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Sekhar

My Kitchen Garden

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My Kitchen Garden, errm [img]http://www.gourmetindia.com/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif[/img] , no make that [b]our[/b] (so I can blame every one else for poor results ;) ) kitchen garden has been producing somewhat OK results. Some pictures:

[center]Flowers bloomed (and are blooming):[/center]
[center][img]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3312/3601845562_7ccf67414b.jpg[/img][/center]

[center]Fruit:[/center]
[center][img]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3352/3601035419_5fb3aced9c.jpg[/img][/center]

[center]Pudina:[/center]
[center][img]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3342/3601252527_9cecffbfb6.jpg[/img][/center]

[center]Mirchi (first):[/center]
[center][img]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3364/3601860972_8e92bf4dc0.jpg[/img][/center]

[center]Not Black yet, not the phone Berries:[/center]
[center][img]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3615/3601050581_ef60a2cfd9.jpg[/img][/center]

[center]What self respecting southie can avoid:[/center]
[center][img]http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2477/3601855468_30a0568460.jpg[/img][/center]

Last, but not the least, my favorite flower:
[center][img]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3658/3601866892_8c249f98c6.jpg[/img][/center]

:)


So, what's blooming and growing in your kitchen garden? :) Edited by Sekhar
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[quote name='Sekhar' post='12687' date='Jun 6 2009, 06:15 PM']My Kitchen Garden, errm [img]http://www.gourmetindia.com/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif[/img] , no make that [b]our[/b] (so I can blame every one else for poor results ;) ) kitchen garden has been producing somewhat OK results. Some pictures:

So, what's blooming and growing in your kitchen garden? :) [/quote]

:) Sekhar, beautiful garden and great shots. I live in townhome so can not plant in yard...planting in pots is ok but this year either Squirrel or rabit is eating out everything..They chopped out my Easter lilies..I lost my initiative to plant veggies....Some mint and Krishna Tulasi is growing in pot.Also I will be visiting India so no gardening this year.

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[quote name='lady_on_recipe_hunt' post='12689' date='Jun 6 2009, 11:03 PM']I live in townhome so can not plant in yard...planting in pots is ok but this year either Squirrel or rabit is eating out everything..They chopped out my Easter lilies..I lost my initiative to plant veggies....Some mint and Krishna Tulasi is growing in pot.Also I will be visiting India so no gardening this year.[/quote]

LOHR, thanks! [img]http://www.gourmetindia.com/public/style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif[/img]

We recently acquired some Krishna Tulasi from a family that went back to India (Chennai and Hyderabad) and are nurturing it, carefully, very carefully.

We have squirrels,[b] and[/b] birds, and even stray dogs and cats to deal with (we kinda live in the suburbs along I-16). It's actually a very small garden. We have a Labrador Retriever but she is very friendly, with the cats, dogs, squirrels..... [img]http://www.gourmetindia.com//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

Have a great trip to India. [img]http://www.gourmetindia.com//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

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Nice pics Sekhar. I too have planted a couple of tomato plants in the yard, however in NY region due to the weather conditions, mine have just yellow flowers right now like the first pic that you posted. Your plants have already started to produce tomatoes, nice. Am planning to grow some beets, corrainder and green pepper (simla mirch) using seeds; I delayed already.

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Hi Termz,

Where are you in NY region? Westchester or near New Haven? Upststate like me? Coriander & beet fine from seed, but not shimla mirch! Please get seedling from store, either FAT N'SASSY for large blocky type, NEW ACE [similar], or GYPSY HYBRID [smaller, but very good].

To speed up fruiting for pepper, toamtoes or eggplant, melon, cukes this cool year, you may choose to do the following:

Purcharse IRT76, a greenish plastic Infra-Red Transmitting [IRT] mulch. Lay it down in astrip with a seeper-soaker drip hose [optional] underneath it. Say a strip 2.5-3 feet wide and however long you desire. Tomatoes of the vigorous Indeterminate varieties ideally should be 3 feet apart, peppers almost 2 feet apart. In a 3 feet wide row, you can put 2 rows of pepper in a staggered formation.

