Vegetable crops can be grown in kitchen gardening in vary limited space of the residential area to meet the daily requirements of vegetables of a family all the year round. It ensures a healthy diet containing macro, micro nutrients, vitamins and bio active compounds by producing diverse kind of vegetables.
The fast food in city areas has evolved with the changing lifestyles of the young population. This fast food contributes little or no nutrient value to the diet, but instead provides excess calories and fat which affects health and resulting in obesity, loss of appetite, peptic ulcer, etc.
Vegetables play an important role to make our food palatable, easily digestible, balanced and nutritive. Vegetables grown in kitchen garden are fresh, safe, rich in nutrient and energy and superior in taste and quality in comparison to vegetables available in market for consumption.
Kitchen garden for nutritional security
The demand of nutritious vegetables is met by kitchen garden which not only improves availability of quality vegetables but also add diversity to diet, chemical free vegetables.
- It made the availability of fresh and safe vegetables all the year round.
- Efficient and effective use of land for growing of vegetables for throughout the year.
- Efficient utilization of kitchen waste and water to produce compost
- It is an excellent hobby and healthy occupation in spare time for the young and agedand a healthy recreation to the mind.
- It helps in reducing vegetable bills as there are no transport charges, middlemen’s share
Vegetables are excellent source of different vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. The source of different nutrients and phytochemicals and their health benefits of different vegetable crops given in Table 1 and Table 2.
Table 1: Nutritional value of important vegetables suitable for kitchen gardening
|Vegetables crops||Moisture (g)||Protein (g)||Energy (Kcal)||Calcium (mg)||Phosphorus (mg)||Iron (mg)||Carotene (mcg)||Vitamin C (mg)|
|Roots, Tubers and bulbs|
Table 2: Vegetables rich in phytochemicals for better health
|Beans||Flavonoids (saponins)||Protect against cancer, lower cholesterol|
|Broccoli||Indole 3 carvinol,sulphoraphane||Protect against cancer, heart disease and stroke|
|Tomato||Lycopene, Vit C, Flavonoids||Protect against cancer, fight infection|
|Onion & Garlic||(Allylsulfides)||Protect against certain cancers and heart disease, boost the immune system|
|Watermelon||Lycopene||Protect against cancer|
|Bitter gourd||Momordicin and Charantin||Diabetes, blood purifier, Hypertension, Dysentery, Anathematic|
|Radish||Isothiocyanates||Jaundice, Liver infection, Piles|
Location of Kitchen garden
Location is the most fundamental criterion for success of a kitchen garden. As most of the work is done by the family members in spare times, the location should be in the backyard nearness to the house. As far as practicable, kitchen garden plots should be located close to the well, water tap or other source of irrigation. The closer the vegetable garden and the easier it is to reach, the more you will probably use it.
It should never be located in the shady area of home which is generally not suitable for most of the vegetables. There should be enough of sunlight for major part of the day. The garden should receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day.
The soil should be fertile and easy to till, with just the right texture -- a loose, well-drained loam soil.
Vegetable crops Suitable for kitchen garden:
Due to limitation in space, vegetable crops which give better yield per unit area should be selected. The cultivars should be selected according to the suitability of the region and according to the period of sowing. The crops, varieties and the season of growing in kitchen garden are given in Table 3.
