Looking around the grocery store, you will see a lot of vegetables displayed on shelves. Cabbage, broccoli, sesame leaves, and lettuce are the vegetables that most people eat and use for cooking. As health care has become an increasingly critical issue, organic vegetables have become more popular among people. Consumers try to buy organic vegetables rather than vegetables grown using chemical fertilizers. Truth be told, however, we can cultivate these vegetables simply at home. Homegrown vegetables are much healthier than those bought at grocery stores. Park Minjee, a reporter of the Sookmyung Times, cultivated three different kinds of vegetables on her own at home.
Little World of Vegetables
I decided to plant my own crops at home, so I began with researching on markets selling seeds. Since few people grow their own vegetables at home, nearby markets and flower shops didn’t sell plant seeds. I needed to look at wholesale stores where flowers and plants are cultivated on site. Looking for vegetables, I visited Yangjae flower market. I had a variety of vegetables to choose from, but I looked for ones that would grow fast. Since seeds are hard to cultivate on a back porch, I bought seedlings. Seeds are sensitive to their environment and take a long time to sprout, so seedlings are more suitable for observing growth at home. At Yangjae flower market, I found seedlings of chili, green onion, cabbage, celery and many different vegetables. Among the wide selection, I chose lettuce, water parsley, and five different kinds of herbs. I also had to buy two packs of soil, one pack of natural fertilizer and two longshaped planting pots.
Planting, Watering and Growing
After preparing all necessities, I had to transplant the seedlings to the planting pot immediately. Seedlings wither fast if they are not transplanted to a normal planting pot with adequate soil. Next, I had to find a suitable place for the plants. Good soil, sunlight, and water are the three important necessities that make vegetables grow fast. Selecting the spot that got plenty of sunlight was the hardest thing to do. After investigating possibilities at home, I finally decided to put the pots on the back porch. Next, I emptied the two packs of soil equally into the planting pots. Then, I mixed the soil with the natural fertilizer in order to give the vegetables the best condition for growth. The natural fertilizer helps plants grow fast and absorb water easily. A good proportion of the soil and natural fertilizer is needed at a 3:1 ratio, so I had to distribute the pack of natural fertilizer carefully into the two planting pots. Next, I mixed the two different kinds of soils and started transplanting the seedlings. Each vegetable seedling was protected in a small tap, so I had to pull it out and move it to the mixture. One planting pot was for lettuce and water parsley, and the other one I used for the herbs. Because the plants should be inserted into the soil at a depth of 3cm deep, I had to tap and arrange the soil degree. Once transplanted, I watered them for the first time. It is important to sprinkle water on the surrounding soil, rather than watering the plants directly.
After 3 days, I looked for changes. I didn’t actually see any growth, but I realized that the leaves had turned a spotty green. I watered them every other day and each time, I tried to look for any difference in them. In just 6 days, I noticed the herbs had grown taller, but the lettuce and water parsley still hadn’t shown any growth. After a week had passed, their growth was still not apparent, so I tried measuring them. The lettuce was about 5.4cm, the water parsley was 6.5cm, and the herbs were between 6cm to 10cm.
After 15 days, I took my ruler and measured the vegetables again. Happily, I saw a little growth. The lettuce had grown to about 6.4cm, the water parsley to about 7.3cm, and the herbs to between 9cm to 12cm. Even though I hadn’t observed their growth with my naked eye, they had grown!
I picked some of vegetables two days later. I felt they were ready to be harvested for use in cooking. I chose the tallest ones among the plants. I picked four lettuce plants, five water parsley plants, and three different kinds of herbs. After rinsing them with water, I used the vegetables in my menu. The vegetables were fresh since I had cooked them right after picking them from the soil. Since my homemade vegetables are continuing to grow, I can’t wait to cook different kinds of dishes using the vegetables.
With Our Utmost Sincerity
Most people think growing vegetables is a cumbersome task to do at home. However, observing your plants’ growth and eating them can be a valuable experience. The reason organic food is gaining popularity is because they are free from chemical fertilizers. During their growth, organic vegetables get a lot of care and effort using only natural fertilizer, sunlight, and water. If these vegetables are grown by your own hands, they could be much fresher when cultivated immediately. Vegetables will grow rapidly every day with your love and utmost sincerity. Since planting and raising seedlings are not hard tasks, they can be a great experience and you can have own vegetables on the dining table. How about making your back porch a little world of vegetables?