A few days back, I was watching Martian movie on the television. The conviction with which the hero cultivates potato on Mars is pretty amusing to see. Remember his lines, “They say that once you grow crops somewhere you’ve officially colonized it. So, technically…I colonized Mars.”
Any person who has a keen interest in gardening can surely relate to his little moment of happiness when his efforts actually became a reality. Gardening for beginners is a series of tryouts. No matter how many times one fails but a single flower or a single fruit nullifies all the setbacks in this journey. The satisfaction of consuming literally the fruits of your hard work is indeed immense!
Kitchen gardening per se refers to both indoor and outdoor set up inside the house. There are many advantages to having a kitchen garden. Firstly, that one gets to consume the freshest of the produce. Secondly, one doesn’t have to worry about how organic or synthetically developed the veggies are. Sustainable isn’t it?
Start with growing herbs.
Here are some herb suggestions apt for Kitchen Gardening with some tips:
Coriander: For growing coriander, soak the seeds overnight or crush them into halves. After which insert the seeds in the soil gently and lightly shower them. The time required for the first harvest is around 20 days.
Carrom Plant (Ajwain): The seeds have multiple uses as a flavouring whole spice and as a homebound remedy for various problems related to stomach and more. But did you know these ajwain seeds have a beautiful ornamental plant! This plant with small leaves is pretty easy to maintain.
Mint: Mint plant is a very aggressively growing plant. This plant too is easy to grow. One leafless green stem of mint when placed in the water develops roots in a few days. This can finally be transferred in a pot. The plant required a little more water than other herbal plants. The best part about growing mint is that it repels house flies.
Curry Leaves (Meetha Neem/ Kadi Patta): It is an essential ingredient in food preparation from Southern India. The curry leaves the plant is a perfect balcony plant. As a contrast to mint, this plant is a slow grower. Regular plucking results in more number of leaves.
Holy Basil: It is one of the most common herbs in India. The plant can grow in height but if one intends to grow inside then a smaller plant needs to be selected.
Bay Leaf: One of fundamental whole spice used in many cuisines is a shrub. It is easy to grow but it tends to become very large. Regular pruning can ensure that it can be grown in the balcony.
Thyme, Oregano, Sage & Rosemary: All of these lovely herbs that are essentials of Italian cuisine are quite adaptable. They can be grown in different pot sizes and can be repotted or propagated by using a cutting method.
Lemon Grass: This is an interesting herb that can be used both for flavour and aroma purposes. It can easily be grown with the help of seeds or by propagating the fresh ones in the water.
Fennel (Saunf): Fennel plant is best grown by seeds. Soak the seeds for a few hours and then wait for them to sprout. These can be then potted 12-18 inches apart in preferable 8 inches or bigger pot. The flowering starts after 90 days and the plant itself needs good sunlight for growing. It is an aggressively growing plant and has ornamental value also if maintained properly.
Fenugreek (Methi): Fenugreek is very easy to grow from seeds. Soaking, and then planting the germinated seeds can result in a good batch of Fenugreek. This plant needs a good amount of sunlight. Spinach, on the other hand, can be grown in the same manner but it requires less sunlight.
Hope the information in the post is inspiring. This is the first post of ‘learning the basics of Kitchen Gardening series’. Very soon, I will be writing more stuff in the same regards. So get your hands dirty and working to grow a lovely herb kitchen garden. Be the ‘Martian’ of your own micro-universe. Happy Gardening!
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