Growing your own organic vegetables is the need of the hour, not because you do not get vegetables in the market but because what you get are so poisonous that it is better to not consume them.
With all the ill effects of chemicals like pesticide been explained properly, most of our readers are anxious about how little space they have and how to grow vegetables in small areas.
Areas should never be thought of as a constraint, in fact after I finish explaining I wonder if you would have any constraint at all.
If you are in an apartment, don’t worry, there are ways to grow your own food there too.
From school we know plants need three things to grow
So what we do not know is that they need some nutrients that they take from the soil.
Now that we know what is required let’s get to know what has to be done.
Make a thorough study of your home for growing your own veggies
- Do you have a small patch of vacant land in the back yard? Hurray! You don’t have a reason to worry we can get all gold from there.
- You do not have vacant land but have a terrace – Beautiful! You are in on a treasure too.
- You are in the middle of the ground and the top floor in y our apartment, no land no terrace (I hate apartments for this very reason, yuck!) well, the happy part is – still you don’t have to worry!
Make a sketch of your home, plot or no plot. Find places where there is ample sunlight and places where some kind of a structure can be put up.
What should you be searching for?
- A wall where you can put some vertical vegetable growing set up.
- A parapet wall where you can place some kind of earthen or other planting pots.
- Some space to put up vertical pots.
- A roof to hang some pots.
Now! Make a list of vegetables you would be interested in growing.
For starters I would suggest (Always Indian)
Step #2. Make the Blue Print
There is a form of farming of finger millet or ragi which is called GULI method. In this the farmer actually counts how many seedlings go into planting and makes a base print of how the planting is going to be and the expected output. This method gives very high yield and is widely being tried in other plants too.
When you on a space constraint you need to practice your vegetable cultivation in a more scientific method rather than simple trial and error.
Make a gardening journal, take a pen and begin making a blue print of space available, plants you intend to be planting, number of pots required, size of pots and so on.
Draw a grid in your journal that would give a clean idea converting one square inch on your paper to one square foot on the gardening space.
Make sure you know the closest possible distance you can plant your selected plants. Use vertical spacing rather than horizontal spacing.
Step #3 – Make a Study
Study the successions possible, for this you need to know the duration of each crop. Suppose you want to plant two plants growing above ground with one in between them that grows below ground you should know when to plant the plant that is going to go in between so that you do not affect any of them.
Also check for the rotation of crops, what to plant after one is done, this will help you save nursery time. If you plan in advance you can prepare separate nursery and be ready as one crop is over.
Step # 4 Collect
So with the blue print in hand you can begin your collection of seeds, pots and planting material. Always check for an Agricultural college or Research institute in you vicinity (Speaking for Indian Locales), these are places where you get the best planting materials at throw away places.
In India you have such institutes and department almost in every district. So make sure to visit there first.
For pots, I would suggest that you buy from local pot makers, or you can buy online too.
Step # 6
Now that you have collected all the necessary things you can start, how you should do that will be continued in the next post, PART II OF GROW YOUR OWN VEGGIES
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