When and what to plant – Know the season

 
Print Friendly
WHEN AND WHAT TO PLANT

Understanding the need: What to plant and when? is one of the biggest challenges one faces when it comes to organic gardening. Growing organic is all about growing along with the nature so that the plants use the best of the resources and climatic conditions available during the season to grow and nurture plants. This reduces the efforts and costs incurred while still giving you best of the results.

In simple terms the climate prevailing in a climate zone has a direct impact on seed germination, growth and yield.

CROPPING SEASONS IN INDIA

India has many growing seasons due to prevalence of high temperature through a long period. The agricultural crop year in India is from July to June. The Indian cropping season is classified into two main seasons.

KharifOriginates from Arabic language where Kharif means autumn. Karif crops are sown at the beginning of the south-west monsoon and harvested at the end of the south-west monsoon.
Sowing seasons-May to July.
Harvesting season-September to October
Important crops: Jowar, bajra, rice, maize, cotton, groundnut, jute, hemp, sugarcane, tobacco, etc.

Rabi: Originates from Arabic language where Rabi means spring. Rabi crops need relatively cool climate during the period of growth but warm climate during the germination of their seed and maturation.
Sowing season-october-December
Harvesting season-February-April
Important crops: wheat, barley, gram, linseed, mustard, masoor, pea and potatoes.

Besides the kharif and rabi crops, there are certain crops which are being raised throughout the year due to artificial irrigation.

Zaid: Originates from Arabic language where Zaid means to prosper.
Zaid kharif crops are sown in Aug-Sept. Harvesting in Dec-Jan.
Important crops: rice, jowar, rapeseed, cotton, oilseeds.
Zaid rabi crops are sown in Feb-Mar. Harvesting is in Apr-May.
Important crops: watermelon, toris, cucumber, leafy and other vegetables.

Looking for organic seeds and garden supplements?
Shop for 100% organically grown plants and seeds from crazygardener.in. Available exotic varieties, heirloom seeds and organic garden supplements affordable low cost. FREE shipping for seeds.
Your purchase contributions go towards nurturing the plants

PLANNING YOUR VEGETABLE GARDEN

Three things you need to be aware of when planning your vegetable garden.

  • Know your climate zone
  • Follow the planting calendar
  • Be aware of the conditions

Know your climate zone: Climate zones are generalised the fact that seasons can change quickly and may arrive early or late or not at all. We all know that we live in a high temperature zone through a long period. Hence choose the best plants for your area and the ideal sowing time.

The planting calendar: The planting calendar or sow chart below should help you in planning if you are in India.

Sowing Chart

Month North India South India
JANUARY Brinjal Lettuce,Spinach, Gourds, Melons, Radish, Carrot, Onion, Tomato,Okra,Brinjal, Bean
FEBRUARY Applegourd, Bittergourd, Bottle gourd, Cucumber, French Beans, Okra, Sponge, Gourd, Watermelon, Spinach Same as January
MARCH Same as February Amaranthus, Coriander, Gourds, Beans, Melons, Spinach, Okra
APRIL Capsicum Onion, Amaranthus, Coriander, Gourds, Okra, Tomato, Chilli
MAY Onion, Pepper, Brinjal Okra, Onion, Chilli
JUNE All gourds, Brinjal, Cucumber, Cauliflower (Early), Okra, Onion,Sem,Tomato,Pepper Gourds, Solanaeceae,Almost all vegetables
JULY All gourds, Cucumber, Okra, Sem, Tomato Same as June
AUGUST Carrot, Cauliflower, Radish, Tomato Carrot, Cauliflower, Beans, Beet
SEPTEMBER Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Peas, Radish, Tomato, Lettuce Cauliflower, Cucumber, Onion,Peas,Spinach
OCTOBER Beet, Brinjal, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Peas, Radish, Spinach, Turnip Brinjal, Cabbage,Capsicum,Cucumber, Beans,Peas, Spinach, Turnip, Watermelon
NOVEMBER Turnip, Tomato, Radish, Pepper, Peas, Beet Beet, Eggplant, Cabbage, Carrot, Beans, Lettuce, Melon, Okra, Turnip
DECEMBER Tomato Lettuce, Pumpkin, Watermelon, Muskmelon, Ash gourd, Ridge gourd, Bitter gourd, Bottle gourd, Cucumber, Chilly, Cabbage,

Be aware of the conditions: What you grow also depends on the stretch of your growing season, the amount of sunlight your garden gets and the size of your planting space.  Having a lot of shade would limit the varieties you can grow where in sunny gardens will offer more alternatives.  Certain gardens only get enough sun at certain times of the year.  Hence be aware of the conditions and plan your garden to get access to enough sun and increase the variety of what you can grow. Remember agriculture is all about harvesting suns energy.

