When there is nothing better to do; and you cannot step outside your pad during #COVID19 lockdown, what can be better than nourishing your body and soul with a patch of green?
Pick a corner, ideally, a balcony where you get plenty of sunshine and assemble all your potted plants there. If you are living in an apartment make sure the size of your garden is small and manageable. Make a good selection of pots as pots are going to last you longer than the plants, so a small investment in good quality decorative indoor flower pots is always a good idea.
In troubled times, a garden will make your heart sing
That time is now. If you don’t get natural sunlight and have to fall back on artificial lights for your indoor plants, make sure you check the moisture level in the pot, every single day. Harsh lights can dry out seedlings faster than normal and that would be disastrous.
Grow organic vegetables at home
Saraswati Kuwalekar, a Deputy Director of News (IIS) at Doordarshan, Mumbai has decided to grow organic food at home in her small 3 ft X 6 ft. balcony, as she believes that this is the best way to remain disease-free. Luckily she had small indoor plant pots that she cleaned up to set-up her garden.
Earlier with her tight work schedule, she had no time to pursue this hobby, but withCOVID19 lockdown; she has plenty of time to potter around in her little garden. She now devotes a good deal of her time, cleaning the mud rings under the pots; weeding and removing pests from the plant and feels happy she is devoting her time to a constructive activity.
How to Do It?
If you don’t have good quality decorative indoor flower pots, don’t worry. For the time being, until the lockdown gets lifted, sow in earthen plants, and later when the saplings have grown to a size, you can carefully shift these to designer pots for plants, later. Browse and you will find a maddening range of such planters on Bonasila, a specialist in Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) planters that are considered ideal for indoor plants.
No limit to the plant species that thrive indoors
Rajendra Singh from Sonipat, Haryana has managed to grow over 400 plants on his terrace, and is happy that the lockdown gives him the opportunity to spend more time with his plants. He suggests this is the ideal time for sowing bottle gourd, sponge gourd, cucumber and ivy gourd.
Another Bengaluru resident, Shilpa Maheshwari has grown about 50 organic vegetables in her home and is ecstatic with the results. She a short span, she managed to harvest a two-and-a-half feet long ridge gourd, which is a rare feat even for big farms.
Gardening can be a wonderful engagement for children
An idea worth trying during these difficult times is to get your children holed up at home engaged in gardening without making it appear like a boring chore. Give them lessons in composting and make it sound like a fun activity. Home composting is easier than you would imagine and very soon you can have your own manure to turn your nursery lush and green. Here is a wonderful resource from Shriya Parasrampuria on how you can do home composting from your kitchen refuge and turn waste into wealth. Many of us, living in multi-story apartments don’t have the regular strength of housekeeping staff to come to pick up the refuge from our doorsteps. What better time than now to start home composting?
Sow plants that will strengthen your immunity
Microgreens, lemongrass, basil, wheatgrass, and aloe vera are all very easy to grow in small pots. You can later pluck the leaves and consume these natural super nutrients to build up your own and your family’s immunity. When the lockdown lifts you can shift these to beautiful planters and have an attractive kitchen sill, where they will also receive plenty of sunlight.
Now, when you have all the time in the world, you can experiment with your gardening skills and pick up a good hobby.