Gone are those days when you could afford to have a nice independent house with enough space around for a lush green kitchen garden. In the good old days, some of our parents were blessed with fresh vegetables plucked right from own their gardens ! Surprisingly, gardening in an urban setting is quite easy.
What are the different plants that can be grown at home? Mostly they would be flowering plants and ornamental shrubs, right?
Wrong! A lot many plants including many types of vegetables can be grown at home in pots and in limited space. There are people who not only have grown and harvested vegetables, but also successfully maintained a lush green terrace garden!
Plants can be categorized based on climatic type, seasonal and their commercial value. For our purpose of urban farming, we can broadly divide them into two types –
Seasonal plants – these plants have a short span of life typically lasting only one season. Typically, most food bearing plants are seasonal
Step 1 – Ground preparation
Since there is no real ground to prepare in an apartment or a terrace, this task implies the work to be done to create a layout for your plants. You can begin with a just a single pot of plant and slowly add more later, or you could buy a bunch of pots and begin simultaneously. If you are worried about earthen pots breaking up, you can prefer cement or plastic pots. The ideal ones are large flat cement panes and plastic containers.
Step 2 – Soil mixture and potting process
Ideally you should have a 1:1:1 mixture of red sand, soil and compost. Place the 1 portion sand at the bottom of the pot, the next level is 1 portion soil and final portion is the compost or manure. It can be decayed cow dung, vermicompost from earthworms or plain compost. In the beginning you can buy compost to fill your pots, but the next time, you should be preparing it yourself!
Step 3 – Planting and gardening
You should be selecting the right plants that are suitable to your kitchen garden. Ideally, regular vegetables such as tomato, chillies, potato, mint, coriander, brinjal, lady’s finger, methi can all be grown in pots. However, it is better to experiment with just two in the beginning. Seeds of these plants can be bought in any agricultural shop or horticultural nursery where they sell flowering plants.