Category Archives: Vegetable Gardening

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.