What to Grow

Plants are sensitive to climate and season (See: When to Grow?). What thrives in Bangalore and Pune, may languish in Mumbai – and vice versa. Mumbai’s climate is tropical – it has moderate to high temperatures and very high humidity. It has two summers, a heavy, prolonged monsoon and a blink-and-you-miss-it winter season. After several years of experimentation, I can now recommend these herbs, veggies, and fruit for Mumbai’s urban farmers. I have grown all these in containers, organically, and on my terrace in Mumbai (click on the active links for specific info on growing each type…)

Key:               Difficult to Grow                                                ♣♣   Quite Easy to Grow   

           §  Will grow in 4-5 hours of Sunshine             §§   Needs 8-10 hours of Sunshine

          ≈   Light to Moderate Watering                         ≈≈   Moderate to Heavy Watering






  • Lime/Nimbu   ♣♣   §§  
  • Sapodilla/Chikoo      §§  
  • Guava/Peru   ♣♣   §§  
  • Custard Apple/Sitaphal   ♣    §§  
  • Papaya/Papita   ♣♣   §§   ≈≈
  • Banana/Kela   ♣♣   §§   ≈≈
  • Mango/Aam   ♣♣   §§   ≈≈
  • Love Apple/Pyaar ka Ser  ♣   §§   ≈≈
  • Black Sugarcane/Kaala Ganna      §§   ≈≈
  • Watermelon/Tarbooz      §§   ≈≈
  • Indian Gooseberry/Amla      §§   ≈≈
  • Long Gooseberry/Bimli      §§   ≈≈

* You may notice the absence of some common market veggies like brinjal, cabbage and cauliflower. The reason is simple – it was impossible to grow these organically because of the high incidence of worm attacks. Since I refuse to spray chemical pesticides, I’d rather not grow these veggies. I would also be very suspicious of purchasing these veggies in the market, as I know the chance of chemical contaminants in them would be very high.

** I also experimented with other non-native veggies like broccoli, squash, zucchini, snow peas, celery, head lettuce, swiss chard, parsley, corn and grapes – stuff I had grown successfully when I lived in a cool and temperate climatic zone. None of these veggies/fruit could tolerate our tropical climate, and  so I cannot recommend them for Mumbai.

© Mumbai Farmer 2013. Do not copy in part or whole without prior written permission from the author. Infringement of copyright will render you liable for legal action.

27 thoughts on “What to Grow

    1. Mandy Post author

      I do not sell seeds but offer complimentary seeds in many purchases (See my Marketplace Page). If you wish to buy only seeds, please choose open-pollinated or organic seeds from reputed sellers (Google for info).


  1. jaimala

    I wish to attend *th May workshop in noon as I am 15+. Kindly let me know how do I register for the same.


  2. Sarla

    I’m just getting into kitchen gardening.
    I’m also interested in flowers which grow all year round.
    I’m new to this ,need guidance.
    Also do you sell plants?


  3. anithahaina

    Hi Mandy,
    Thank u for sharing information about Mumbai and organic farming. It is very enlightening and complete info. We see in bits and pieces on YouTube but sometimes cannot relate it to Mumbai.
    I finally can dedicate full time to plants and I have taken up to cleaning a L shaped land around my building. I live in a colonyof 10 buildings, tomorrow or day after municipality may cut the tops of some of the trees. How to use the cut plant and derbis for myulching and the branches for supporter. Your topic on what to grow gave me some insight. I want contact u and get to know more about consultation. Can u give me your contact no and email. Sorry I could not find on website


  4. Shweta Pandey

    That’s very nice calendar and description in detail.
    Till now I am able to grow spinach successful ly in my apartment balcony. However, can you post a calendar of flowers also?


    1. Mandy Post author

      Hi Shweta, Thanks for writing in and the suggestion. I will certainly think about posting a calendar for flowers – once I get enough experience growing them 🙂


  5. Archana

    I live in thane and have a teeny weeny east facing ledge, where i can accommodate 8 to 10 medium sized pots. given that we get the sun for a good 4 to 5 hours, which are some of the perennial indigenous flowering shrubs (cant put up anything that grows beyond 2-3 feet) that need minimal care


  6. Neena

    I could grow brinjal green with white dots variety small in navi mumbai but I some how failed to grow pudina tempt may be an impt factor


    1. Mandy Post author

      Haha, yes of course – that’s something I would love to try at least once! While we do not have the ideal climate (grape vines need cooler, drier climate and well draining soil), I do know that some enterprising urban farmers have succeeded in growing them. The variety that can withstand our humidity and rains is Muscatel. So do try it out, good luck and let me know how you are doing!



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