Our ancestors have made amazing discoveries by living along with the nature. Once such factor is the auspicious sowing during Amavasya. What we think as an auspicious factor is indeed scientific this is known as farming by moon or simply the moon calendar. Will write about this in detail in my next blog.

I believe my post was useful. Feel free to share your comments

Looking for organic seeds and garden supplements?
Shop for 100% organically grown plants and seeds from crazygardener.in. Available exotic varieties, heirloom seeds and organic garden supplements affordable low cost. FREE shipping for seeds.
Your purchase contributions go towards nurturing the plants

இப்பதிவை பகிரவும் (Share this page):
Share

Sowing your seeds

 
Print Friendly

The Joy of growing plants from Seeds – Sowing seeds

Now that we have learnt the basics lets get to the real activities one by one.

Preparing the soil  to sow the seeds: If you are sowing your seed in ground ensure the soil is well loosened to a depth of few inches. We all know this method its called ploughing. Why is this done? It is to ensure the early roots from a budding sprout is getting its way easier through the soil. Ensure to clear any kind of large rocky structure. This method is already done in a pot by preparing our well loosened potting mix. The sandwich layering method further enables the roots to spread and grow better.

Coming back once you have loosened your soil water the soil evenly. Ensure the soil is moist not soaked. Remember this initial watering is set the base for the seeds first growing condition.

Next is the distance between each seed. Remember just like us the plants and their roots need space to grow and branch out. As we had learnt earlier the primary source of food for plants comes from the leaves and the raw materials from the roots. A healthy plant with a well branched both above and beneath the soil will give you a decent yield. So plan the space between each plant from seedling stage.

shop.crazygardener.in

In urban pot gardening with the lack of space we would like to grow more in less space hence an even more careful  planning is required while sowing seeds. Visualize your plants when they grow up a 9×9 growbag would be ideal for a sapling but not be ideal for a larger plant. Hence if you do not plan to transplant a sapling I would recommend a standard 12″X12″ growbag.

Dont over crowd the growbag even if it is a larger one, remember plants do need their space. May be the example table below should help.

Plant No of plants/ 12″X12″ growbag
Chilli, Okra, brinjal, bottle gourd, ridge gourd, snake gourd, sword bean etc Not more than one per pot.
radish, carrot, beet not more than 5 per pot
cowpea, broad bean both creeper and shrub, beans, other small creepers 2 per pot
Greens, coriander etc  30 seeds/ enough for 2 harvests

if planting a single seed ensure it is in the middle or if you plan to use a ollas watering system ensure the seeds is at least 3 inches away from the edge of the pot. In case of multiple seeds other than greens give a space of minimum 3 inches and in case of greens give a space of minimum 1 inch away from the end of the pot/ growbag.

Depth the seed should be sown in is always a debatable question. Remember a seed normally should be sown twice the depth of the longest part of the seed however the maximum depth should not exceed more than an inch. Example a normal okra seed is almost round in shape and is around 4 to 5 mm  in its longest part so it needs to sown at a depth of 10 mm which is less than 1/2 an inch deep, but when it comes to seeds such as bottle gourd, sword bean are longer in length and the 1 inch rule should be applied to these seeds. Remember when the sprouts start they need to push through the soil to peep out and too much of depth may make keep them in the grave for ever.

shop.crazygardener.in

When it comes to micro seeds such as the greens/ coriander just sprinkle the seeds and cover them mildly with few couple of mm of soil. Gardeners used to mix these seeds with river sand or potting mix and sprinkle them which does the magic of even spread and top coverage in one go.

Once watered cover the pots with a news paper and keep watering mildly once a day even in summer on top of the paper. The news paper acts as a mulch and also improves the humid condition required for the seed to sprout. For ground garden a mulch may be used but it is not really important.

When all things go well you should witness your seeds sprouting from day 3. However there is also a season for every plant, a grow period and sowing time for each seeds. Now that’s a different topic all together we will discuss that in the coming days.

Until than Happy gardening.

Warm regards

Crazy Gardener

shop.crazygardener.in

இப்பதிவை பகிரவும் (Share this page):
Share

Know your seeds

 
Print Friendly

Know your seeds

Growing plants from seeds is an exciting activity when it comes to gardening. Its a slow process but the benefits are worth the process. Unlike saplings plants grown from seeds tend to adjust to the growing conditions very well. The amount of care needed is way less compared to a sapling. When nurtured and cared from their birth they tend to become immune and also provides a good yield. This is going to be one big article but I assure you that the knowledge you gain in the end is worth your time.

