Urban gardening is the adaption of the conventional gardening which is designed for people who live in urban areas with minimal space.
You can grow a variety of vegetables, fruits, flowers in your own balcony and in unused places like roof tops, living rooms, windows.
Urban gardening acts as auxiliary source for nutritious food.
It reduces the effect of heat, adds greenery and makes your home attractive.
There are different kinds of urban gardening:
- Container gardening
- Indoor gardening
- Rooftop gardening
Container gardening is the practice of growing plants including edible plants, medicinal plants and decorative plants in the containers.
A container in gardening is a small, enclosed and usually a object in which you can grow plants by placing them on roof tops, balcony, at windows, and within doors which may exists in the form of pots, hanging pots, containers, baskets, barrels, rectangular boxes.
Rooftop Gardening is the adaption of urban gardening in which you can grow a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and a lot of decorative plants on your own roof tops.
Indoor gardening is the process of growing plants within doors. Usually this type of gardening is done in containers and are placed near windows, tables etc.
Indoor plants and also be grown vertically on walls for decorative purposes.
Benefits Of Urban Gardening
Free Air Purification
Researches infers that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air. When you have a air conditioner and live in a closed room with out proper ventilation, the air gets stagnant.
Harmful components like sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds get released from wood preservatives, badly installed gas stoves, paints, polishing materials, perfumes, sprays, propellants.
So, the only solution for these problems is growing indoor plants.
Indoor plants absorbs these harmful components and helps in increase of oxygen levels up to some extent.
Best examples of indoor plants are bamboo palm, chinese evergreen, peace lily, spider plant, bromeliads etc.
Easy To Grow
It is very easy to grow fruits and vegetables at your own home if you have enough knowledge on gardening.
With a little experience you can save a lot of space by growing plants in containers, Hanging pots, plastic cups and so on.
Home Decoration With Plants
Plants are adorning elements. Amaryllis, lily, crocus, daisy, freesia, gladiolus, heather, roses, chrysanthemum, tulip etc have different colors, fragrance, sizes, texture which helps in embellishing your houses.
You can have more profit with less investment.
Good For Health
Gardening enhances both physical and mental health. Some plants consists of therapeutic value, their fragrance removes your stress.
Researches shows that people who are having gardening as daily hobby are healthier and most active.
Some plants like marigold, mint, lavender, chives acts as insect repellents and prevent their entry into houses.
Urban gardening helps you to make small and unused spaces into attractive garden.
Why Urban Gardening Is Important?
Healthier And Safer
Home grown vegetables and fruits are rich in minerals and nutrients and are healthier and safer.
Natural Air Freshener
Indoor plants makes effective air circulation in homes and acts as a natural air freshener.
Home For Birds And Small Animals
It increases biodiversity by providing natural habitat for birds.
Helps In Reducing Pollution
It helps in reducing noise and air pollution in the surrounding areas.
Urban Gardening Tips
Plants should be fertilized because soil does not provide all the essential nutrients required for plant growth.
So it’s better to use organic fertilizers because it prevents the nutrients deficiency and also increases the plant growth.
There are different techniques for fertilizing the plants with different types of fertilizers. So, choose the best technique and best fertilizer that is suitable for the plant in your garden.
Vegetables requires a fertilizing technique and a kind of fertilizer which is different from fruits.
The fertilizers should be diluted in water in the required ratio so that, it will not cause any trouble to the plant growth.
- Higher concentrations may leads to death in plants.
- Start using of fertilizers after 2-3 weeks of the plantation.
Avoid using of fertilizers just after the plantation.
A pinch of Epsom salt dissolved in water is enough for a particular plant growth.
Composting process requires wet organic matter which includes leaves, food scraps, vegetable and fruit peels. Nature breaks them into humus after a period of time.
Compost is rich in nutrients and makes your soil fertile and improves its properties. Avoid addition of coal ashes, charcoal, cigarettes to the compost bin because they causes harm to fruits and vegetables in your garden.
Waste from meat eating animals like dogs, cats should be avoided because they contains disease transmitting microbes.
Avoid addition of meat, oils etc. since they don’t break down in your compost pit and also attracts unwanted pests and bacteria. Best results are observed through vermi composting.
With the support of sunlight plants prepare their own food. On an average plants must be exposed to sunlight for at least 3-4 hours.
Shade Nets Role In Decorative Plants
Ornamental plants requires shade or else their flowers become droop. So, maintain shade nets when you grow ornamental plants. Shade nets allows the process of photosynthesis to happen.
There are variety of shade nets available based on its shade capacity (like 50% shade net , 80% shade net, 100% shade net).
If you choose 50% shade net it absorbs 50% of sunlight and provides only 50% sunlight to the plants. So, choose shade nets based on the requirements of the plants.
Plants grow in well drained moist soil which is rich in organic matter.
To improve the water retention properties of the soil add perlite or coconut husk to it.
Sometimes soil consists of small stones, gravels, hard lumps, pebbles and non-biodegradable materials like plastic, aluminium which are not at all suitable for plant growth. Hence, it is advisible to sieve the soil. Examine your soil pH. It should be in range of 6-7.5
If pH is less than 6, you need to add some agricultural lime. If it is more than 7.3, you need to add some sulfur.
Bottom part of plant growing containers( pots, trays etc) should not be either too hot or too cool.
So place the bad conductors of heat like wood(bamboo sticks) or plastic under the containers to prevent the transfer of heat from floor to container. Avoid usage of metallic containers.
Pruning is the process of cutting away the unhealthy and overgrown part of the plants and removing dried leaves to enhance the plant growth.
It helps in transferring of soil nutrients and minerals to the important parts of plants.
Pruning helps to prevent the excess usage of nutrients by the unhealthy or over grown parts of the plants.
Use organic pesticides or insecticides for controlling the pests instead of using chemical pesticides.
Do not grow same kind of plant in complete row or area. Mix up your plants. For example, grow tomatoes next to onions. This technique tremble the pest senses.
Practicing crop rotation gives fine results in pest control .
Planting parsley, chamomile attracts insects like lady beetles, assassin bugs etc. Which leads to decrease in rate of pest.
Water is an essential survival element for plants.
The best time to water a plant is in morning sessions i.e., between 5:30 am-7:30 am.
Excessive water absorption by the soil will soak the roots and eventually make them rot. If you are growing a plant in the container, drill the drain holes at the bottom to prevent the water stagnation. Maintain a layer of gravel under the soil for better draining.
You should maintain optimum moisture so that the plant doesn’t get rotten. To prevent the water loss you can cover top layer of soil with dried leaves, twigs or any bio-degradable materials.
Use water storing crystals because they absorbs the moisture and slowly releases to the roots. They helps in prevention of both over and under watering.
Rain Water Harvesting
Rain water is 100% soft water and it does not contains any chemicals, pharmaceuticals to reduce the plant growth.
Install the rain barrel and store the rain water. It fulfills plant needs during peak seasons like summer. Integrating the rain water harvest with drip irrigation and sprinkler system gives better results.
Extreme weather conditions and moisture levels have a high impact on plants. Sometimes this is the reason for change in flavor of fruits and vegetables.
Hot weather causes cool seasonal vegetables and fruits to spoil resulting in reduced production. During winters, cover plants with fabric to protect from frost. Usually moist soil provides protection to plants.
Maintain an even moisture level.
Choose the plant that fits in your garden environment i.e., weather conditions, exposure to sun or shade, dry or wet locations and so on.
Select a well proportioned plant. Avoid growing of large plants in small containers.
It is advisable to choose the plant that is drought tolerant.
Place the plants in a position at which it is able to fulfill its sun and shade requirements.