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Best winter vegetables to grow in gardens at home in India
Summer isn’t the only time when you can see beautiful flowers and veggies all around you! Fruits and vegetables do have a tough time adjusting to the harshness of winter that does knock knock at the doorstep in November. But nature has its way around this & gifts your eyes with the loveliest of blooms! Don’t let the chill in the air make you forget to visit your garden. Many people don’t think of November as the season for gardening, but there’s always something to do or harvest in your garden.
Roadmap to perfect vegetable garden to grow in winter in India
Beetroot [Beta vulgaris] - Best vegetable for winter in India
How about some crunchy Beetroots eh? The best period to sow them is August to November. They grow best in loamy soil with pH levels in the range of 6.0 – 7.5. If the soil is heavy clay, rocky, hard or alkaline, mix in an inch or so of compost. Adding small amounts of wood ash might come in handy due to its abundant potassium that enhances its growth. Optimum temperatures for growth and development are 15°C to 18°C. Although beetroot is a cool-season crop, it is tolerant to high temperatures, if soil moisture is adequate. The plant can withstand moderate frosts, but growth will be affected. They should ideally receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Beets are an excellent source of Folate, Manganese, vitamin C, Vitamin A and Potassium.
Easy vegetable to grow in winter - Bottle gourd [Lagenaria siceraria]
Being a winter season vegetable, planting Bottle gourds is usually done between November and January in India. Sandy loamy soils rich in organic matter with good drainage and a pH ranging from 6.5 to 7.5 is suited for bottle gourd cultivation. They grow well under temperatures ranging from 25 to 35ºC. Even under low-temperature conditions, Bottle gourd plants can thrive if they have gained the necessary growth before winter has set in. The optimum germination temperature is between 20 – 25ºC. It requires an area that gets 6 hours of sun each day. So, look out for that spot in your garden this November. The harvesting season begins after 2-3 months of seed sowing, and it continues for about 6-8 weeks. Bottle gourd is a vegetable high in water and is a rich source of vitamins C, K and calcium. It helps in regulating cardiac activity and reduces the level of bad cholesterol. The juice extracted from Bottle gourd has great benefits for diabetic patients such as stabilising blood sugar levels and maintaining blood pressure.
How about a Grape [Vitis vinifera] this winter season?
Time for some juicy sour balls. Grape vines can be planted in November. Loamy soil is the best choice for growing grapes. One can also prepare their garden soil by mixing it with sand, silt and clay and blending them in the right amounts for growing grapes. The overall optimum temperature for grapevine growth is 25 to 32°C. When the temperature falls below this optimum range, the growth of grapes becomes limited & when they rise above the optimum range, it reduces the photosynthesis of grape vines since their rate of respiration increases. Grapes do best with full sun – about 7 or 8 hours per day. Harvest is generally spread out over two to three months & will add beautiful aesthetic appeal to your gardens. Grapes contain high amounts of Copper which helps in energy production of the human body and Vitamin K which is essential for blood clotting. They also contain Thiamine, Vitamin B6 and Riboflavin.
Tulips [Tulipa gesneriana] for winter season in India
Tulip bulbs can be planted in November giving your garden a fresh smell of fragrance. The soil must be well-draining, neutral to slightly acidic, fertile and dry or sandy. All tulips dislike areas with excessive moisture. Tall varieties should be sheltered from strong winds. The ideal temperature to grow tulips is below 55℉. Tulips require full sun for the best display, which means at least 6 hours of bright, direct sunlight per day. Most tulips need between 12-15 weeks before harvesting.
Excellent pick of winter vegetable to grow in India - Broccoli [Brassica oleracea]
Broccoli is a cool-season vegetable & is suggested that they are planted when the conditions are cooler in your garden to witness the best results, preferably between Sep – Nov in India. The growth of the broccoli plant will get affected by the high temperature of the summer months. So, now would be the right time to add them to your garden! Growing broccoli is done best in soils that are well-drained with a texture between sandy and clay loam. Broccoli does best when temperatures remain between 40 – 70℉ & would like to grow in a shady but sunny spot. Combine this with 5-7 hours of sunlight a day & it is a perfect spot for Brocollis to grow. It takes 80 to 100 days for broccoli to go from seed to be ready to be harvested. Broccoli is high in many nutrients, including fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium.
Rose, Dahlia, Chrysanthemum & Sweet Peas are some of the best flowers to be grown in your gardens in India during the month of November.
Never say never! No time is too late to start anything in your life & that too a garden with its refreshing looks and warm feel would never make the list. Check out our picks for your gardening plans this November.
Apart from the awesome list of plants which we have curated above consulting with the vegetable planting calendar of India, other vegetables like Tomato, Radish and Peas can also make excellent additions to your gardens in India.