We have heard many technical terms when it comes to seeds. We will look at those terms in brief in this article. This is a vast subject and I am trying to consolidate all in a small post so providing link to external articles as well. If you find any of these links not working kindly let me know.

The types of seeds: There are many internal classifications but we are going to only look at the broad overviews. In general seeds are broadly classified into 2 types namely

  • Angiosperms aka enclosed seeds: Enclosed seeds are the ones that are formed and protected inside an ovary base. They mostly are inside a fruit. Most of the vegetables and fruits fall under this category.
  • Gymnosperms aka naked seeds: Naked seeds generally lie exposed on the surface of a scale. examples include rice, maize, greens, almost all flowers.

The seed generation process is a technique used by farmers and other commercial organisations to generate commercially viable seeds for mass crop production. Before we go into the details get to know the basic classification

Heirloom:

Heirloom seeds come from open-pollinated plants that pass on similar characteristics and traits from the parent plant to the child plant. There is no concrete definition that every gardener uses to define heirloom plants. In general, you should consider heirlooms to be seeds that are possible to regrow and pass on from one generation to the next.

One important thing to note for heirloom plants is whether they are organic or non-organic. In most cases, heirloom plants are organic because they are generally only used by small-scale gardeners who do not use pesticide or other harmful chemicals. However, there may be minor cases when chemicals do get involved since heirloom plants do not always have a similar level of innate protection that hybrid and GMO plants provide against diseases and pests.

Remember, heirloom refers to the heritage of a plant, while organic refers to a growing practice. They are two different things.

Hybrids: Hybrid seed is seed produced by cross-pollinated plants. Hybrid seed production is predominant in agriculture and home gardening. Hybrids are chosen to improve the characteristics of the resulting plants, such as better yield, greater uniformity, improved color & disease resistance. Hybrid seeds will produce similar plants, however the seeds of the next generation from those hybrids will not consistently have the desired characteristics.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO): GMO seeds are produced using sophisticated and very expensive lab techniques (like retroviruses and gene guns). With this they manipulate and combine the DNA of species that could never, ever breed in nature.  GMO technology allows us to “play God” in a way that even Mother Nature hasn’t dared.

Combining or splicing together genes from different organisms in the lab (without actually sexually breeding them) is known as recombinant DNA technology, and the resulting organism is said to be “genetically modified,” “genetically engineered,” or “transgenic.”

RoundUp-Ready crops are plants that have had their DNA manipulated with bacterial genes to withstand heavy, repeated applications of the herbicide RoundUp, also called glyphosate.

Read through this article for more information.

Heirloom, Hybrid or GMO?

There are some distinct differences that one should be aware of when it comes to heirloom, hybrid and GMO plants.

Heirloom plants: The only ones that breed true. As mentioned earlier, this means the same characteristics are passed on from generation to generation. The same cannot be said for hybrid and GMO.

Hybrid plants:  Produced when different varieties of plants are cross-pollinated, which can happen with or without human intervention. Because there are different varieties of plants involved, it can’t be guaranteed that the offspring of hybrid plants produces identical traits as the parent plant.

Both heirloom and hybrid plants can be viewed as natural occurrences.

GMO plants: GMO plants, can only be produced using unnatural methods such as gene splicing. Scientists essentially modify a seed’s DNA to ensure the resulting plant produces the desired traits and characteristics.

shop.crazygardener.in

The crop modification process used in Hybrid and GMO seed production is something unique. Rather than me briefing it I would encourage you to read through the article here for knowledge base. For those of you who wish not to skip my blog here is a picture borrowed from the site 🙂

Organically produced seeds are pure native varieties and also treated and stored using traditional methods making them viable even after years. With appropriate soil conditions and traditional methods organic seeds can give you a decent produce for a longer period.

So what’s organic? Organic produce is not generated with synthetic pesticide and is much lower in overall pesticide residue. The widely used herbicide Glyphosate (Roundup) is not used in organic produce. The seeds are not treated with toxic hexane. Read through the below table to understand the difference between organic and non gmo.

Method Organic Non organic
is GMO NO NO
usage of synthetic pesticides NO YES
roundup herbicides NO YES
hexane NO YES
sewage sludge NO YES
Growth promoters NO YES
Chemical boosters/ Soil promoters NO YES
Natural boosters/ soil promoters YES NO
Seeds treated with chemicals/ preservatives NO YES

Hope this article helped you in understanding the basics of how organic seeds are produced. Let me know your thoughts on this article.

shop.crazygardener.in

இப்பதிவை பகிரவும் (Share this page):
Share