Understanding Seeds

A lot of videos that I have seen online recommend using seeds from our kitchen for planting, especially when it comes to vegetable seeds. But before you do this, just understand the two basic types of seeds.

Type I: Open Pollinated or Traditional method: “Open pollinated” generally refers to seeds that will “breed true.” When the plants of an open-pollinated variety self-pollinate, or are pollinated by another representative of the same variety, the resulting seeds will produce plants roughly identical to their parents.

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Type II : Hybrid Seeds: Hybrid seed is a seed produced by cross-pollinated plants. Hybrids are chosen to improve the characteristics of the resulting plants, such as better yield, greater uniformity, improved color, disease resistance, etc. An important factor is the heterosis or combining ability of the parent plants. But the most important point to note is that the seeds of the next generation from those hybrids will not consistently have the desired characteristics.

Hence I request you to take into consideration the fact that most of the vegetables that we purchase today belong to the Hybrid category. Using seeds from such vegetables may or may not result in production of the vegetables of the desired characteristics. It is best to buy seeds from a trusted source/Brand. However if you’re experimenting, I think using seeds from kitchen is a great way to learn without spending much 🙂

Note: Please do not confuse hybrid seeds with genetically modified seeds. Genetically modified seeds are absolutely different category of seeds. Hybrid seeds are good and do not have any harmful qualities.

Disclaimer: None of the images in this post belong to Reema’s Garden!

Easiest Plant To Plant… The Eggplant!

Hello Friends, Bloggers, Writers, Photographers, Gardeners and Farmers..!! Missed you all so much!! Can’t believe it’s been more than 6 months since I last posted an article. By the way, my last article was on tomato; did you try it?

If you ever thought that tomato was a bit cumbersome task with planting and replanting; here comes the most easiest  plant to plant! The Eggplant!! 🙂

Believe me when I say, you have to do nothing for growing this plant. Just spread the seeds on the soil and its over..!! You don’t believe me right? Lets go step by step.

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You need a pot which is at least 6 inches in-depth. That’s how long the roots grow. Bigger than that is great but not smaller than that!

Fill it with mud. Now spread the seeds on the soil. Please don’t press or dig them into the soil.. Sowing methods are different for different seeds.. The easiest one is to scatter/spread them on the soil.  This is how the seeds look…

Eggplant Seeds
This image does not belong to Reema’s garden.

Now sprinkle some water on the seeds.

Keep sprinkling water 2-3 times a day for next one week. Also (if possible) do not place the pot in direct sunlight.

The seeds take around 4-7 days to germinate.

The fun begins now!!


As you must have noticed these are very young plants. You just have to water them regularly and keep adding compost every 10-15 days.

The Buds start to appear in a month’s time. Have a look.

Once the buds develop, you’ll soon have flowers. They are really beautiful flowers. Mesmerizing indeed!

Once you have the flowers, the flowers will slowly wither and make the way for the fruit. Here’s a look.

And then you have the fruit.. Yaayyyy!!!

That’s it! HAPPY Gardening!! Ending this post with my favorite Pic.

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LA TOMATINA

Tomatoes are the easiest plants to grow. They grow very fast and You don’t have to worry about pollination!! 😀 🙂  Your Tomatoes are ready in just 3 months!! So let’s start.. 🙂

Take a pot that is longer and wider in shape.

Fill the pot with mud

Add little water to make the soil moist

Now spread the tomato seeds on the soil. Please don’t press or dig them into the soil.. Sowing methods are different for different seeds.. The easiest one is to scatter/spread them on the soil.  This is how the seeds look…

Now sprinkle some water on the seeds

Keep sprinkling water 2-3 times a day for next one week. Also (if possible) do not place the pot in direct sunlight.

The seeds take around 4-7 days to germinate.

The fun begins now!!

After the saplings have grown 7-10 inches its time to separate them and replant them in bigger pots/containers.

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It will take around 20-30 days for your plants be this tall. When you notice your plant growing more than 8 inches know that its time to replant them. These are the tomato saplings that I made for my friends and relatives. 🙂

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Fill these pots with soil and compost. Plant the saplings minimum six inches below the surface. Now this is the crux. If you plant the sapling just 3-4 inches beneath the surface you’re going face a lot of problems later on.

The tomato stems tend to develop roots on them. So the roots keep growing along the stem and if you have planted the sapling just three inches under the soil.. The plant is going to tilt & bend and it will need a lot of support.

So the only highlight point of this post is plant the saplings minimum 6 inches under the surface!!!

And then all you got to do is wait and watch. Water them regularly. Keep adding compost once in 15-20 days. And in just three months you’ll have your tomatoes!! No more buying tomatoes from market 🙂

That reminds me, we all have different consumption rates when it comes to tomatoes but a general norm says you need to have 3 plants per family member in order to not buy any tomatoes from the market!

Have a look at the beautiful tomato flowers..

