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 :)

The least demanding plants of my garden February 12, 2010

Filed under: Organic Farming and Kitchen Garden — rajapanda @ 6:37 am

Sometimes it so happens, the gardeners attention is mostly on the plants which he probably thinks are difficult to grow or plants he is growing for the first time(lack of previous experience) or probably the plant is spectacular with it’s produce or worse still it’s always affected by some problem or the other. But in the meanwhile there is another category of plants which just go about their job of growing nicely and bearing veggies without asking much attention from the gardener. I realize there are many such plants in my garden. I still consider myself a newbie to gardening (8-9 month’s of gardening experience is hardly any), but it’s not very difficult to judge the level of back breaking effort one needs to put for a plant to grow and do well.So, this view is based on that.

First up are chillies. Probably they are the only one’s for which i receive harvesting orders from my better half. “Aji sunte ho, thodi mirchi milegi kya aapke garden se??”. In English that translates to “Can i get few chillies from your garden”. You have rightly noted the emphasis on the word ‘your’, after all it’s a request and the more the butter the better the chances of it getting executed πŸ™‚ So, here i go, rush to the garden for few chillies. The 3 chilli plants in container almost always oblige the gardener and hardly ask anything in return. Just regular watering, they have even not seen direct sunlight in their entire life (placed in bright shade for last 6 month’s along with other containers).

Green Chillies

Earlier I had written about my pumpkin plants. Now they are flowering profusely giving me 4-5 flowers daily. Pumpkin flower is the main ingredient of one of the Oriya delicacies. The flowers dipped in rice flour batter and fried (Oriya name-Kakharu fula bhaja) are just yum and one of my favourite. They are little difficult to find here in Bangalore but sometimes one might get a few in local veggie markets like Madiwala market, probably out of question in the branded super stores.

pumpkin flowers

Potato leaves are of the greens which again taste excellent but are almost impossible to find in market. I had grown few patato plants specifically for the greens only.
patato leaves

Coriander, this too is harvested to order. Flavour of fresh coriander leafs in curry is just too hard to miss. One can almost tell the difference between home grown ones and the ones we get from market. Did i ever mentioned before, that my wife is an awsome cook ?? Well, she is. As good as they come! So, not all the flavours can be attributed to just the ingredients πŸ™‚


My mom and me had got this papaya from a nursery here on Sarjapura road in month of May 09.

papaya plant on 25th May 09

And now in just 9-10 month’s it’s taller than the first floor roof and ready to offer a continuous stream of it’s fruits.

Recently i harvested a few ripe papaya’s and they taste sweet as honey. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.
papaya sweet as honey

Had planted few yellow and red pear cherry tomatoes in a bright shade spot on experimental basis. They did reasonably well in the bright shade and kept giving me a harvest now and then for almost a month and half.
Red and Yellow pear cherry tomatoes


38 Responses to “The least demanding plants of my garden”

  1. Asha Says:

    That’s quite an interesting and very colorful assortment here.
    Anything that is fresh from the garden is so much more satisfying in every way!
    Two new things I learnt from your post is the pumpkin flower preparation and the potato leaves.. What exactly do you do with potato leaves?

    • rajapanda Says:

      Thanks Asha,
      Potato leaves can be prepared just like any other greens I believe. Fry it with li’l bit of garlic and mustard. We don’t use much oil in it and let it boil with li’l bit of water. We also add a bit of moong dal and coconut to it. You can add potatoes too, if you like .
      If you want a detailed recipe my wife would love to give it.


      • Asha Says:

        Thanks Raj. I think I will go ahead and try this with the general guidelines you gave.
        Looking forward to more posts and veggie tips and tricks πŸ™‚

  2. meenakm Says:

    Hi :

    Always great to learn about undemanding plants. I am wondering why you left out Indian Spinach…

    Nice to learn that potato leaves and pumpkin leaves are edible…In Tamil Nadu, my native place, it is a practice to draw Kolam (Rangoli – the ornamental designs drawn on floor) every day in front of the house, on kitchen counter tops etc. It takes a ritualistic flavour during the month of Margazhi (mid Dec- mid Jan) when flowers of the yellow pumpkin are placed in the centre of the kolam, supported up on the bases of cow dung balls. My memories go back to my childhood das, when i used to see this flower in the Kolams drawn in front of almost every house !

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Meena,

      You are right, indian spinach which rightly deserves a place here is indeed missing. Actually, I had written about Indian spinach some time back in another post so just left it out here πŸ™‚

      So nice to here that the pumpkin flower pictures took you back to childhood days. Life’s simple pleasures indeed !!


  3. The chillies look awesome. We also thought the same about chillies, but our chilly plants in pots turned out to be very unhealthy – they were attacked by some pests when they were young. Though they give good yield, the chillies are puny ones to be of any use. Tried manuring etc., but not much use. Where did you get the seeds from ? And what kind of seeds are they ?

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Jayadeep,

      I had got the chilli seeds from Lalbagh. The normal Rs. 15/- packet. Very few germinated from the packet though. Right now I have just 3 grown up plants in pots and they are doing reasonably well even though they don’t get direct sunlight. In fact I should probably add I haven’t bought chillies mostly for the last 2-3 months now.


