Gardening in Small Spaces
While the Pantone colour of the year is green, there is an easy way to create your own patch of greenery at home. And if you are worried about space, here are a host of ideas to go green even when you have a space constraint.
Good design is essential for small space gardens. If you have limited room to grow, maximising the area you can garden in and wise plant selection are top priorities. K. Madhavan, Managing Director, Peps Industries Pvt. Ltd, adds, “India is a country where coconut and coco peat/coco soil a mixture of peat and vermi compost is readily available. With these, one can start a garden even with limited space. Plants and flowers nowadays are available in ready to use packages at a very low cost. Most of these plants are cultivated out of stems of the mother plant. All that needs to be done is to plant a small piece of stem into a pot and they grow into a blossoming plant.” Space can never be a constraint in creating a garden as one can start with even just a few pots. It is not necessary to always have a large space to start gardening. “In fact, gardening starts with something as simple as taking a used lettuce head and replanting it in a pot to grow it and use it again! But to give more context it is easiest to start by growing microgreens when space is a constraint. They are exotic, pack a punch nutritionally, and can be added to almost every form of cooking,” says Saahil Parekh, Co Founder, Khetify. Gardening in small spaces has to be done intelligently. One must really understand the complementary nature of plants if they are being planted close to each other to get a good yield. “For example, tomatoes absorb a lot of nutrient from the soil, so planting them with beans which add nutrients to the soil makes brilliant sense! Similarly, if space is a constraint, you can grow tubers like carrots and radishes that occupy space underneath with leafy greens that occupy space above the ground,” adds Parekh.
Ideas & More
Make a small space attractive and ensure a crisp contemporary look with strong landscaped lines. “Create interesting interlocking zones with distinctive materials, such as wood stained decking, pale patio slabs and decorative stones or chippings. Turn a small courtyard into a lush habitat with a tactile and towering living wall,” says Sagar Datta from Casa interio. If you have less space, consider hanging gardens. “A 300 sq ft balcony space can be doubled by installing an 8-feet green pergola (an arched structure covered with climbing or trailing plants.) “We can create a room with vines hanging down and with grass under our feet,” says Anupama Bihani, Owner, Mirabel Interiors, Delhi. Vertical gardens are also becoming popular as a space-maximizing approach to gardening. “For example, by attaching potted herbs and bush varieties of vegetables to wire mesh, you can create your own vertical display. Vertical gardening is a wonderful way to cultivate indoor plants, especially if your space gets plenty of light,” adds Bihani. An Upside down garden can be great in small spaces. Pritika Chatterjee, CEO and Co-Founder, TidyHomz explains, “small light weight pots can be hanged upside down. This will not occupy any space inside the room and will look cute and adorable. Using hanging planters is another way to go. One can hang creepers from the nearest wall which helps saves space. A wide variety of home décor planter stands with different sizes and styles are available in the market that can be used to keep plants inside your living room, center table or bed room.”
You can create a beautiful garden area with some old furniture that you are planning to throw out. “Old dressers make great planting bases. You simply put the plants in individual pots and then use the drawers to hold them. You end up with a three tiered garden look that is both beautiful and space saving. Recycling is a great way to save money and space. This recycled upside down garden idea is perfect for those who live in apartments or you could just hang your plants on the porch if you have one. You just have to choose the containers that you want to use and then follow the instructions to properly hang your plants so that they will grow as they should,” says Bihani. This is great for flowers, herbs or many vegetables and is space saving and a really cute way to show off those plants. You can also create interesting, low-maintenance, miniature gardens indoors. Most kitchens echo a boring look, but with indoor planting you can surely vouch to pep up the look of your kitchens. Harjith.D.Bubber MD & CEO, Rivali Park, CCI Projects explains, “adding a live herb garden can leave your kitchens spilling over with greenery. Having edible plants growing in your kitchens are the most functional gardens you can grow indoors. Single narrow planters fit well if you have a windowsill garden. Mason jars are great to use for indoor herb gardening. You can make use of all the available vertical space by hanging small baskets of plant stands. Although these plants will add to the look of your kitchens, ensure that these plants will need plenty of sunlight to grow. If you have a small home, use of miniature plants will help make your space look bigger.”
Succulents are easy plants to grow and care for. These plants are native to areas prone to drought and need very less water. “While gardening in small spaces, make sure that the planters must not choke the already tiny space. Be careful with the size of the planters or containers you buy. Terracotta pots are great for growing dwarf citrus trees. Apartments with staircase or terrace can have snake plant, rubber plant and roses,” advices Priyank Varshney, Founder, Handikart.co.in. Areca palm, dracaena, spider plant, snake plant, weeping fig are some other popular choices. Spotted Dead Nettle is notable for both its variegated foliage and its dense clusters of flowers, which appear in a variety of colours, including white, pink and purple (depending on the cultivar). Varieties such as Peperomia’s, Ellen Danica and Laurenti come in different shades which make them look like grape creepers or exotic snakes. The plants can help structure and beautify your home. So get your green thumbs working!
- Plant a table top garden that you can use as an edible centrepiece.
- Try gardening on your benchtop.
- Try dwarf, semi-dwarf or miniature varieties of plants.
This story appeared in The Tribune dated 17th June 2017 here