Red Red Beet

The beetroot is the taproot portion of the beet plant, usually known in North America as the beet, also as garden beet, red beet or golden beet.
In indian cuisine, chopped, cooked spiced beet is a common side dish. In some regions, also used with a dollop of yogurt, mildly spiced.
Him and Her got the seed packet and alloted two squares for the beets.
The leaves which are also edible ( as later reading revealed), were easy target for the winged garden visitors. 
About the  beets, there were few harvested, probably 4 per square feet. Though the size of the beets weren’t a match for those sometimes found in the grocery stores, the color and crispy freshness was beyond compare! 
And of course needless to say,organic is the key!
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Organic gardening – weed control

The boon and the bane in organic gardening is the weed/pest control.

Bane in terms of time consuming task of weeding, Him and her spending many sunny weekends bent over the garden plot.
But worth its while and more rewarding is when efforts bear fruits ( or rather -vegetables).
As part of square foot gardening,  draft planning was done to figure out the rows/squares to be cleared with priority.
Also, once the seeds were sown and the saplings say hello, theres another round of exercise that the garden ensures. Weeds grew faster than the plants that were tended to!!
Here, this pic might help to speak a few words about the weekend afternoons….Well,  for Him and Her, it was music, sweat, exercise for the body and more time together.IMG_5552

Deep rooted – Carrots

The carrot (Daucus carota) is a root vegetable, usually orange in color, though also has different other colors at times as seen in markets.

The most commonly eaten part of a carrot is a taproot.

Started from the seeds, Him and Her read up several information sites and decided to have about 16 plants per square feet for carrot. Spacing the tiny specks of seeds wasn’t done to precision, which is quite plausible.

Later readings and www helped to realize that a mix of the seeds with some grains of sand does well to space out the seeds comfortably.

Ensure to thin out once the saplings are out and about. This is required to have a “carrot” shaped “carrot”  harvest !

With the rocky terrain of the garden plot, inspite of a lot of cleaning the stones before start of gardening, there were carrots that grew around and about the stones/pebbles underground and this posed a challenge in cleaning the crop after harvest.

Heres the first bunch of harvest….Cleaned and spruced up for a picture!
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Summer days & ZUCCHINI

One of the few veggies that needs more than a square foot of space, the summer crop ZUCCHINI (Cucurbita pepo).
 
Here are a few points to note , as Him and Her had their debutante harvest of Zucchini in the garden plot. Got to see a lot of this floating on the www, which is very useful.
 
Zucchini :
  • Needs a lot of room to spread out and grow.
  • Days to harvest: 60 days
  • Grows in warm weather and grows best in direct sunlight. 
  • Once the plants have grown to a decent size, their broad leaves will help keep the area weed-free by shading out invading plants.
  • Prone to develop powdery mildew. IMG_8436
  • Zucchinis require pollination before they can begin producing fruit. If there is not a healthy population of bees, hummingbirds or other natural means of pollination, you can pollinate each plant manually. Male flowers have elongated stems with a collection of tubelike stamens inside. Peel away the petals and brush the stamens inside a female flower to pollinate it.
  • Harvest zucchini when the fruits are small  for better flavor and tender crop.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the zucchini off , to avoid damaging the plant.
  •  Produces fruit throughout its growing season.

And also read up to know that one of the culinary dishes from this crop is the famous ratatouille.