  4. Annasamy R Says:


    As always very informative ones with mouth watering papaya on display. Two different emotions from people I shared the screen (on two occasions) to show the blog.

    1) From my wife, she said how purposeful time Raj is spending on outside office hours and weekends. I asked myself why did I show this blog to her πŸ™‚ Another thing is that now the parameters for searching new house (we intend to buy one soon) have one more addition that backyard should be there to have atleast few plants to have my body do exercise 😦
    All in the game, no chance I am going to share the blog again

    2) This one is from my Odisha friends in the team ; They unanimously felt that they are missing so much of native dishes made in vegetables found in their backyards back home.. Added to that they recollected how yummy it is Kakharu fula bhaja. Unlucky them, they couldn’t find these in their neighbhourhood markets.

    Keep the good work dude.. Share us the experience and also the fruits, EC is near by your place only πŸ˜‰

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Anna,

      Thanks for reading my blog and sharing it with bhabhi and your friends too. honestly am li’l flattered πŸ™‚

      It’s always good to buy a property which has a little backyard to grow some veggies. For me it happened this way. I was just doing li’l market research on properties around EC in my free time and came across this one (around 2 years back after our MBa was over and had nothing to do on weekends πŸ˜‰ ). Then decided to buy it just because of the garden and stretched every bit financially. 5 of my friends who also bought in the same apartment though didn’t chose the garden flats πŸ˜‰ Matter of personal choice one can say. As you rightly pointed out it keeps me positively occupied and takes care of my exercise requirement too. Wish you had told me about your plant to buy a flat li’l earlier. Our apartment had 12 such garden flats, but now all of them are sold out 😦 Anyway’s keep up the search. Surely you will find one. Also, some time back I had seen one such apartment near to Sarjapura circle which was on re-sale. Give me a call if you would like to have more details to make a visit.

      My garden is always open for you Anna. I do like to share the produce from my garden (my neighbours and friends will stand by that sentence) and when you visit us along with bhabhi you can surely have whatever is growing then.

      • Bala Says:

        Raja, I am your neighbor and more than anybody (other than you and Your wife and Zyo) I see your garden almost everyday, but you never shared your harvest with us πŸ™‚

        Do you have any ideas for a some flower pots in my Balcony?

        • rajapanda Says:

          Oh! oh! Bala! So sorry, I missed you… You are right. You (being my top floor neighbour) apart from my family and zoya are the one who gets to see my garden the most. The next papaya that ripes is dedicated to you!! πŸ˜€

          Surely you should start a garden in the balcony. Sun light is good there.
          Do plan to get some pots first. I’ll give you the address of the vendor on Sarjapura road from whom I had got the pots.
          We can also get some flower plants from the nursery on Sarjapura road.
          Then you can start some veggies too.


  5. Wow! That’s quite a harvest, Raja. I never knew potato leaves and pumpkin flowers were edible! That’s an interesting news. Will keep that in mind when my new veggies start growing. Great post! Love the cute little tomatoes. Sweet!

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Chandramouli,

      Thanks for all the praise πŸ™‚ Indeed it comes as little surprise to me that lot’s of people (Including my wife) do not know that these 2 things are edible.

      I must credit my mother here, who made these delicacies so often. She is the daughter of a farmer, probably that played a role.

  6. liza Says:

    this is just amazing! πŸ™‚ i’m also going to start off on some vegetables. just wondering where and how to start!

    • rajapanda Says:

      Thanks Liza! Sure you should get started, it’s definitely worth the time and hard work!
      Do you already have a garden and just want to start veggies? then i can help you out with some seeds.

      But if you want to start a garden from start then probably, pot’s and soil has to be sorted out first.


  7. Sumathy Says:

    Great work! Wow! The papayas and tomatoes look so yummy. I have made pumpkin leaves curry, but did not know that their flowers are edible, and also the potato leaves! Yeah Raj, please include a recipe topic by your wife too. Especially the pumpkin flowers, I would like to try them out.


    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Sumathy,

      Thank you so much. Pumpkin flower ‘bhajji’, as they call it here in bangalore is made just like any other bhajji except that we replace the normal besan batter with rice flour batter and instead of deep frying it in oil just fry it on a non-stick tawa.
      I am still trying to convince my wife about contributing to this blog in form of her recipes. She is quite an amazing cook! may be someday she will be convinced to write blog πŸ™‚

  8. Smruti Says:

    Immense envy happens.

  9. Smruti Says:

    I was at the Kalaghoda festival recently and spotted a stall with some nice bird houses/feeders. Its an NGO called Sparrow’s shelter. Their website is . You wanted a birdfeeder no? Check if they have something.

  10. Sumathy Says:

    Hi Raj,

    I too would be intereested to know the address of the vendor for pots. Would soon be moving to Sarjapur and plan to start gradening in my balcony:-).
    Thanks in advance.


    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Sumathy,

      Here is the adress.

