Want to grow nutritional veggies at home? Here is exclusive info on Nutrition Garden in India that’ll guide you in the right way!
Vegetables play a vital role in providing significant vitamins and minerals. The best part is you can grow them on your own and enjoy the nutritious and organic harvest. Check out this article that will help you in creating a Nutrition Garden in India according to your convenience.
Nutrition Garden Layout
The most important factor for creating any garden is the availability of space. If you have a home garden, then you can easily grow all the vegetables there. Prepare it by removing weeds and rocks. After leveling and plowing the ground, dig pits, and drainage ditches.
In case you are living in the apartments and running short of space, then balconies, window boxes, and terrace offer a feasible option for a container garden.
While sowing seeds in the garden, always keep spacing of 18-36 inches between the rows. The degree of spacing can vary depending upon the type of plant.
Before planting, make sure the soil is free from stones and debris. Plow the soil thoroughly. You can add cow dung manure or compost to enrich the soil quality.
In the case of container plants, prefer potting mix soil. Prepare it yourself by mixing equal parts of peat moss, potting soil, vermiculite, and perlite/sand.
Since most of the vegetables prefer 4-6 hours of direct sunlight, design the garden accordingly. For instance, tomatoes, peppers, chilies, and cucumber require 5-6 hours of direct sunlight. For plants that prefer dappled, bright sunlight, you can use sheer curtains. Avoid places that have permanent shade due to trees.
For apartments, South or West facing windows and balconies will do the trick.
Depending upon the vegetable you are growing, the pot size may drastically vary. For example, if you are growing chilies, herbs, garlic, and ginger, then opt for 10-12 inches pot. But for growing tomatoes, gourds, eggplant, or mangoes, consider picking 18-20 inches pot.
Coming to the material of pots, people often use wooden and plastic planter for decorative purposes. Still, it’s wise to go for terracotta or clay pots, as their porosity prevents the waterlogging condition and ensures better aeration.
Note: Whatever the container you choose, it should have at least one drainage hole to let excess water skip.
Vegetables like carrot and radish respond well to direct outdoor sowing. Tomato, pepper, or eggplant prefer planting indoors, then later transplanted in the garden.
For container gardening, add a layer of sand at the bottom to promote drainage. Then, fill the pot with potting mix, leaving some room at the top. Sow the seeds in the soil and cover the seeds with soil three times their diameter. Label them and mist the seeds regularly. Cover it with plastic for better germination.
For garden plants, water deeply and thoroughly twice a week. But, reduce this rate in winter by watering only once a week.
Container plants, especially vegetables, are more susceptible to water loss, so pay a little more attention. As a thumb rule, check the water need by poking finger, one and a half-inch in the soil. If it feels dry, then water it deeply until it escapes out of the drainage hole.
Note: You can use the water left after rinsing the rice on the plants, as it works as a mild fertilizer and assists in beneficial soil bacteria growth.
Best Vegetables for Nutrition Garden in India
Spinach- Vitamin A, B, iron (October-February)
Turnip- Vitamin A, B, C (October-February)
Amarnath- Vitamin A, C, iron (March-June)
Sweet potato- Vitamin A, C, potassium (July-October)
Cabbage– Vitamin A (October-February)
Coriander– Vitamin A, C (October-February)
Broccoli- Vitamin A (October-February)
Kale– Vitamin A (October-February)
Garlic- Vitamin B, phosphorus (October-February)
Tomato– Vitamin C (March-June)
Chilies– Vitamin C (March-October)
Cauliflower- Vitamin C (October-February)
Bitter Gourd- Vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, iron (March-June)
Onion- Vitamin C (October-February)
Care Guide for Vegetable Garden
Cow dung manure and compost are the best supplements for the optimal growth of vegetables. Nourish the soil with fertilizer before transplanting or sowing. You can also use fish emulsion or manure tea every 2-3 weeks in the growing period.
Many vine vegetable plants like cucumber, tomatoes, beans, and gourds need support as they grow. So provide them the support of trellis, fences, or stakes.
Mulching is done to help the soil retain moisture and stay weed-free. You can mulch both the container and garden soil with leaf molds, bark, compost, or straw.
Note: To keep the temperature of potted soil balance, keep the pot inside a bigger container, and fill the space with a water-soaked crumpled newspaper.
Pest and Diseases
Vegetable plants are susceptible to aphids, powdery mildew, and Downy mildew. So, take preventive measures like choose pest-resistant varieties, and avoid keeping the plant in soggy soil. Apart from that, you should snip off the infected parts from the plant and apply the neem oil solution near the soil.
Harvest the vegetables when they are fully ripe, especially tomatoes and gourds. But some plants like Pumpkin, chili, colocasia tubes, and onions are an exception and should be harvested before they attain full ripening. Harvest the root vegetables, when they are tender; otherwise, they become stiff, hard, and lose their best taste.