Beautiful flowers, fresh vegetables, juicy fruits from own garden is indeed a pleasure. Today, are we deprived of this pleasure?? I say, “No.” Though most of us live in city apartments and small houses with barely any open space, we can always make our own gardens. ‘WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY’. We have roof, or a balcony, or a dining room with minimum decoration. Try to make your own cute indoor gardens there.
I’ll first like to discuss a very common question we grew up studying:
QS: What all are the requirements for proper growth of plants?
And this time my answer to this question is-AIR, WATER, NUTRIENTS AND SUNLIGHT.
Yes, I know you are eager to tell ‘wrong answer’ or mark it incorrect. But I say it’s a correct answer. HYDROPONICS is the art of growing plants without soil. Here water acts as the main medium from where a plant absorbs its essential nutrients. I bet, you can‘t trust me even now. The essential requirements of most of the plants are nutrients, air and water. The plants absorb nutrients dissolved in water through their roots. So, if you can create a favourable condition for plant growth, you can see the trick.
NOW, LET’S START EXPERIMENTING
1. WHERE TO ‘KEEP’ MY GARDEN?
A plant needs the adequate amount of sunlight and air for their proper growth. Some plants are advised not to be kept in direct sunlight. So, depending on the plant you are eager to grow, select any place at your home where you want to keep a plant. You can keep it on your old centre table and be sure; it will add beauty to that old dull thing. Do you have a small balcony?? No worries, you can hang it up there. You will love it.
2. CONFUSED WITH CONTAINERS?.
Relax, take a deep breath. Can you recall that you dumped your gold fish jar in the store room?? And, oh wait, those mason jars are good fat fellows. Wine bottles, do you have any??
All these little pretty things can serve your purpose. Don’t choose brass or metal containers or any material which can react with water. There are many such containers, a stone bowl, earthen pots, plastic cup, broken tea pot. Though, glass remains the best option. It’s transparent and you can see the roots as they grow.
3. ROCKY AFFAIR.
We all love collecting sea shells and pebbles. You can productively use those here. Add gravels and pebbles to the container. Colourful stones are available at the market. It will add colours to the showpiece-in-making. (This step is optional).
Don’t forget to add a small piece of activated charcoal. Activated charcoal has the property to absorb impurities. It will keep the water clean for a longer time. You can keep those sea shells, small conch shells; it will look beautiful
4. BEAUTIFY WITH QUICK DIY.
If you have chosen a dull old container, a funky idea is to colour it. Neon colours are ‘in fashion’ now, besides you have poster colours, metallic colours. Choose whichever pleases you. You can also try Epsom salt. Spread some glue on the surface and dust Epsom salt on it. It will give a snowy effect. If you want a quick and easy trick then stick colourful stones on the outer surface. Decoupage, glass painting, ribbons, rag cut outs……….there are several ideas to decorate your old containers.
5. CHOOSE THE PRETTY PLANT.
Most of the plants grow well in hydroponic method. While some plants are best to grow in this way, like- lettuce, cucumber, strawberries, oregano, potatoes, basil, money plants. While choosing in mind, do know about the amount of sunlight it requires. It will help you to choose the most convenient plant for a place.
6. FOOD FOR GROWTH
Now, add clean water to the container, preferably ¾ th of it, but keeping mind that the roots should get submerged. Buy the fertilizer specified for the hydroponic plant to it. The fertilizer supplies essential nutrients and maintains the required pH needed by the plant for proper growth.
7. PRETTY PLANT SAYS, “PLACE ME IN IT!!”
Now, it’s time to add the plant. If the opening of the pot is small, it is easy to keep plant suspended. If the mouth is large, try to get a suitable lid, make a moderate size hole, and it will be ready to use. One can also use old sieves and nets to suspend the plant. In that case, again keep in mind, roots should be in water.
8. AERATION AND SUNLIGHT
As I have already said, different plants need different amount of sunlight, we should maintain that time. Some plants need indirect sunlight. Keep those in a place which gets light, but not directly under the sun. It is advised to change the water from time to time and add right amount of nutrient solution/fertilizer to it. Even if after all these, aeration is needed, one may use a small aerating device to add air to the water.
- If you are choosing a bottle with a narrow mouth, it will be bit difficult to remove the plant when the roots grow. (It’s my personal experience). So, choose a container with a medium opening.
- If you are using sieve, or any suspension, you may put damp cotton at the base of the plant, at the conjunction of root and shoot, for extra support.
So, isn’t it interesting??? Now don’t frown about space and start creating your own indoor garden. Also, do tell us how well it worked.
I am working on my second sets of hydroponics and I am loving it thoroughly.