 2 posts of the series – Start your own vegetable garden, we taught you how you can grow some commonly used vegetables and herbs. In this post, we will tell you how you can grow ginger, garlic and chilli, commonly used for spicing up or adding flavour to our dishes.

Ginger – It is not only a spice, but a medicine as well, used in dal, gravy, rasam and the Indian favourite ginger tea. Here’s how you can grow it in your garden.

  • Ginger requires a sheltered spot and direct sunlight can be detrimental. It grows well in a warm weather, humid climate where the soil is rich and moist.
  • Look for a ginger piece which has well developed “eyes”. As rich soil is required, so begin with adding compost to soil. Plant the ginger 1 cm deep.
  • It would require enough water to keep the soil moist, but there should be no water-logging, else it can rot.
  • In a few weeks, you will notice ginger shoots appearing from the soil. It grows only about 2-4 feet in height.
  • Your ginger is ready to be used, when all the leaves in the plant have died down. This usually takes about 8-10 months.

 

Garlic – It’s often used with ginger to spice up gravy curry, dal, rasam, biryani and what not! It’s increasingly being used as a natural medicine beneficial for heart. So why not grow it in your garden, without spending much!

  • Garlic is grown from individual cloves. Each clove can produce 20 cloves. Start by selecting healthy and rich cloves.
  • Choose a place that receives plenty of sunshine. The soil should not be damp.
  • Plant each clove about 3 cm deep, 10 cm apart from each other.
  • Garlic doesn’t require much care and is pretty much self-sustaining. Water moderately, as it doesn’t require much dampness in the soil.
  • Your garlic would be ready to harvest when the leaves of the plant die away. You cannot use it immediately. It needs to be kept in a cool, dry place for a week. Dust all the soil off and your home-grown garlic is ready to use!

 

Chilli – It is a must-have ingredient for Indian cuisine, which makes our food spicy. Perhaps not a day in an Indian kitchen goes without the use of chilli. Here’s a guide of how you can get a year-long supply of chilli, for free!

  • You can get the seeds from dried-red-chilli. Choose a place that has well-drained soil and receives plenty of sunshine.
  • Mix a moderate quantity of compost in the soil and scatter the seeds in the soil, roughly 2.5 cm apart. Wait and watch! In about 3-4 weeks, tiny plants would appear.
  • The soil needs to be kept moderately moist, pour about 3cm of water everyday. Also, regularly add and check the compost!
  • You can use it in your kitchen when they grow into a big mature vegetable (or chilli!)

That was the concluding post of our series – Start your vegetable garden. Hope you had some fun in growing the vegetables! If you’d like to expand your vegetable garden, you can explore it online.

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