Table 3: Vegetable crops and varieties suitable for growing in the kitchen garden
|Solanaceous crops||Brinjal||PusaShyamla (long purple), Small round-PusaBindu, PusaAnkur||Kharif (June/July-Oct/Nov)|
|Tomato||PusaSheetal, PusaSadabahar, Pusa Hybrid-2, Pusa Hybrid-4, Pusa Hybrid-8, PusaRohini||Autumn-Winter|
|Leafy vegetables||Amaranth||PusaLalChaulai, PusaKiran||Spring summer and Kharif|
|Beet leaf||All Green, PusaHarit, PusaBharati||Winter|
|Fenugreek||Pusa Early Bunching, PusaKasuri||Winter|
|Vegetable mustard||Pusa Sag 1||Winter|
|Cole crops||Cauliflower||PusaMeghna, PusaKartikSankar, PusaDeepaliPusaSharad, Pusa Hybrid 2,PusaPaushja, PusaShukti, Pusa Snowball K-1, Pusa Snowball Kt-25||Early-June/July-Oct/NovMid early-July/August-Nov/DecMid late-August/September-December/January Late-October/Nov-Feb/March|
|Cabbage||Golden Acre, PusaMukta, Pusa Cabbage Hybrid-1||Winter|
|Broccoli||Pusa Broccoli Kts Sel-1, PalamSamridhi (green), PalamKanchan (purple heading), PalamVichitra (yellow heading)||Winter|
|Bulb and root crops||Onion||Pusa Red, PusaMadhvi, PusaRiddhi||Winter|
|Radish||PusaChetaki,Rapid Red White Tipped, PusaMridula (breakfast radishes)PusaJamuni (pink fleshaed), PusaGulabi Pink fleshed), PusaVidhu(white)||Mar-SeptOct-Nov Sept-Nov|
|Carrot||Tropical- PusaVristi (red, heat tolerant); PusaMeghali (orange), PusaRudhira (red), PusaAsita (black)Temperate: PusaYamdagni (orange, temperate), PusaNayanjyoti (orange, temperate)||Kharif Winter Winter and Spring summer|
|Legumes||Cowpea||PusaSukomal||Spring summer and kharif|
|French bean||Bush type (Contender, PusaParvati), Pole type (Kentucky Wonder, PusaHimlata)||Autumn and spring summer|
|Dolichos bean||Pusa Sem-2, Pusa Sem-3||Kharif and autumn winter|
|Cluster bean||Pusanavbahar||Spring summer and kharif|
|Garden Pea||Arkel, PusaPragati, Pusa GP 17||Winter|
|Cucurbits||Bottle gourd||PusaSandesh (round fruit), Pusa Naveen (long fruit), Pusa Hybrid-3, PusaSantushti (pear shaped), PusaSamridhi (Long)||Spring summer and kharif|
|Bitter gourd||Pusa Vishesh, Pusa Do Mousami, Pusa Hybrid 1, 2||Spring summer|
|Pumpkin||PusaVikas, PusaViswas, Pusa Hybrid 1||Spring summer|
|Sponge gourd||PusaSneha||Spring summer and kharif|
|Ridge gourd||PusaNutan||Spring summer and kharif|
|Cucumber||PusaUuday, PusaBarkha||Spring summer and kharif|
|Celery||Ford Hook Emperor||Winter|
|Lettuce||Great Lakes, Chinese Yellow||Winter|
|Brussels Sprout||Hilds Ideal||Winter|
|Cherry tomato||Pusa selection 1||Autumn winter|
|Other vegetables||Bhindi||Pusa A-4, PusaSwany||Spring summer and kharif|
|Bunching onion||PusaSoumya||All the year round|
Grow Mushrooms at home
Mushrooms are a healthy addition to any diet, as they are low in calories and fat, high in fiber, and contain high amounts of potassium. In addition, they are very easy to grow at home. Mushrooms are best grown indoors where the temperature and light conditions can be more readily managed. Mushroom prefer dark, cool, moist and humid growing environment.
In a house, a basement or spot under the sink may be ideal. For growing mushroom at home one may have a couple options for materials i.e. one can buy mushroom kits already packed with a growing medium that is inoculated with spawn.
Use 14 x 16 inch trays with about 6 inches deep.Fill the trays with mushroom compost materials and inoculate with spawn. Button mushroom appear within three-four weeks. Harvest them when the caps open and stalk can be cut with a sharp knife from stem. Avoid pulling mushroom which damages the surrounding one still developing. Harvesting every day results in a continuous crop for about six months.
Therefore growing of vegetables in the kitchen garden following above practices will ensure nutritional security in the urban people of our country.
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Evans, C. (2010). Kitchen Garden In: The Farmers' Handbook, "Near The House. p. 1-19.
Gabelman, W.H. and Peters, S. 1979. Genetical and plant breeding possibilities for improving the quality of vegetables.Acta Hort., 93: 243-270.
Kalia, P. (2012). Designing futuristic vegetable varieties for multipurpose. In: Winter School compendium on Breeding for higher productivity and Industry suitable food colourants and bioactive health compounds in vegetable crops: conventional and Hi-Tech cutting edge approaches (Eds.PKalia&T.K.Behera). p 1-118.
McAleese JD and Rankin LL (2007) Garden-based nutritional education affects fruit and vegetable consumption in sixth-grade adolescents. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 107: 662-665.
Partha Saha1, Namita Das Saha2 and BS Tomar1
1Division of Vegetable Science, 2CESCRA
ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi 110 012