• Saturday, November 29, 2014

DIY

Your OWN little patch of GREEN

Labiba Mustabina

Are the monotonous shades of brick red, steel grey, rusty browns and mundane concrete suffocating you? It's not unlikely, considering the concrete jungle we survive in is concerned with simply putting up more and more congested confinements in the name of homes every day.  Why not splash a bit of green into it? I know it sounds like a ton of work, I mean gardening needs tending to and patience and then there's the matter of limited space. Not to worry. Here are three ways to own a patch of greenery -- requiring minimal hassle, space and resources:

Hydroponics
Hydroponics is the process of growing plants on a water based nutrient medium rather than on soil. Now there are hydroponic kits and setups which can be purchased directly from plant nurseries, but there is a more home-based technique available if you're up for it.

You will need to cut a two litre plastic bottle in half. Then, make multiple holes in the top half and a sink hole on the bottom half to let out excess water. Invert the top half and place it on the bottom half. Now fill up the inverted top half with equal parts of coconut coir and perlite, along with a hydroponic nutrient solution and your budding plantlet. Coconut coir can be found at mattress making shops and plant nurseries, perlite can be found at aquarium stores and the hydroponic solutions are available at nurseries too. After gathering and assembling the setup, ensure regular watering at one day intervals.

Square foot farm
If you have at least 4 sq ft of space to spare in your balcony or rooftop, you could actually be the proud owner of a mini farm. Find a 4 sq ft mud or plastic tub with a depth of 1 foot, ensuring it has sink holes at the bottom. Divide the tub into 4 squares of 1 sq ft each; fill it with soil teamed with compost and get planting. You can plant varieties of herbs, tomatoes, cabbages, peppers and lots more. Just remember: one plant for each square.

Aquarium + greenhouse = Terrarium
Do you have an old aquarium sitting at home and the painful memories of flushing down your dead goldfish down the toilet? If yes, you're the best candidate for turning that fishbowl or fish tank into a mini green house or your very own terrarium. You could fill up the bottom with soil and directly plant seeds into it, leaving the top open or covered with plastic. Just don't ever put excess water; remember that there's no drainage. Allow it to sit on a space which receives a lot of sunshine and simply watch it grow!

Published: 12:01 am Thursday, August 21, 2014

Last modified: 1:57 pm Tuesday, August 19, 2014

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