      On Sarjapura road travelling from Sarjapura Circel, once you cross Wipro corporate office and Indian Oil petrol bunk (both on left hand side of road), you will come across a right turn. This right turn has lot of sign boards for way to different schools, don’t remember all the school names but ‘Primus International’ board is more disticnt among them.

      Afetr taking the right turn continue on the single road for approax 1.5 km.

      Just after the good tar road ends you will see a huge nursery (a-2 acres of land) to your left. It has a boardwhich reads Vikas Concrete blocks and some nursery name too (forgot the name). Here is number of the guy there Manohar – 9448381376.

      You will find the cement pots there to be marginally higher priced than the other road side ones, but in my opinion the quality is far superior too.


  11. geekgardener Says:

    The fact that Potato leaf can be used for cooking is totally new to me like everyone else. Thanks for sharing. I had so much of leaves back then when I had potatoes growing. But I will keep it in mind for the next crop.

    The papaya fruit you shared with us was sweetest and tastiest I should say. May your tree bear more such fruits πŸ™‚

    Keep it up!

    • rajapanda Says:

      Thanks geekgardener!!

      It’s indeed a surprise to me that so many people don’t know about potato leaves being edible. But given the fact that it’s not available in market it’s no surprise!

      Papaya is growing at it’s own pace giving me one fruit every 2 weeks πŸ™‚


  12. Sunil Says:

    I can say, you are lucky with chilly. I am having one heck of problem getting them grow. Every time its attacked and I end up loosing the plant for leaf curl virus. I am almost at end of road now. I trying to grow it one last time with help of self made panchagavya solution ( heard they increases immunity of the plant). Its me or that virus now πŸ™‚
    Hoping for some good to happen.

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Sunil,

      Actually you reminded me of the problem that am also facing with few chilli and capsicum plants too. For me, surprisingly few of them are still not infected while few others are. I hope, you succeed in the battle against those virus πŸ™‚ Do let me know if you find any organic solution for them.


  13. Sunil Says:

    Hi Raj,
    I have put too much effort to give up now, I am sure I will get something out pretty soon. I have problems with all chilli type. This time I have soaked chilli seeds in Panchagavya for 1 night before I planted them in direct soil which is now completely enriched by panchagavya. WIll let you know the result.

  14. Sunil Says:

    Hi Raj,
    As promised, here I am on the update on usage of panchagavya last weekend. There are visible changes in the diseased chilli plants, 3 of my 6 chili plants are coming out of leaf curls(new leaves are not curly anymore). This is only a start, I am not sure if it is because of the solution.
    Will keep u updated.

    • rajapanda Says:

      Great Sunil,

      Following your experience I too have started giving panchagavya more often (once in 3 days!) to those chilli/capsicum plants.

      If it gives results, that would be just great!


  15. sudhaiyer Says:

    Hey Raja
    i all set to move to a house next to you….have to see all this greenery in person!! :).

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Sudha,

      Pleasure is entirely mine and you are most welcome.
      Are you moving in to our apartment ? Which flat?


  16. Satish Dayal Says:

    Great work Raj! The papayas are awesome and the picture looks like having been created using Photoshop or some other software!! This year I have sown seeds of papaya (Pusa Nanhe). These are supposed to be very small plants, their yield inversely to their size! At least in Delhi it was a real big effort getting these seeds. They are available only from IARI and everytime I went there, the person concerned was in the field or somewhere else! Imagine travelling 30 kilometers each time for nothing. Eventually their HOD helped! I hope the results justify the effort: will try and keep you posted. I believe this particular variety of papaya is being planted extensively in Karnatak & Kerala too. If ‘my pusa nanhe’ looks even half as loaded as your papaya tree I will consider myself doubly blessed! Can your better half not provide the recipes for the potato leaves and the gourd leaves? Please try!!

    • rajapanda Says:

      Hi Satish,

      Thank you and it’s really inspiring to hear that you have worked so hard for this papaya plant. I wish you all the luck for them.
      I am sure you must have heard of the untimely demise of my papaya plant. While i was just wondering about where to get my next papaya plant from i realized that at least 10-20 saplings have come up in the place where i had thrown my compost, apparently the compost had the papaya seeds. So, am looking forward to choosing one of them and hopefully find homes for the rest.


      • rajapanda Says:

        Oh Sorry, forgot to answer your question on recipe. Potato leaves can be used just like any other greens. If you search in google you should be able to get lot of recipe on common greens preparation styles followed in eastern part of our country like in Orissa, Bengal, Assam etc.. you can add them to dal too. For bitter gourd we use a batter made out of rice just like the ones used for idly. We then add turmeric,chilly, salt etc to the batter and dip the bitter gourd leaves in the batter and fry it in little of oil on tawa. Hope that helps.

        Also, i don’t use any software for the photo editing, they are put here just as captured in the camera πŸ™‚

  17. GK Says:

    Where sis you get the tomato seeds from? Would they grow in Delhi?

  18. Hi, could you pl tell me how you finally fared with the panchagavya treatment fopr leaf curl in chilli ? Did it work ?

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