January 8, 2015

Add some green to your home

The Green Age has already begun. People are not only conscious of the effects of global warming, but they also want to lend a helping hand to reduce the effects and keep our planet healthier. Therefore, trend of parks and open green spaces are cropping up in and around various residencies.

Now the newest trend everyone is turning to, is growing a garden in their very own homes! 3 BHK flats in Kolkata give ample space for growing your own garden on the terrace or balcony. 2 BHK flats in Kolkata can accommodate the growing trends of ‘garden kitchens’ which predominately revolves around growing herbs, fruits and vegetables that can be used fresh, in cooking.

Anyone can grow a garden. The achievement you feel having grown the fruits and vegetables you eat, or smelling the fresh flowers you have grown, is unmatched. All you need is a bit of space, a green thumb and lots of patience and care.

When you start a garden, start small. Make a budget of the things you need and the plants you want to grow.  You’ll need pots, soil, and a low-level organic fertilizer along with the seedlings, to begin with. A bag of compost and access to water is an important consideration before you begin to garden. Make sure you have a way to water your plants, as plants will require a diligent watering schedule depending on the type of pot you use and the seeds you plant.

Most plants need room to stretch their roots. So try to plant the seeds in a pot that’s a bit bigger than the plant will eventually need. It is better to leave some room than to have plant roots pushed up against the container walls. If you allow for some growth, you increase the odds of your plant growing to full maturity.

Let’s start with pots. Plastic pots are the least expensive option, making them perfect for anyone’s budget. They might be the least attractive option, but they hold moisture longer than clay or ceramic pots making it better for the plants. Additionally they are lighter and easier to move around as well.

Clay pots have their own benefits. Being porous, they let air move easily through their walls allowing roots to breathe better. But its adverse effect is that the soil tends to dry out too quickly. In summersclosely monitoring the moisture in your clay pots is necessary. If you choose to go with clay pots, buy a saucer or plate to sit under the pot. This keeps the moisture off the surface of your deck and also holds in moisture for the plant.

Next is the soil. The use of potting soil in your containers is essential. This is because these soil mixes are formulated tocontain the perfect level of lightness so that plants can breathe, drain well, while still holding in the needed moisture. Choose a soil which doesn’t contain fertilizer or nutrients. It is better to add those on your own as needed, because different plants will have different nutrient and fertilizer requirements.

If you are adding new plants to containers that have been used previously, do not simply dig a small hole in the soil and put a plant in. Most old soils often contain dead roots from previous plants whose roots impede the new plant’s roots. This constricts airflow, stunting the growth of the new plant. For this reason, it’s best to loosen upthe soil with your hands or a fork, before planting. This removes the root hairs. Add a spoonful of a low-level organic fertilizer and compost to the soil before adding a new plant.

The next step is deciding on what to grow. If you stay in a small apartment you will not have the independence of growing a lavish garden, but you can grow many things in smaller amounts in spaces available in your flat. Vegetables like brinjals, tomatoes, spring onions, radish and capsicums; salad greens like cucumber and lettuce leaf and essential herbs like coriander, mint, curry leaf, ginger, garlic, green chilly are perfect. Daily vegetables like onions and potatoes, however would be difficult to grow, as they require much more space.

A kitchen garden doesn’t mean planting it right outside the kitchen or inside it either. It can be placed a bit far too, but placing it near the kitchen is still the best option. If you are planning for a miniature garden, your balcony or terrace area are also suitable. Another idea is placing these plants on a window sill, with ample direct sunlight.

 Finally you need to understand that different plants take different time to grow. While some grow faster than others, it is important to have patience with the plants either way. Watering it daily, loosening the soil every now and then, will help it grow better and healthier.

 Have patience with your plants, treat it with love and care and soon you too will have a garden to be proud of. Upcoming residences like at Ideal Greens, Ideal Exotica, Ideal Grand, Ideal Niketan, are making space for you to grow your own gardens. Just imagine planning a feast for your friends made with the freshest ingredients, all grown at your very own home! It’s not a difficult feat. Plants grown by yourself, will always, have a magical touch of love, which makes food taste even more special.