Category Archives: Vegetable Gardening

How to Grow Onions From Bulbs

Tomatoes are a popular garden plant in the summer. But do you know how to grow an onion from the bulb?

Onions are part of the allium family, along with garlic, leeks, and chives. Like other members of the allium family, onions are grown from bulbs. Onions are in the same genus as leeks and have similar cultural needs.

Getting To Know More about Onions

Onions are a delicious and healthy addition to any meal, but their powerful aroma can overpower any dish. If you find that you struggle to get past the pungent smell, try chopping or crushing the onion into smaller pieces or cutting the onion in half and then cooking on a lower heat. Additionally, you can use cooking methods that involve steaming, which will help to remove the strong odors.

Getting To Know More about Onions

While most people think of onions as something you add to a recipe, you might want to grow onions in your garden if you have a green thumb. While growing onions is a bit of a hassle, their rich flavor makes an effort worthwhile. Onions are a biennial vegetable that is best grown as an annual. They can be grown in the ground or in a container. Green onions and pearl onions are also available from garden centers.

The Onions bulb is one of the most interesting plant structures. It is a multicellular aggregate formed by the repeated growth and division of a single cell. Some bulbs, such as those of lilies, only have a few layers of cells, while onions have several concentric layers.

Onions contain a lot of sulfur, which gives them their distinctive taste and smell. Onions lose their pungency when cooked. The chemical that gives onions their pungency is called disulfides, and these are the molecules that are broken down when you cut, crush or chew an onion. The effect of the breakdown of these disulfides is that when you cut into an onion, you liberate a gas called syn-Propanethial Sulfoxide. This gas is what gives cutting an onion its distinctive smell.

Growing Onions from Bulbs

If you’re growing onions from seed, you’ve already gone ahead and made the first big decision you need to make on your journey to growing onions from seeds: you are going to use a seed starting mix to germinate your onions.

You might have chosen to go this route because you have relatives who’ve already grown onions from seed, and they suggested it as the best way to get a head start on growing onions from seed. Or, you might have read up on homemade seed starting mixes and decided that would be the best way to go since not everyone has access to the types of seed starting mixes that are sold in stores.

Growing Onions from Bulbs

The best time to start growing onions from seed is in the spring. But if you missed the Spring growing season, don’t worry. You can still have healthy onions to grow in the garden or even in a pot on your window sill. Growing onions from seed are very easy, but it does require a little prep work. You will need a few things, but don’t worry, they are all easy to find.

  • If you’re looking to grow onions from bulbs, the first thing you have to ask yourself is whether you want red, yellow, or white onions.
  • Red onions are typically eaten raw, yellow onions are typically cooked, and white onions are typically grilled or roasted. Both red and yellow onions require planting multitudinous bulbs.
  • You’ll need to plant two bulbs per square foot.
  • You can plant them in almost any soil, but they will do best in fertile soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0.
  • If you’re planting red onions, you will need to wait until the soil has warmed up in the spring in southern states. This could be as early as February. White onions require a soil temperature of 55 degrees.

Advantage of Growing Onions From Bulbs

Onions are grown from bulbs, not seeds, so the first thing you need to do is order some onion bulbs. You can find onion bulbs in garden centers or in the gardening section of most stores. Buy the freshest onions you can find. To plant onions, make sure the soil is dry and work the soil well with a tiller, fork, or spade. Add 2-4 inches of compost or manure to the bed. In late spring, plant your onions 2-3 inches deep and 4-6 inches apart.

Growing onions from bulbs is a simple process that can be done at any time of the year. If you plant your onions from bulbs in the right way, you will see lots of onions growing from the ground. At the end of January, you can plant your onions from bulbs. You can plant them in the garden or in the house.

Growing onions from bulbs are the easiest way to grow onions,  and you can start enjoying fresh onions in as little as 8 weeks from the time you plant your bulbs. There are three primary ways to grow onions from bulbs, and which method you use depends on your preferences and how much time you have to grow your onions. The first two methods are called “sets” or “sets and transplants.” Sets are small bulbs or small, rooted plants from which you grow your onions. Transplants are small plants grown from seed, which are then transferred to your garden when they are big enough to handle the move.

Best Way of Growing Pumpkins

Have you ever heard, “To be a successful gardener, grow pumpkins” it’s an old saying. This doesn’t mean growing pumpkins are hard. In fact, growing pumpkins are very easy, comparatively growing other plants. Bury the seed and wait for the harvest as simple as it is. But you need to follow some simple instructions.

Pumpkins are a creeper, so choose a good place with lots of space for their sprawling vines and where they can get at least 6 to 7 hours of direct sunlight everyday. Pumpkins are very sensitive for cold weathers as they are warm season vegetables. So before planting pumpkin, make sure the soil is frost free. Choose a well-drained, fertile, loamy soil with neutral pH.

