It is almost that time of the year when we start craving for something more spicy than usual to match the weather outside. It is also the flu season and a time to become more immune than usual. For home gardeners, this season brings all the glory to your garden. Growing seasonal vegetables in your home garden beholds the real spirit of healthy diets. Below are 10 vegetables that flourish in monsoon season.
Please note that list is generic for India. It is best to decide on your vegetable calendar based on your local climate and in general Monsoon is good for most vegetables.
- Cucumber: Cucumbers grow well during monsoons although they do grow all around the year. Cucumber does not tolerate frost and June is the best month to sow the seeds. It is also great for health as it is low in calorie and keeps your body hydrated.
- Ridge gourd: Ridge gourd is a climber variety and grows well in humid climate. It is cooked as a vegetable when unripe and used as a cleaning sponge after it is dried.
- Sponge gourd: Sponge gourd has a similar taste to Ridge gourd and is best grown in monsoon season. June is the best time to plant sponge gourd and you can harvest it by November. In some cultures in South India, Sponge gourd is eaten traditionally around the time of Diwali.
- Bottle gourd: Bottle gourd is also a climber plant and is grown in either summer or monsoon. It has many health benefits such as regulating blood pressure, protecting from urinary infections and cooling the body. Apart from being used in cooking, interestingly it is used in musical instruments.
- Bitter gourd: The list of health benefits from Bitter gourd is endless. Grow some bitter gourds this monsoon to keep viral infections at bay. It is best grown as a climber. The veggie on the right is known as Teasel gourd and is similar in taste to bitter gourd. It also grows well in Monsoons.
- Radish: Radish is one of the easiest and versatile crop. Although it is mainly a winter crop, it can be grown year round. You can get the first harvest within 3-5 weeks of planting. Grow some Radish this monsoon to improve immunity as it has high Vitamin C.
- Sweet Potato: Before you worried about increasing the carbs in your diet, let me assure that sweet potato isn’t as carb heavy as regular potato. In addition, sweet potato promotes gut health and enhance immunity. So, it is great to grow some sweet potatoes during Monsoons when gut health is at risk due to bacterial infections. Plant them between June and July.
- Beetroot: Beets and Carrots are great for improving your blood Haemoglobin levels. They are also packed with vital minerals and nutrients. Beetroot is typically a cool season crop but grows well around the year. July -August is a good time for planting beetroot.
- Tindoora: Ivy gourd or Tindoora is an anti-inflammatory vegetable and helps with many ailments such as diabetes and cholesterol. Ivy gourd must be planted before July for best growth.
- Cluster beans: This is a variety of beans native to India known as ‘Gaur’ in North India and ‘Goruchikkudu’ in Andhra Pradesh. It has amazing health benefits like reducing diabetes, cholesterol, improving bone strength, high Iron and Magnesium content. Cluster beans give good harvest around October and November although they do grow year round. Interestingly, cluster bean powder is used as thickening agent in ice creams and baking.
If you are planning to get some seeds or grow bags for Monsoon garden prep, you can find them here.