Another simple method to grow Veggies at home.
The Table changing Table radish!
I am sure the title itself must have felt intriguing. Let me explain.
We sowed seeds of Table radish in portrays ready to transplant it into a grow bed. In this case, the seeds germinated in the portrays and we grew them for approximately two weeks. By then they were ready for transplant. But on a couple of occasions because of the rains, we faced extreme water logging in the grow bed and were forced to transplant the table radish from the grow bed into the pot. And so is the title of this name!
How did we start:
We got a table and filled it with cocopeat and gravel. For example and reference: 1 pot (having a capacity of 7 liters of water ), Needs: 2.5 kilos of expanded coco peat fiber and 500 grams of gravel approx.
In our case, we sued an eco-friendly grow bed made out of wood. This gave us an added advantage of height and hence an ergonomic design easy on our back. Dimensions of grow bed – 49 inches – length; 30 inches breadth and 5.5 inches depth.
For a home user a bucket, a tub or any container can work as a grow bed for plants that grow below the soil.
You can go with a growing media of your choice. We went for a mix of cocopeat and gravel in a ratio of 80:20. The block of cocopeat must be made wet and moist and mixed with the gravel. The primary reasons for using cocopeat and gravel as a medium instead of soil are:-
- No need to deal with soil-borne pests
- No need to pluck out weeds that keep growing ever and ever again in the soil
- Cocopeat retains moisture for a long duration so need less frequent watering
- Since cocopeat may get over drenched, adding gravel ensures good spaces and aeration in the root zone
Once the bed is ready with this medium; mark out the spaces for planting the table radish. Ideally, spacing should be 3-4 inches. Then transplant the germinated radishes from the pro trays to the table.
Nutrition and Dosage:
Since we are growing in cocopeat which does not have any nutritional content, it is important to provide external nutrient. We went for our in-house CityGreen’s NPK which provides a ratio of 1-2-1 most suited for root vegetables.
Ensure that sufficient nutrition is provided to these plants. Once a day, plain water and once or twice a week an NPK solution will help. Initially, the dosage for the same should not be very high. we started with 0.5ml each of N, K, and P per liter.Once the plant starts growing, maybe after a couple of weeks, the dosage can be increased to substantially help the plant grow better.
Do ensure to keep a watch to check if the plant is getting sufficient sunlight. Keep a check to spot any pests in the plants. Since our grow bed was in a polyhouse set up it was not that difficult to keep pests away. But neem oil sprays are a must have; to tackle pest problems.
Over the next month. This humble table radish went through some changes thanks to the climate and the rains!
The greatest thrill of growing something like a table radish in cocopeat is the joy of moving the cocopeat aside and viewing the radish… you can touch it too.. and that’s a very thrilling feeling.
In our research center for the next few weeks, due to the onslaught of rains, the cocopeat bed was wet and we needed to squeeze the water out of the cocopeat. Thus we had to retransplant the radish into plant pots and then re-transplant it again into the grow bed. But we ensured that the root system of the radish was intact and not tampered with too much. Thus the journey of our growing table radishes continues, and we are hoping to harvest it in a few weeks’ time.
We were blessed with a multicolor radish crop and that makes the entire experience of the journey- rewarding.
We advise you to start and assure you that the road ahead is rewarding and gratifying!
Sometimes you choose your profession. Sometimes God chooses your profession for you. For me it was the latter – The quest to find purpose and expression came in the form of my work. A connection with soil, water, growth and life.
As a kid, I would secretly wish that grown-up life was just like my childhood – running around luscious green fields, feeding the farm cows, chasing and being chased by hens, goats, cousins, the wind in my hair, the rain on my face, the smell of the earth after a rain, and the sound of non-stop laughter.
It was a sad day, when I realised that my wish was just that – a wish! Its been a personal mission for me to recreate the magic of my childhood in any way possible and contribute to clean air, smiling faces, nourishing food, happier homes all with a sense of awe and gratitude. Thus I found my way to CityGreens – here I help people sow, plant, nurture, care and harvest plants. Through plants a better home and life.
When I was not running around and playing with my cousins and farm animals I also managed to do my B.Tech and MBA.