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 :)

Growing Rajma/Red Beans May 31, 2010

Filed under: Organic Farming and Kitchen Garden — rajapanda @ 2:28 pm
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Yup, you heard it right. I grew Rajma this time.

I had picked up a packet of red beans seeds from the last Namma Santhe, just out of curiosity and my love for legumes and creepers, which is what this variety of read beans . Little did I knew that red beans is just another name for what are more commonly known as kidney beans or locally known as Rajma.

The seeds are of Nati variety and a tad smaller size compared to what we get in shops.

I seed started on March 14th. The regular process i follow is, one night of soaking in water followed by discarding the ones which do not bloat probably indicating poor seeds and am all set to seed start.
The medium is a mix of coco-peat and compost. Mostly in 60:40 ratio. Adding compost to the seed starting mix keeps me bother free on the nutrient requirement of the seedlings even if they were to grow in the small plastic cups for little longer.

On the 2nd day after seed starting 80% of seeds had already germinated and were showing up the cotyledons.
Here is a pic on 21st of March, thats just 7 days from seed starting. They are already big enough to be transplanted to soil or bigger pots depending on what one choses.

rajma seedlings 7 days old

The seedlings the above pic are probably little bit taller than what would be considered as ready for transplant stage and that’s because they were in a shaded place all the while and were looking for sunlight making them taller than usual.

Transplanting is pretty easy and neat if you are seed starting in a cup of this size. Make space roughly of the size of cup in the growing medium.


a gentle tap or two at the bottom of the glass after inverting it and the seedling will be out in your hand with all the root intact and unaffected.

transplanting -2

Put the seedling in the hole and fill soil.

transplanting -3

April 5th (21st Day). The seedlings have now grown and are looking for support. So, here is the trellis. The small bamboo poles used for trellis are available with most of the bamboo sellers int the town. I bought these from Madiwala market. I also tied up small cotton strings from the poles to the base of individual plant, just to guide them onto the trellis.

trellis made of bamboo poles

April 8th: The plant has already found the way to climb up the trellis.

on the trellis

April 22nd (38th day); plant at it’s best and has already climbed a height of 6 ft.

red beans

Now nowhere to go it starts it journey downwards and stops growing further. I get a sense if the trellis was longer or if there was something it could have climbed on the plant would have grown longer and robust.

In between 38th day and 76th day i.e., it flowered and the beans started appearing all over the plant.

Here is the harvest on 30th May. They beans were left to dry up on the plant. In the picture right you can see the various stage of growth of the beans: the white one on the right top is from from the green beans, the pinkish ones on the left of the white are little riper, then on the bottom are the mature ones but yet to dry up and on the plate you see the dried ones. Looks like very little harvest, right ? Well it is, but we soaked them overnight before making curry and they made for one nice curry serving for two of us.

rajma harvest

harvest - 2

rajma after one of soaking

In the meanwhile my papaya plant has been very kind to me and is steadily gaining stardom in our apartment as one of the sweetest people have ever tasted. I have harvested almost 40-50 of them in the past 5 months. One more good news is we are kind of self sufficient in veggies for almost past 2 month’s now, buying only potato,Onion,Garlic and ginger from outside. There is Okra, Brinjal, Round radish, Chilli, Bitter gourd, cucumber, methi greens, mint, lettuce, indian spinach, spinach, sweet pepper, coriander, string less beans, capsicum, tomato,carrot all growing very nicely and giving us a steady harvest for the last 2 month’s. But winter has already set in for our kitchen garden and there is less sun these days(only 30% of the space gets sunlight). It will remain like this for the next 4 month’s 😦


papaya - 2