With lockdown forcing us to stay indoors, most of us are stuck with too much free time and nothing to do. If you are looking for a constructive hobby to help pass time during the lockdown, gardening is a great option. While you can choose any sapling to plant in your garden, growing vegetables will also help you save on groceries and get access to fresh produce.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a big garden or even work many hours to grow a few vegetables. A few minutes a day is all a kitchen garden would take. Plus, there are many vegetables which you can grow in a small pot, with minimum efforts.
Here are 10 vegetables that can easily be grown in pots:
(1) Mint: A few sprigs of mint can change the taste of summer delicacies like sauces and yogurt. Put a few stems of mint in a pot of moist soil. The plant will germinate in about a week. Just make sure that the pot is not under the direct sunlight.
(2) Coriander: Coriander is a quintessential ingredient of Indian cuisine. Sprinkle the seeds on the surface of moist soil filled in a pot and give it a week to germinate. As the plant has deep roots, ensure that the point is at least 25cm deep.
(3) Garlic: This is one vegetable for which you don’t even have to buy seeds. If you don’t want to buy seeds, just take some garlic cloves and sow them in a pot full of soil an inch apart. The plants will start growing in around two weeks. Garlic needs about six hours of sunlight every day for optimal growth.
(4) Tomatoes: This is one of the easiest plants to grow. While you can always buy tomato seeds from a store, you can also plant this vegetable by sowing a ripe tomato in the soil and watering it. It would grow into a plant in just a few days. The only thing you need to take care of is to ensure that the plant gets ample sunlight and that you water it regularly.
(5) Brinjal: Brinjal plants require moisture and warm soil for optimal growth. Hence, it is advisable that you use a clay pot to grow this vegetable and in summer months. You can plant one seed per pot as it is a voluminous plant.
(6) Spinach: This leafy vegetable is a nutritious one and is also good for health. You can add spinach in a variety of dishes to make them increase their nutrient value. They grow perfectly in shade or in areas that do not get direct sunlight and low temperatures. To cultivate four plants of spinach, ensure that your pot is at least four feet in depth and has a diameter of 14 inches. Sow the seeds and then cover them with soil. Ensure that the soil isn’t dry by watering regularly. The plants will start growing in around 10 days.
(7) Carrot: Rich in beta-carotene and, Vitamin K and C; carrots are a great addition to meals if you are looking to make your diet healthier. This vegetable can be grown easily in a pot with little effort. Get the seeds from a store and plant them around in a pot full of soil. The Indian variety of carrots are grown in October- November, though some varieties are also grown in monsoon. For optimal growth, carrots need six to eight hours of sunlight every day.
(8) Green chili: Most of us can’t imagine having our food without the spiciness of green chilies in it. This plant will grow best where there is lots of heat, moisture, humidity and sunlight. To grow green chilies, ensure that your pot is around 12 inches deep. Sow the seeds, cover them with an inch of soil and water the plant every day. The plant will take around two to four weeks before the chilies start growing.
(9) Capsicum: Capsicums need well-drained soil, ample water and regular fertilization to grow. Also, they grow slowly so one normally has to wait for around three months before the vegetable grows out of the plant. This fibrous vegetable is rich in Vitamin B6 and C.
(10) Ginger: This is another vegetable that is used widely in many Indian cuisines. You don’t need to buy seeds for growing this vegetable. Just soak a ginger root in warm water overnight and sow it in a pot full of well-drained soil. You have to ensure that the ginger root is sown with the bud pointing upwards.
Please check vegetable gardening calendar in India
While this list is not exhaustive, you can choose them if you are looking to maintain a garden with minimal effort and economically. Also, it isn’t necessary that you have a huge house to have a small garden. Gardens can be groomed in high-rise apartments as well as small flats. Balconies are as good as gardens to grow a few plants.
Also, check why it is better to grow your own organic food
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