First Seeds

Nature is a humongous assembly line where every being on the planet is playing an active role in the process of creation of food. Some help either pollinate or till the soil, while some eat the produce. It’s a perfectly harmonious system, where every being in the process benefits. Apart from Man, no other being alters the role that it plays. Astonishingly, when one changes its role, the entire system shakes. That is exactly what is happening now. Our intervention in this process of creation of food is leading to mass extinction of species. Man is suffering too. From never heard of ailments and diseases to the alarming rate of farmer suicides. The gentle and noble farmer is drinking the very chemicals that he sprays on his farm to end his life. Something is not right. So, should we be worried? Do you believe that, “I will only act once something happens to me or my near and dear ones?”

Today we take you to growing your first seeds: some of the most common veggies needed in your kitchen. Head to the nearest nursery or agricultural store and get hold of the following seeds: Tomatoes, Carrots & Cucumber.

Here are the ‘How to’s’ on planting and harvesting:

Things to note:
Sow each of these seeds at a depth of around 1-2 cm and water twice each day. Increase the frequency if the soil dries too soon or apply mulch to conserve the loss of water due to evaporation.

Tomatoes:
The tomato is a perennial plant in tropical areas, but is usually grown as an annual plant. The tomato plant can reach up to 9 feet tall. The stems are soft and hairy. The tomato leaves are 10 to 30 cm long. Tomato fruits are green when unripe and most varieties become deep red when ripe.

How to grow:

  • Prune off the suckers as the plant grows — these are the vines that sprout from the crotch where a branch meets the main stem. Pruning the suckers is particularly important, because it prevents them from growing unreasonably large, and directs more energy to the fruit.
  • Take care to avoid getting the leaves wet when you water the plant, as this can encourage fungal growth on the leaves.
  • Each tomato plant should be given a room of approximately 3 ft x 3 ft. You can begin to harvest in around 3 months.
  • A few beneficial companion plants are celery, basil, oregano, carrots and marigold.

Carrots:
How to grow:

  • Cultivate carrots periodically and mulch to control weeds. Keep soil evenly moist. Ensure that the spacing is correct as growing carrots too closely together will result in small yields.
  • In an area of 1 sq. ft around 8-16 carrots can be grown. Harvest them after 2 months by loosening the soil around the carrot then gently pulling from the base.
  • Plants that love carrots are tomatoes, onions and lettuce.

Cucumber:
The Cucumber is a creeping vine that roots in the ground and grows up trellises or other supporting frames, wrapping around ribbing with thin, spiralling tendrils. The plant has large leaves that form a canopy over the fruit.

How to grow:

  • Cucumbers require full sun and need at least 1 sq ft of area to grow in. They begin to fruit in 2 months time.
  • They have better produce when planted around radishes, marigold, sun flower, peas, beans, carrots and dill.

Author: Vaibhav Dugar
Me, I am a Green Warrior and yes you are either with me or against me! On paper I’m a telecommunication engineer but professionally, a farmer. Work takes me setting many-a-farms, tilling many-a-lands and playing with soil which I thoroughly enjoy. I love playing football (avidly), going cycling, watching Formula 1 and writing!

If you need company to watch Formula 1, pit stop at Vaibhav.Dugar [at] EkTitli.org

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Pooja Banwari is an Electronics and Communication Engineer with interests in reading, knitting and doing cross-stitch. At Ek Titli she assists in maintaining content on the portal. Want to create a patchwork design? You can reach her at Pooja.Banwari [at] EkTitli.org

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