Baby tomatoes…

Fully Grown Raw tomatoes

Raw, Semi-ripe and Ripe Tomatoes

And the last one is me with my little tomato plants (they all are really huge now) ;)!!

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And This one’s for you….

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Let’s Have Some Fun.. Let’s start Farming :)

DIY Project 1: Growing Coriander/Parsley/Celery

If you have never grown anything at home… Coriander is the best to start with! The advantage of coriander is that they germinate easily and quickly and are ready in 20-30 days. Quick results and low (rather no) maintenance make it the best one to start with!!

So let’s start

You need a small pot, soil, Coriander seeds and some water!! That’s it!!

Fill the pot with mud

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Coriander Seeds..!! 🙂

Add little water to make the soil moist

Now spread the coriander seeds on the soil. Please don’t press or dig them into the soil.. Sowing methods are different for different seeds.. The easiest one is to scatter/spread them on the soil.

Now sprinkle some water on the seeds

Keep sprinkling water 2-3 times a day for next one week. Also (if possible) do not place the pot in direct sunlight.

The seeds take around 4-7 days to germinate.

After one week of sowing it is enough if you water them just once in a day.

In another 20 days your coriander is ready 🙂

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I love this image! Can you notice the bigger leaves in them? They are spinach. Oh You got it right.. Its the naughty sparrow’s Job !!

P.S : Please don’t use the seeds available with the grocer which are used in cooking. They’ll germinate but will not give you the desired outcome..!!

MOO!!

None of the discussions on gardening/ farming/ organic produce/ manure/ composting is ever complete without talking about COWS!!

Cow dung and urine are considered one of the most elite sources of compost. Cow dung is rich of minerals and bacteria cultures which turns the soil very fertile. However there are many ways in which we can apply this cow dung to the soil. I’ll be discussing a few of those methods. Cow dung can be added to the compost bin/pit as well. There is no right or wrong way of application just a better way.

The first method that I am going to talk about here is called

AMRUTJAL (literally translated as NECTAR-WATER)

For making AMRUTJAL we require

1kg of fresh cow dung

1 liter of cow urine

10 liters of water

50 grams of jaggery

Now all you have to do is add all of the above contents in a container/bucket, mix them all thoroughly, cover the container and keep it aside for three days. During these three days you have stir the mixture (clockwise and anti-clockwise, 12 times each) three times every day. Fourth day onward you can use this mixture.

How to use: Dilute the above mixture with water in ratio of 1:10 i.e. for every one liter of mixture you can add 10 liters of water and use it to water plants. This acts as an excellent compost for plants.

Here’s a video for reference!!

VC : Amit Dharamsi

MULCHING

Mulching is nothing but covering the soil around the plants with dried leaves/grass or coco peat. Such a covering stops water from getting evaporated and helps to retain moisture in the soil. Mulching is very beneficial in the winter and summer season.

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This is just a reference picture. This doesn’t belong to my garden.

After sometime the leaves start decaying and get converted into compost. This improves the fertility and health of soil.

Mulching also reduces the weed growth around the plants thereby saving all the nutrients in the soil just for the plant.

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This is just a reference picture. This doesn’t belong to my garden.

Mulching is ideal for slightly bigger plants. You can also mulch the soil around bigger plants by planting smaller plants around them. This may not add to the fertility of soil but it definitely help to retain the moisture in the soil and reduce the weed growth.

Composting – 4

How will you know if the compost is ready?

It normally takes around 3 months for the composting process to get completed.

You know your composting process is going well when you can sense a slight heat in your compost bin.

Also slowly the contents will start turning black. When all the contents in the compost bin have turned black, the compost is ready.

Composting – 3

Some Dos and Don’ts :

  1. Maintain the Air and Moisture level in the compost bin : Adding more of green waste increases the moisture and thereby a possibility of stink and insects. However a correct level of moisture ensures that there is no stink. The microbes (bacteria) need air (oxygen) in the process of decomposing. Unavailability of air (oxygen) slows down the process. Hence it is advisable to stir the entire contents twice a week once the compost bin is 50% full.
  2. If you are covering the compost bin please ensure that the cover has holes in it for ventilation. You can also tie a cloth for covering the bin.
  3. If there is a lack of dry leaves and surplus of kitchen waste; you can dry the kitchen waste in sunlight for a day or two and then add it to the compost bin.IMG-20160825-WA0023
  4. All the materials added to the compost should be finely chopped/crushed.
  5. Put uncooked waste only (at least in the initial stage till you get familiar with composting).
  6. Egg shells are fine but do not add any meat.
  7. Avoid putting any kind of seeds in the compost.
  8. Do not add any citric fruits like lemon to the compost. (I’ll write about other ways in which you can use these citric fruits)
  9. It is advisable to add some ready organic compost to the compost bin as this ready compost contains bacteria culture. This will ensure the speedy conversion of the waste into compost.