Organic Kitchen Gardening and my personal musings

This blog is about my experiments with Organic Kitchen Gardening and sometimes about other personal experiences of my life… Please leave a comment about anything that touched you. Comments help to keep the blogger motivated to keep blogging :)

Experimental growing and harvest of Onion and Carrot July 29, 2009


Any kitchen gardener probably loves harvest time the most, and am no different. Over the period of past 3 month’s, I have been gardening, I have developed a liking for harvest which is spread over a period of time and doesn’t come in one shot. The joy of having somethig to pluck from your own garden every morning is just awsome.

For almost a month now I have been harvesting cucumber, about 1 every day. That’s just from 4-5 plants and inspite of almost half of the cucumber being destroyed by aphids at early stage. But am not complaining, I have got my share of cucumbers and thoroughly enjoyed the good harvest along with few of my friends 🙂

Moving over to Onions and Carrot, these are two items I had planted just on an experimental basis not expecting much in return. Carrot seed packet was bought from Lalbagh. They were so tiny and fragile looking and came with a reputation of not easy to grow, I had almost given up until I decided to give it a try by putting just few seeds and not wasting too much space on them. Germination ratio turned out to be pretty good. For the next 2 month’s the plant kept growing spreading this lovery green color and one had no way to find out how big the carrots were underneath.

Carrot plants

Carrot plants

Ultimately my patience ran out last weekend and I pulled them out. Here is what i got:

carrot harvest

carrot harvest


carrot harvest

carrot harvest

Probably they needed li’l more time… May be the right time to harvest carrot is just after the plant has flowered. I have already planted the next batch of carrot and hopefully they will see a better fate…
These tiny little carrots tasted very good though, and Zoya got the majority share

Zoya... Wants all the carrot harvest for herself

Zoya... Wants all the carrot harvest for herself

for behaving good all this while and not doing anything silly to the carrot plants. She is just mad about raw carrot’s, and loves lot of other veggies raw, like tomato, Squash and cucumber (Oh Yes!! she had stolen few of them from the garden).

Onions – Sometimes the nati variety (the smaller local variety) of Onions which we get from market start growing buds on them if kept unused for a longer period. This is exactly what happened with one batch of onions bought for our normal household use around 2 month’s back. My wife suggested i put them in our garden and I obliged. Over the past 2 month’s these onions plants have grown very well.

onion plant

onion plant

Lot of times we have harvested onion leafs by plucking few leaves from each plant selectively and carefully and taking care not to uproot the plant. However while doing our harvest on last weekend one of the onion plant got uprooted and we were in for some pleasant surprise. The single onion bulb has grown into this lovely bunch of tiny onions. The onions are now almost ready for harvest and probably will be consumed over next 15-20 days. I learn that once the onions have reached the desired size, watering should be stopped for a while ( a week??) to allow them to dry out under the soil and then the harvest should be done.

onion harvest

onion harvest


onion harvest

onion harvest

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11 Responses to “Experimental growing and harvest of Onion and Carrot”

  1. Pretty neat and detailed description as usual! Useful information for fellow newbie kitchen gardeners! Quick question on carrots – how many plants did you plant in one pot and what size pots ?

    • rajapanda Says:

      Thanks:)

      First time I had done the mistake of putting 3-4 seeds in one seed starting cup. While transplanting, was cautious about transplant shock and hence planted all of them together. Result is, these not so straight carrots.
      Would suggest you to put 1-2 seeds in each seed starting container and maintain space between them. If you are planting them directly then try to maintain at least 4-5 inch distance between two seeds. Depending on the size and shape of the container you can arrive at the number of seeds to sow. See to it that at least 10″ inch of uninterrupted growth can happen downwards into the soil for carrot (just in case you pots are narrower towards bottom)
      I have planted them in the soil directly.

  2. geekgardener Says:

    Raja,

    Excellent post and great harvest. I liked the color of the Carrot. Bright vibrant orange. Is the soil too tight/compacted?

    Happy gardening.

    • rajapanda Says:

      Thanks GG,

      I think the soil is loose kind. However its gets very tight when not watered for few days.

      Regards
      Raja

  3. Binita Says:

    Hi Raja,
    Can you please provide me directions to reach DoH, Hulimavu..

    Binita Mehta

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Binita,

      Thanks for stopping by my blog. DoH is on Bannerghatta road. Once you cross IIM keep an eye for Meenakshi temple which will come to your right side. DoH is just 2-3 buildings before Meenakshi temple. You can take a U turn just in front of Meenakshi temple and come back those 2-3 buildings to reach DoH. Sign board of Coconut Development Board, just next to DoH is very prominent from the road. Hope that helps.

      Regards
      Raja

  4. Jnaneshwar Says:

    You are right – stop watering the onions before the week you harvest. Looks like they are onion shallots. If you are growing bulbs you could scrape off the soil around the bulbs to grow bigger bulbs. Just mind the roots!

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Jnaneswar,

      Probably you are right, they are onion shallots. That’s what we call locally as uli onions or desi onions.

      Thanks for the nice tip on growing onion bulbs, i’ll try it this time.

      Regards
      Raj

  5. Trupti Says:

    I am liking the concept of kitichen garden and have currently planted some methi and corriander in pots. wanted to know more about planting carrots. Carrots look great . Want to get some seeds and plant them the try.

    Regards Trupti

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Trupti,

      That’ great. From my experience i can give you these precautionary advises:
      1. Make sure the soil is not very heavy and clay.
      2. Sow the seeds thinly, since the seeds are so tiny that we often tend to sow them too densely and it will require thinning later for good growth.
      3. Ensure good light for the plants.

      Wish you good Luck

      Regards
      Raja

  6. Ashok Says:

    Hello Raja. Great Harvest on those carrots! But the growth looks stunted. Next time when you sow Carrots, try to plow the earth a little deeper. About 10″ is fine. Carrot family needs loose soil below to grow freely. Best of luck !


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