Growing Organic Vegetables

indexThere is something wonderful about being able to grow your own vegetables that are free from harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Vegetables bought from the store are not necessarily fresh, and do not taste as good as the ones grown at home. A good option is to grow organic vegetables at home, as it only requires some patience and time.

Organic food is that which is allowed to grow naturally without adding chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It is very good for health. All those store-purchased vegetables and fruits which are not labeled as ‘organic’, contain synthetic chemicals and fertilizers which are used for their growth, and for repelling pests. These vegetables are, therefore, greatly altered in taste, and do not have any of the natural flavors that they are supposed to. So, the decision of organic gardening for your home is a very wise one.

Growing these Vegetables at Home

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Growing Corn

indexThe aroma of sweet corn being roasted or steamed, wafting through your kitchen on cold winter days is enough to warm your heart. Fresh food brings to the table unmatched flavor, taste, and aroma, fresh corn is no exception. Before we get down to the basic steps for growing it, let’s learn a little about plant itself.

Corn Plant

A large crop plant, corn is a very popular vegetable. Its cultivation dates back to 8,000 years ago. Primarily, a native annual grass teosinte, it has been domesticated into an edible fruit. The 20th century saw a jump in its production, as people were getting more interested in the health benefits it offered, as a whole vegetable, as well fresh or dried grain. A large number of cultivars and hybrids were introduced in an attempt to yield more uniformed, better quality, and disease resistant crop. The type we see today is evolved from the teosinte plants that had the largest amount of edible seeds. Unlike its originator, the teosinte, which had very fragile seed compaction, the developed corn is tightly bound to the cob. The individual grain is known as a kernel, made up of hard and soft starch. As it is a monocot, the grains are present in an even number of rows on the cob, which is tightly wrapped in leaves called the husk, and pistillate flowers known as silk. The husk is generally discarded before cooking.

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Growing Spaghetti Squash

spaghetti-squash-august-11Spaghetti squash belongs to the species of Cucurbita Pepo and is a variety of winter squash. The alternative names for it include noodle squash, vegetable spaghetti, spaghetti marrow in the UK, fish fin melon in China, and gold string melon in Japan. There are widely three varieties of this vegetable: ivory, yellow, or orange. The flesh or the inside of the vegetable is not of these different colors; only the color of the rind varies. Although these come in different varieties and colors, the taste of the vegetable is more or less the same. It cannot be eaten when raw, and one must know the method to cook it. There are different methods of cooking it; it could be either baked or microwaved, or it could be boiled or steamed. Once cooked, it needs to be scraped or scooped out using a fork. After the removal of seeds and voila, you have ready-to-eat spaghetti strands. Have you ever thought of growing this noodle-producing vegetable in your garden? It is indeed a healthy option for those who crave for noodles and pastas. The nutrition facts indicate that it could be categorized as a deserving low calorie diet. That should be a good reason for someone to add it to their vegetable garden.

How to Grow It?

Spaghetti squash is usually planted in the garden as it requires a lot of room to grow. When these reach at a height of 6 inches, they are left on the trallis to grow comfortably. Some also prefer the plant to just be the way it is and not spread on the trallis, and place a straw under the vegetable to prevent it from rotting.

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Growing Brussels Sprouts

maxresdefaultBelonging to the family Brassicaceae and genus Brassica, the plant develops sprouts, small heads resembling miniature cabbages along the axils of each leaf. This seasonal crop is frost resistant and grows best during winters or in slightly frosty weather. Brussels sprouts require a long growing period and when planted during late spring to early summer, it yields healthy, high quality sprouts as the weather begins to cool. Given below is the proper way of growing these sprouts in your home.

These sprouts are tolerant of nearly all soil conditions, except acidic soil. A firm nitrogen rich soil having pH levels between 6-6.5 is best for their growth. Before sowing the seeds, dig some organic content in the soil, to retain its moisture retention properties. The most preferable time to sow the seeds, is during mid spring to late summer. Hence, sow the seeds in small pots, and after the seedlings are about 6 inches in height or 5-6 weeks old, plant them in your garden soil. Add fertilizer and water while planting, and try maintaining the temperature up to 75°F for best results. The sprouts dwell well in sun or partial shade, and since they are top heavy, keep them from planting in areas that have strong winds.

Sprouts that are about 2-2.5 cm in diameter or ones that have started developing yellow lower leaves, can be picked. Cut them off the stem and remove all the loose leaves. Don’t let them grow too large, else they may start cracking, and become bitter. You can also pluck them, by taking off the yellowing leaves, and gently twisting the sprouts off.

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How to Plant Potatoes in a Garden

garden7Potato is one of the most staple foods in the human diet, which is loved by people of all age groups around the world. These crops grow underground, but they are not roots. These plants belong to the group of storage stems, which is labeled as tubers. They come in more than hundred varieties, and the white (very light brown) and red-skinned ones with white flesh are commonly found in home vegetable gardens.

Tips for Planting Them

Potatoes are very easy to grow; you just need to have a little bit of patience. Of course, you need to take proper care of seed tubers or potatoes; these can be obtained with the help of garden companies’ sites on the Internet, or you can directly buy them at local garden centers.

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