Monday, July 12, 2010

Garden Update and Guess

Does anyone know what kind of squash these are?

How does my garden grow
Over the years as we have played around growing different vegetables in the garden patch, we have come to realize that a few plants are easy to grow while others are a bit harder.

Flowers of the mystery squash

Preparing the soil
Growing plants in pots has worked better than growing them in the ground. In a pot you have control over the soil whereas in the ground, the soil has to be worked mixed in with compost to loosen up the thick clay soil which seems to be the feature in most areas around here. If you are blessed with good soil just work in some compost. A compost pile is easy to make if you have an area that can be dedicated to it. A hole in the ground near your garden patch is sufficient. Add all the vegetable scraps and any organic vegetable matter from your kitchen and the compost can be used in about 8-10 months.

Zucchinis in fact have been the easiest to grow. They flower and fruit regularly. 2 plants are enough to provide fruit for the whole season. A spot that gets good sun and soil with good drainage is sufficient for these to grow. I am trying organic zucchinis this time which are not as prolific as the hybrid varieties. These do not lend themselves well to container growing. The branches fall out and tend to break. Ground seems to be the perfect for growing these.

Green beans and peas
Requires cool temperatures for the flowers to set. This requires that peas are started early (late winter) and the growing season ends by the end of June or the first few weeks of July. There should be 10 plants for beans and about 20 plants for peas for a decent harvest.

Any novice gardener should start with tomatoes. They do not need any special attention and are very rewarding. A sunny spot is all they need. Containers or the ground work equally good.

Indian vegetables - bitter gourd, snake gourd and ridge gourd
Of all the gourd the bitter gourd has been the easiest to grow. To get the seeds to sprout is the hardest job of all. Soak them in water for 24-48 hours before putting them in the dirt and keep it moist in a sunny spot to sprout. Plenty of climbing space is required for them, especially the snake gourd and bitter gourd. We prefer growing them in containers

Brinjal or eggplants
They sprout and grow quickly but are beset by tiny beetles which feed on the leaves leaving them with tiny holes all over. They require heat and a lot of sunshine.
Growing them in containers has worked best for us.

Treatment for the bugs
Blend mint leaves extract the juice, add in dish washing liquid, red chili powder and spray the water over the leaves.

Chili plants
Chili plants like the tomato plants are no fuss and grow pretty much anywhere as long as they have good sunlight.

Fertilizers and nutrition
I use blood meal and occasionally some organic fertilizer. Keep an eye out for local farms which give away horse/cow manure for free. Add them into the soil before planting and spread them around the plants as they start growing. I also save all the water after rinsing out milk bottles, rice or dal and use them for the plants.

Produce from the Garden





June 29,2010

Green beans

16 Green beans

Korean squash with green beans and Channa dal

July 6,2010

Swiss Chard

4 cups of chopped greens

Chard Sambhar

July 7,2010

Bitter Gourd

6 gourds

Bitter Gourd with black channa

July 7 ,2010

Green beans

40 Green beans

Green beans kootu


  1. Totally J of your garden :-)
    Indo, I planted organic zucchinis, lots of flowers,lush plant but no fruits. The flowers are mostly male too.
    Last year we did get some female flowers but no fruits even then.
    Any idea how to get them going ?

  2. Is it Delicata Squash? I have zucchini and I made a mistake of putting green beans in the same bed with zucchinis and the broad leaves killed the beans plants. I have tomatoes which have not yet started producing fruits.

  3. Forgot to add that they are also called Peanut squash and Bohemian squash.

  4. Whatever on earth is blood meal? Off to look it up!

  5. The garden looks amazing Indo. thanks for the idea of that solution for the eggplant bugs. facing the same problem. here the soil is not very fertile but I try to grow as much as I can. would follow your idea of using the rinse water. also the cooked rice water is good for plants. I also save the used tea leaves which I add to the soil. between what is blood meal?

  6. woooohooooo! Always a joy to look at your garden.

  7. What an awesome garden that is!
    According to my mom, that is a sweet potato squash. My sis makes sambhar from it.

  8. Sandeepa, I am really not sure. Could it be the lack of nutrition, sunshine or pollination? The hybrid varieties I have grown were so prolific that I did not know what to do with them.

    I have heard it is good to plant flowering plants that attract bees close to the vegetable garden to help in pollination.

  9. I am loving your garden posts. A great big inspiration for me. I need to fence out more space for I am planting the zukes after i read them here. harvested my first methi for some methi murgh yesterday. atleast something right ?

    can't figure out what squash that is? did you plant it?

  10. I have no idea about the squash.

    Love the fresh beautiful colour of the been and bittergourd.

  11. Wow - thats amazing the amount of produce you are able to get - well done!!

  12. wow, you have an amazing garden growing there, Indo! Very good tips too, definitely helped a new gardener like me. the mystery squash - i dont know the name but i have seen it in farmer's markets. next visit, i'll ask for the name :)

  13. BangloreBaker, thank you. I think these are indeed Delicata Squash. I did some searching on Google and compared the pictures and this fruit does look similar to Delicata.

    Zucchini and all the other squash plants have wide heavy leaves which crush down other delicate plants. I did have them on the same bed but fortunately they were away by a leaf length of the squash plant.

    Sayantani and Sra, blood meal is powdered animal blood - sounds yuck I know. It is a natural source of nitrogen and is used as a fertilizer and my neighbor did mention that it deters rabbits.

    aqua, yes it is sweet potato squash. I even love the name.

    PJ, please do ask. For now I have narrowed the search to Sweet Potato squash or what is called Delicata squash.

  14. It is the Delicata Winter Squash...I have it growing in my garden as well

  15. wow.
    looks and am sure wd taste awesome!!! i can almost taste the tautness on the skin...YUM..tey all have the real taste of that actual vegetable which i love...karela shd taste like karela and tomatoes like tomatoes..



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