If you are wondering how to do kitchen gardening in India, then you are at the right place.
Kitchen gardening is becoming an essential part of our lifestyle as the uses of fertilizer and pesticides are increasing day by day, so are the diseases.
We never know what kind of chemicals are we eating with our food.
So, having your own kitchen garden where you can have your own supply of food is a great step to tackle it.
But what exactly is a Kitchen Garden?
It is simply a garden which is meant to grow vegetables, herbs or fruits to be used for one’s own house and not for commercial purpose.
And the best part is:
You can start a kitchen garden in your balcony, terrace or any other little space, simply speaking you don’t need much space for it.
And today, I will share with you all the Ins and Outs of Organic Kitchen Gardening In India.
How to Start Kitchen Gardening in India – A Guide for Beginners
Choosing the Location
The first thing is:
You need to choose a location for your garden.
Is it going to be your balcony or terrace or any other space?
Whichever location you choose make sure it gets ample amount of sunlight because that is what these plants will require the most to grow.
You can even start growing on windowsills.
But, at least 3-5 hours of sunlight is needed for proper growth.
Once you have selected the location, the second thing you need to make sure is that:
The source of water is close to your kitchen garden.
Or you have some sort of arrangement through which you can get water supply easily. Like with help of pipe or something.
What I want to say here is that, I don’t want you to carry buckets of water all the way up to your terrace. That will be very tough and not advisable.
Also note – that I’m not advising you to water your plants with the help of normal pipe because its flow is not suitable for small plants and will most probably destroy the roots.
What I am trying to say is that you can fill the watering can or spray with the help of these pipe and not have to go to the water source again and again to fill them.
When you are going to turn your balcony or terrace into a garden, there is going to be a good amount of water involved in it.
So, make sure whichever place you choose it should have good drainage system because if the water stays too long on the surface. There is going to be a seepage problem.
And that is something you wouldn’t want.
If during rain the water gets out quickly then you are good to go or if there are some places on your terrace where water takes time to flush out those places should be avoided for the garden.
You can also use an additional base over which you can place your pots in this way the pots will not be in direct contact with the surface.
Containers for your Kitchen Garden
Pots and grow bags are the best container for kitchen garden.
Some people also suggest using plastic bottles which I kind of don’t like because plastic bottles can get very hot under sunlight and the water evaporates very quickly and then you need to water it more frequently.
Also, if kept for a long period under sunlight it might even get de-shaped and cause problem.
You can use old buckets or paint buckets to grow plants but they don’t look that good and also puts a lot of weight on the terrace and are very tough to relocate.
If you were to take my recommendations:
Combination of Pots and Grow Bags are the ones you should be going for.
Grow bags is what I would recommend to have in quantity as they are very light in weight and can be easily switched from one place to another (If needed).
Make sure whichever type of container you use, put some holes in the bottom for drainage of excess water which is very necessary otherwise the water will stay at the bottom and the roots will start to rot.
The growing medium (the soil) used for kitchen gardening is different than normal gardening.
In normal gardening we only add organic compost in the already available soil and that’s it.
But for kitchen gardening (container gardening) the soil is different.
Here, the most part of it is coco peat, which is the dust that comes from coconut husk, other is compost (fertilizer) and red/top soil.
Why coco peat is used for container gardening
- It absorbs water and retain moisture for a long period of time. So, you don’t have to water it frequently
- Also, it is not stiff like normal soil so it gives the roots to expand freely which normal garden soil won’t.
- And the best part is, it is way lighter than normal soil and puts minimum weight on your terrace which is good.
You must be wondering how will I get the coco peat?
It is readily available both offline and online.
Also you can make coco peat at home easily.
Just like human plants also need nutrition to grow which is provided by adding compost in the potting soil.
For compost, you should always go for organic ones:
Either Vermicompost or Cow dung.
Essential Tools for Kitchen Gardening
There are a few basic tools that you will require to manage your kitchen garden.
You should not put bare hands in the potting soil if you have applied any type of pesticide or other rooting hormone in the soil.
Otherwise it can cause problem if you accidentally intake it.
Also for safety purpose always wash your hands after indulging with soil.
Scissor or Pruner
Pruning is one of the most popular exercises to keep your plants healthy for this you can use a sharp scissor most of the time but it might not work on a few plants.
Then you will have to invest in a pruner.
Pruning is actually cutting old stems and force growth of healthier stems.
Trowel is used for digging the soil to make room for air or while adding compost, after a certain time you will need to dig some part of the soil to make space for compost.
You don’t want your nails to be full of soil.
So, the better option will be a trowel.
For tools I don’t want to give you an endless list. You can get other tools later according to your needs but the one I told you are the most basic ones
If the place where you live gets very hot during the summer, like the northern region of India.
Then you will need to invest in a green shade as well.
Because that harsh sunlight will kill the plants and also your plants will be out of water very soon.
As it will get evaporated at a very high pace.
So, a green net is a good option to keep your plants safe.
Also it will save your plants from sudden rain as well.
How to Water
The general rule of watering in container gardening is that the top layer of the soil needs to be moist.
You only need to water when you see that the soil has got dry otherwise you can skip it.
Although the water requirement varies from plant to plant but this is something that will apply to every plant.
Also, avoid watering on the leaves of the plant.
When should you water plants?
Morning time is the best time as the sun is not that harsh and the plants get ample time to make food.
That’s pretty much all you need to make your own kitchen garden from scratch.
Now let’s move on to our final step, which is:
What Can You Grow in Your Kitchen Garden?
You can pretty much grow anything these days in a kitchen garden.
So, it totally depends upon what your family mostly indulge in.
Make a list of the things your family members mostly consume and then check the seasons in which it can be grown.
You can start with:
You can check this amazing article on easiest vegetable you can grow in pots at home.
Kitchen Gardening is fun as well as profitable. The happiness you feel while the seeds you sow turns into a full blown plant and start giving you vegetables is unmatachable.
Also it makes your more grateful about the food on your table as you know the work put in behind it.
I hope this guide helped you understand the art of Kitchen Gardening and you will be able to make yours.
If you ever run into any type of Garden Trouble then do remember this website.