Helpful Hints for Growing Vegetables

The winter months are a great time to grow leafy and root vegetables in Delhi. Here are a few quick tips to improve the growth of these vegetables:

  1. Place the transplanted saplings in the shade for a few days while the young plants establish themselves in their new containers.
  2. Root vegetables such as carrot, radish, turnip, beetroot etc can be grown successfully in 10-12 inch pots, although the bigger the better.
  3. When growing vegetables ensure that the soil mix is fertile and porous. Root vegetables require a more porous medium than their leafy counterparts, so add more cocopeat or river sand to their mix. During the winters add sarson ki khal to the soil mix.
  4. Bear in mind that the hybrid varieties of root vegetables such as radish( mooli) tend to yield a bigger sized fruit than their desi versions.
  5. When growing vegetables in containers feed them once a week with a good liquid fertiliser such as Jeevamrutha. Also supplement this feeding with well rotted cow dung manure ( gobar khad) or vermicompost every 10 to 15 days. Leafy vegetables such as spinach, mustard and methi require less frequent feeding.
  6. As plants such as cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage grow their stems become exposed. Keep adding the soil mix around the exposed stem so that only the leaves are visible above the soil level.  Similarly the roots of vegetables such as carrot, mooli and turnips become exposed and should be treated in the same way. Doing this will promote healthier growth and a higher yield.
  7. The leaves growing at the ground level of vegetables such as eggplant, chilli, capsicum and tomato are prone to fungus attack. To protect the plant from this remove the bottom 2-3 sets of leaves. If the foliage becomes too dense then remove some of the leaves to maintain good air circulation. This helps to keep the plant healthy and disease free.
  8. Leafy vegetables such as spinach, mustard and methi can be cut and used 3 times during their growth cycle. It is then best to remove and discard these plants and sow fresh seeds.
  9. The discarded roots of leafy vegetables can be boiled in water and used as a fertiliser for plants. This should be diluted 1 in 10 before being used.
  10. When vegetables such as tomato, eggplant and okra have finished fruiting cut off the top of the plant. Plough the soil around the plant and add a fistful of well rotted cow dung manure ( gobar khad) or vermicompost. The plant will regrow in May for another cycle of fruiting.