Pumpkins do well when the seeds are directly planted into the ground. Allow the soil to get thoroughly warmed before you plant, so let the frosts pass. If you are planning to plant pumpkins for Halloween, then they are best to plant in the end of the May month to early July.

Best Way of Growing Pumpkins
Growing Pumpkin

Once you are ready with the location, sow the best pumpkin seeds directly into the ground with 1 – 2 inches deep and water them. Germination will take place within 7 to 10 days after planting the seeds when the temperature is about 60 degree F.

Within a week period you can see the seedlings growing with their set of true leaves. Pumpkins are very thirsty plants and they need lots of water to survive. Water them deeply and make sure the soil is moisture. Do not allow the water to sit, this will end up killing the plant. As long as you water them properly the plant will grow and look healthy. Water near the stem do not allow the water to sit on the leaves, as it will bring the fungal disease.

The best temperature for growing pumpkins are 75-85 degree F in the daytime and 60-70 degree F at the night time. Pumpkins are heavy feeders so feed them with organic nutrients. Pumpkins grow vigorous and aggressively covering lots of area. To develop a strong support system for the best growth of pumpkin you need to do proper pruning. Train the vines to grow in the direction you intend to grow it. Pruning will not only allow to grow in a proper direction, but also will encourage the plant to devote its energy towards the pumpkin fruit.

After 10 week’s pumpkin will start flowering, in the blooming stage pumpkin requires lots of water and nutrients. Pumpkin flowers are big and blooms in a golden yellow color. These flower blooms only for one day and then they die. A pumpkin plant grows male and female flowers. Make flowers sits on long thin stems where female flower sits closer to the vine.

Pumpkins appear when the flower falls off. Once the pumpkins grow bigger, leave them on the plant as long as possible. To harvest the pumpkin check the skin if it is hard and the color of the fruit changes into deep shades of setting sun and also if the fruit starts to crack near the stem, harvest them. Cut each pumpkin from the stem, leaving several inches of the stem attached.

Store your pumpkins in a warm, dry and airy place and save pumpkin seeds for next year. Pumpkins can be made into sweet or savory dishes, their seeds are healthy and fun to roast. Enjoy your Halloween, growing lot bigger pumpkins.

Tips to Grow Radishes Organically

Radishes are fast growing root vegetable grown all over the world. They come in a wide range of varieties like cylindrical salad radish, large Oriental radish and rat-tail radish. They are Cherry Belle which comes in cherry shape, red in color with crispy white flesh. Another variety is White Icicle which comes in 8” long white in color. Dailon white radishes are huge which comes in 3” diameter with 18” long. Before you plant choose the best variety for yourself considering your location.

Tips to Grow Radishes OrganicallyRadishes are great and easy growing crops especially growing in fall gardening. These crops tolerate the heat of the summer and the cold of the fall and spring. It takes less than 3 weeks from planting to get mature; you can enjoy the fresh and crisp radishes less than a month. They can be easily grown outdoors, indoors and in containers.

Container Planting

Jolly Speedy Seeds, Pink Beauty and Sparkler 3 are the best varieties suitable for container gardening. For planting radish in container get 12 inch diameter pot with an excellent drainage system. Fill the container with gravel, small rocks and growing medium and make them moist. Plant the best quality radish seed half inch deep and cover it with soil. Mist the soil using spray bottle to damper the soil. Ensure that you dampen the soil and do not saturate it. Place the container in a sunny area where they can get plenty of sunlight per day. If you are not able to provide them enough sunlight then use grow lights. Water them every day but make sure you do not over water it. Seeds will start germinating after 3 to 7 days. Once the plant sets out true leaves, thin them keeping only healthy one. It takes 3 – 6 weeks to be fully matured. Harvest them and enjoy your tasty crunch crop.

Outdoor Planting

For outdoor planting ensure to choose a location where the radish can get plenty of sunlight. The soil should be loose and well-drained soil. Remove any kind of rocks over the area. You can also make raised beds for planting radishes. Check the pH of the soil, for planting radish the pH of the soil should be at least 5.8 and 6.8. and also add good compost lot of organic matter to your soil. Sow the seeds into the soil about 1/2 inch deep and 1 inch apart. Within 3 to 4 days the seeds will germinate. Once the seedlings grow to 1 inch thin them. Radishes grown as a companion plant as they keep the bugs off the plants. As a companion plant you can grow carrots, parsnips and cabbages along with them.