Get a Frost Protection Row Cover rated 6 dgrees of fros for later if you wish.

Carefully cut minimal X into the plastic where you wish to insert seedling. As with carpentry, measure twice, cut once. Pin down plastic with special pins or place earth around edges [preferable].

If you are careful, you can reuse the material several years, for home use, not commercial. Plant your peppers, and you may wish to support them with tomato cages. Feed them with weak manure tea by buying a bag of cow manure and placing it in a bucket of water. Make a dilute chai from the deep liquor. You can purchase as fertilizer any of the following from Agway type farm stores:

10-20-20: 50 lbs = $21

Corn gluten, animal feed, use as weedkiller + organic fertilizer, 100 lbs =$27

Soybean meal, animal feed use as organic fertilizer, 100 lbs = $27

ALL will keep for more than 1-3 year & may be shared among 4-5 neighbors for cost-effectiveness.

Cilantro: CARIBE [see Stokes Seed, Pinetree Garden Seed], SANTO

Beet: Lutz long keeper, Chioggia see also Franchi Sementi Seeds

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GautamDa, am in upstate ny too, Albany area.
I just cleaned the weeds around the tomato and rhubarb plants last evening and put the tomato cages (I should have put the cages at least a couple of weeks ago) around the tomato plants. I noticed few tiny tomatoes already. They are the Yellow Hybrid kind. I have the seeds for the beet, cilantro and green peppers, however I haven't read the names carefully. I make one trip in the summer to shovel some free compost/manure from the compost/mulch area with a friend who has a pickup truck. This year, I also bought a big bag of Miracle grow potting mix, so that I could start the seeds in small pots. You have very in depth knowledge about gardening and food. Thanks a lot for sharing the useful gardening info. [img]http://www.gourmetindia.com/public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif[/img]

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You are most welcome. Food is an annoying distraction, plants are my life!! That is my profession, cell biology/physiology/molecular gentics of plants, not much difference these days when molecular genetics is used to dissect the metabolic pathways that affect interactions between cell walls & the plasma membrane, as in disease, root growth and rhizobial infection in legumes. Tomatoes, being an important model plant for dicots [2 seed leaves] happen to have been under the knife, so to speak since 1984! Plus I have caught a bad tomato-itis disease, with hundreds of varieties, including many kindly sent over by Suresh! Other cousins of the nightshade family interest me and perhaps most Indians as well, chilies/peppers & eggplant!!

I have a breeding project going, and would like to involve the Indian govt. because space and money is required for breeding [as it becomes a statistical ball game with Mother Nature after some time! BTW, Suresh sent me a very clever but very dirty joke re:Mother Nature & plants that I would love to repeat at this juncture but shall leave it up to him to reveal all]. You all may be interested to learn that India has the eggplants witht he highest DRY MASS [9-10%] and highest Sucrose percentage within that [27-36%] in the world. Most come from farmer varieties, open-pollinated, so continuously changing their genetic composition.

Eggplant are both an important dietary component as well as a cash crop in India & Bangladesh, and perhaps elsewhere on the subcontinent. High DM has been a dificul target to achieve; high fresh mass seen in many hybrids is a function of more and/or larger buddhoo cells pursuant to irrigation & fertilizers, not more masala stored in them. It is difficult to get the plant to become a more powerful generator of photosynthates than it is to persuade it to add cells or grow them larger. Therefore the more insipid/pheeka taste of modern vegetables compared to those from decades past, when irrigation water & and chemical fertilizers was less available.

Finally, one effect of these gorged cells is thinner cell walls & skin, making, making pests & diseases more common. In Bengal & Bangladesh, where I have grown eggplant of famous and excellent vaieties renowne for flavor, without any pesticides for 20 years of the beginning of my life, now 150 [yes you read that correctly, i have voluminous evidence, citations, e.g.
Vegetable IPM in Bangladesh
Rahman, M. M.
Department of Entomology
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University
Gazipur, Bangladesh

sprays are required for an eggplant crop of <180 days!!! This crop is so critical for my part of Bengal & adjoining Bangladesh that it is difficult to explain it to "outsiders" but think that more than 200 million lives are affected by this ONE vegetable in this contiguous zone. So too in China, but that is THEIR headache!