Water them regularly making sure not to over water them. Radishes do not require fertilizers but you can use organic food to grow radish in full balance nutrients. Harvest your tasty radish within 4 to 6 weeks. If you prefer sweeter radish then harvest them when they are in small size. Mature radish can taste more peppery.

Radishes are eaten raw or used in salads along with carrots, beets, cucumber and lettuce. Radishes are one of the low calorie root vegetable which has a good source of vitamin C. They help boost immunity system in our body and also very good for the liver and stomach.

Cucumber Planting, Growing and Caring

Cucumber is a gourd family Cucurbtacea known to be the best and fourth most cultivated vegetable around the world. It is a summer season vegetable which has a lot of health benefits especially for skin and eyes. Cucumber is a creeping vine plant which can be grown over trellises or you can leave on the ground. They are easy growing plants and also very easy to care and maintain.

Cucumber Planting, Growing and CaringCucumber can be grown outdoors, indoors and in hydroponic method. As this is a summer season vegetable, you can grow them all year around with hydroponics. Cucumbers comes in many varieties, Burpless cucumbers, Lemon cucumbers, Sweet Armenian cucumbers, Parthenocarpic cucumbers and Gynecoecous cucumbers. Choose the best variety for your garden.

Growing Outdoors:

Choose the best spot to plant your cucumbers where it can receive direct sunlight for at least 6 hours. Cucumbers grow fast in warm soil. Plant cucumber seeds directly into the soil only if the soil temperature is more than 70 to 80 degrees F. Once planted the seeds water them thoroughly to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Cover them with net to protect from birds. Soil should be well-drained and slightly alkaline with pH of 7.0.

Cucumber takes 7 to 10 days to germinate. Once they germinate water them frequently. Let the seedlings grow up to a height of 2 to 3 inches and then thin them. Cucumbers do not like disturbance so be careful while transplanting them. Keep only the healthy seedlings and plant them 1 inch deeply and giving space 8 to 10 inches apart.

If you have a lot of space leave the plant as it is or you can set up trellis for cucumbers to climb up. Water the plant regularly do not allow the ground dry out completely. Feed your plant with basic nutrients and when they start flowering feed them with bloom enhancers. Outdoor cucumbers need not to pollinate, that work is done by natural pollinators (bees).

Growing Indoors:

For indoor gardening choose only dwarf varieties or parthenocarpic varieties. Parthenocarpic varieties produce only female flowers so they don’t require pollination. Choose a big container as cucumbers need lot of room to grow. Fill the pot with small stones or gravel at the bottom for well drainage. Add a mixture of potting soil and compost. Plant 4 to 5 seeds into the container and water them thoroughly.

Place the container near sunny window where they can receive at least 6 hours of full sun. After 6 to 10 days the seed will germinate. Once the seedling set true leaves, separate the plants into each pot. Arrange for small trellis near the pot or insert a long stick so that the plant can climb and grow healthy. Water the plant everyday, do not over water check the soil if it is dry then water the plant. Make sure the water drains out thoroughly. Don’t allow the roots sit in water this will lead to root rot and you will end up killing the plant.

If you are not able to give them natural sunlight, then place HID grow lights and make sure you provide them full spectrum for 16 hours every day.

Growing into Hydroponics:

Cucumbers grown all summer long but with hydroponics you can grow all year around. Growing in hydroponic method cucumbers produce healthier and higher yields comparatively growing in soil. You can grow cucumbers in an expando drip garden, deep water culture, or in ebb & flow using Rockwool as cucumbers grow well in this systems.

Cucumbers are usually very fragile and need specific care even with hydroponic growing. The best way to cultivate cucumbers in hydroponics is usually to grow them in a Rockwool. Drench Rockwool completely and drain them. Once you drain the Rockwool push the cucumber seed into Rockwool about 1/2 inch deep and water them everyday. After 8 to 10 days cucumber will germinate and will set true leaves. Start using hydroponic base nutrients.

For hydroponics growing Choose European Glasshouse as it is the best and most popular cucumber variety to grow. It will take 60 to 70 days to harvest from planting. Cucumbers do best within the temperature 75 and 80 degrees F. Use HID grow lights for 16 hours per day. Place the grow lights above the cucumber plant for about 24 inches and move the lights according to the growth of the plant.

Harvest the cucumbers by seeing its size, color and the firmness. Cucumbers can be picked when they are medium to dark green color and 5 to 8 inches long. After harvesting you can eat cucumber raw or make salad. Pickle it or make a soup out of it. Cold cucumber soup is best on hot summer days. Use cucumber as a facial to cleanse and to sooth your face.