Consequently, I hand-searched 3397 accesssions [or varied types] of eggplant seeds stored in the National Collection of the USDA and selected just 5 to start the breedng program. The other 4 are in India but writing to the people, even at IIHR, Blore is futile;they never answer. The ARKA series marks Bangalore & PUSA marks IARI, Delhi as the Origins, Surati Ravaiya is another. As you can see from the names below, all are Indian, but the devil to get any Indian to respond although eggplant breeding seems quite high on the agenda of everyone there!

(Pusa Purple Long x Arka Nidhi) DM 7.8%, Sugar ~27%; high yield [very impt. cross made but total radio silence!]
[Uttara x CEG 052?] DM 8.3%, Sugar 24%; heat tolerance [ditto radio silence for this great cross, even from AVRDC ]

TS 1585A & TS 1594, both India, both segregating: DM 9%, Sugar 36%. [these are the farmer types, most likely to be lost as they are not fixed]

Doubtless many such excellent types still exist in farmers' hands because I have been amazed by eggplant in Kurseong (must have come from lower altitudes) that were almost sugary. How long before we lose these to so-called High-Yielding varieties that actually are not, who can guess.

Today, the government is moving away from agricultural research, delegating it to private seed companies. As you can see from the above, our much-maligned Government research institutions have produced the current best-in-the-world with respect to nutrition and total edible photosynthate yield where eggplant is concerned. Private companies will focus on fresh weight because that is how eggplant is sold retail & how farmers get paid, NOT on the basis of the DRY MASS they produce, which actually translates into REAL NUTRIENTS as opposed to water, and worse, non-protein nitrogen that may affect adversely human health [think gout, uric acid, and from it, increased risk of diabetes].

So while I criticise SOME of our ag scientists for being asleep at the wheel a great deal of the time, they also manage to do good work WHEN they feel like it. I have offered to share my very precious seeds with them, but no response!! Asleep, too much trouble! Edited by Gautam

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The first step is finding a place for your veggies. A 200 square meter plot can take care of the food stock for a family of 6. This plot should get very good sunlight for at least 4 hours every day. Tomatoes, cucumbers and other fruiting vegetables cannot grow without substantial sunlight. While sunlight is good for root vegetables like beets and carrots, leafy vegetables need more shade.

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Shekar, am impressed with you curry leaf plant. have been unsuccessful with it in India! There is no real need to grow it here, but I've always wanted to and so planted a small sapling which has stubbornly refused to grow as yet.

I have a small herb garden with lemon basil, italian basil, thyme, sage and lemongrass. Lemon basil is a pleasant surprise for me - it tastes nothing like italian basil. True to its name, it is lemony and wonderful in rasam.

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[quote name='ravum' post='12730' date='Jun 15 2009, 09:42 AM']Shekar, am impressed with you curry leaf plant. have been unsuccessful with it in India! There is no real need to grow it here, but I've always wanted to and so planted a small sapling which has stubbornly refused to grow as yet.

I have a small herb garden with lemon basil, italian basil, thyme, sage and lemongrass. Lemon basil is a pleasant surprise for me - it tastes nothing like italian basil. True to its name, it is lemony and wonderful in rasam.[/quote]

Thanks ravum, this is one of the several we have in large flower pots. It's all one big family of a plant that was given to us for safe keeping by a cousin's mother-in-law. She did not trust her d-i-l to take care of it when she went back to India after a long visit. It's been with us for about 5-6 years now. We take care to bring them inside during winter nights and take them out when it gets a bit warm in the afternoon. Seems they appreciate it. [img]http://www.gourmetindia.com/public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif[/img] Edited by Chetan

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