Best Way to Grow Hot Chili Peppers

Chili pepper is actually a genus of Capsicum and there are five great families of peppers. The most popular pepper are Capsicum annuum, which also includes cayenne, bell peppers and wax peppers. Chili peppers comes not only in red and green but also in yellow color. Yellow color peppers are great to consume when fried or used in jellies. Chilies are the second most popular food consumed across the world by quantity and it contains the highest quantity of vitamin C.

Best Way to Grow Hot Chili PeppersChili pepper plant is actually a perennial shrub grows with woody stem and blooms white color flowers. Chilies commonly grown in India because of tropical climate. Chili pods varies in size, shape, color and pungency depending on the cultivar type.

Chilies can be grown in outdoor or in indoor garden, since they just need sun, and plenty of heat, water and also a high level of humidity. Grow your own chili peppers from seeds. Buy seeds within your local nursery or you can scrape out the chili seeds from the pepper you purchased from supermarket. Dry the seeds well before you plant them. The ideal time to plant chilies are in warmer climates, for indoor gardening January or February is the best time to plant peppers.

For faster germination, take 6 to 7 seeds in a paper towel and wet them using sprayer. Seal the wet paper towel in a plastic bag and keep them in a very warm place ensure the temperature for germination should be 70 to 75 degree F. check out the seeds everyday and mist them with water when they become dry. It nearly takes 10 days for the seeds to sprout. Transplant the seedlings into a well-draining small pot using the combination of peat and perlite. Keep your seedlings in a warm place under the grow lights. Water the plant every single day and within a couple of weeks the seedling will set true leaves. Keep them indoors till it grows up to 3 to 4 inch.

Transplant your hot pepper plants into a big container and place them where they can get 6 – 7 hours of direct sunlight. Water them everyday because they need a lot of moisture. Feed them with a well-balanced base nutrients 15-15-15, while growing season and with bloom boosters while blooming season. Hot pepper plants can take 90 days to produce peppers after germination. If you are intending to grow indoors, then choose dwarf ornamental pepper varieties since this type of pepper works best for indoor gardening. Harvest chilies peppers when they are fully ripe, once they reach in their full size or change to its final color harvest them.

Chili pepper plants produce is a medicinal thing it combats prostate kind of cancer, herpes and diabetic issues, and is a natural painkiller, helping those fighting with arthritis and headaches. In addition, it speeds up our metabolism.

How to Grow Okra : Planting Guide

Okra is an ornamental and edible plant. In many countries Okra is known as ‘Ladies Finger’ and ‘Gumbo”. It is an original exotic plant and associate of highly ornamental hibiscus family. Because of its beautiful blooms it make a decorative plant which reaches up to 3 to 5 feet tall. Okra is known for its high vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate content and also for harnessing a superior fiber which helps with digestion and stabilizes blood sugar.

How to Grow Okra : Planting Guide

Okra grows well exceptionally in Southern gardens as they prefer warm season and performs best in warmer climates. There are two varieties of okra, ‘Clemson Spineless’ and ‘Perkins Spineless’. Clemson Spineless grows up to 4 – 5 feet tall and it is a heavy yielder and ‘Perkins Spineless’ is a dwarf variety that reaches upto 2 1/2 to 3 feet high.

Grow Okra from seed indoor or outdoor it does well in rich, well-draining soil. Buy best quality seeds from your local nursery or from online store. Plant the seeds in an ordinary garden soil however it will do best in fertile loam. Okra is not particular about pH level but it grows best with pH 6.5 – 7.5. Okra usually do not grow well in heavy or soggy soils.

Okra loves full sun and it enjoys warmer weather so ensure you choose the right location to plant okra seeds where it could get full access of sunlight. Sow Okra seeds in rows giving at least 3 feet space apart.

Sow seed directly into the soil not less than 1/2 inch deep in light soil and 1 inch deep in heavy soil; spacing is 3 inches apart in rows 3 feet apart. Water your plants gently after planting the seeds into the soil.

As soon as the seeds start to germinate, thin out the baby plants upto a foot apart from each other leaving the best plants. Supply them basic nutrients when they start growing about two weeks. Ensure Okra plant get the maximum amount of nutrients in the least amount of time.

Edible pods will start appearing 50 to Sixty days after planting. Pick okra when they are 3 to four inches in size. In hotter season, examine your okra plants every second day for the new growths and harvest them quickly because this will encourage for more pods. Harvest the pods using a stem so that it won’t lose their gelatinous juice.

Don’t let the pod ripen on the stalk if you need your plant to produce more. Harvest the young pods because they are more nutritious and tender. Once the plant reduces the production, cut-off the highest to one third, so that it will grow side shoots to produce more crop.

Always Wear gardening gloves and long sleeves while handling okra plant since most of the majority types have tiny spines which will irritate your skin. Harvest your pods and put them in a freezer bags and keep them in freezer to save them for further use.