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Lockdown gardening

By Sereba Agiobu-Kemmer
18 April 2020   |   3:07 am
When you wash your fresh tomatoes and peppers this is not the time to carelessly throw away the water. You can rather select some good seeds from your ingredients to add and plant with what was washed into the water

Tomatoes in hanging grow baskets ready for harvest<br />

When you wash your fresh tomatoes and peppers this is not the time to carelessly throw away the water. You can rather select some good seeds from your ingredients to add and plant with what was washed into the water! Do small gardening any space you can find to keep your mind focused and exercise your body mildly! The joy monitoring the growth of your farm and seeing them eventually bear fruit is also a hope-giving anti-depressant. You can add common vegetable seeds like okro, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, ewedu, ugwu or whatever you have the capacity to handle. Medicinal plants and herbs such as bitter leaf, African basil (scent leaf), lemongrass, parsley are all in the reckoning. There are quick growing fruits (where possible get the dwarf varieties) of citruses such as lemon, papaya, guava, bananas, mango, water apple, what have you? Root vegetables like carrots potatoes (both sweet and Irish), onions, other vegetables include popular favorites: cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers. I promise at the end of it all, you’ll wish you had more land to start serious gardening.😇

Container Gardening

Lack of space should not be a limitation to your engagement. There are strategies to beat the challenge by making use of containers which could be anything from ceramic pots, plastic containers, grow baskets, sacks, to disused tires.
Pots, tubs, and half barrels overflowing with flowers add appeal to any garden, but container gardening can serve a practical purpose too. Container gardening is ideal for those with little or no garden space. In addition to growing flowers, gardeners limited to a balcony, small yard, or only a patch of sun on their driveway can produce a wide variety of vegetable crops in containers to augment the family diet. Basil, chives, thyme, and other herbs also are quite happy growing in pots, which can be set in a convenient spot right outside the kitchen door.

Container gardening also adds versatility to gardens large and small. Plants lend instant color, provide a focal point in the garden, or tie in the architecture of the house to the garden. Place them on the ground or on a pedestal, mount them on a windowsill, or hang them from your porch. A pair of matching containers on either side of the front walk serves as a welcoming decoration, while container gardening on a deck or patio can add color and ambience to such outdoor sitting areas.

You can use single, large containers for outdoor decoration, but also consider arranging groups of pots, both small and large, on stairways, terraces, or anywhere in the garden. Clusters of pots can contain a collection of favorite plants — hen-and-chicks or herbs used both for ornament and for cooking, for example — or they may feature annuals, dwarf evergreens, perennials, or any other plants you’d like to try. Window boxes and hanging baskets offer even more ways to add instant color and appeal.

Almost any vegetable, flower, herb, shrub, or small tree can grow successfully in a container. Dwarf and compact cultivars are best, especially for smaller pots. Select plants to suit the climate and the amount of sun or shade the container will receive.

Use your imagination and combine upright and trailing plants, edibles, and flowers for pleasing and colourful effects. Container gardening can be enjoyed for one season and discarded, or designed to last for years.

Vertical Gardening
Vertical gardening is nothing more than using vertical space to grow vegetables (or herbs, or flowers, even root crops), often using containers that hang on a sunny wall. Traditional gardeners have done similar things with climbing plants like squashes and beans for centuries by building trellises. Vertical gardening takes it one step further by giving non-climbing plants a space on the wall.

In short, vertical gardening systems can be defined as any type of support or structure that is used to grow plants up and off the ground. They come in tons of different shapes and sizes and can take on many forms.

Vertical gardens take up less space, are easier to harvest, and easier to maintain. However, they do have their own limitations:
You need sunny wall space
If they are built too high, they can be difficult to maintain. Don’t make them taller than you can reach

The support system must be strong enough to handle the weight of everything

The supporting wall must be able to withstand a lot of moisture. You can use polyethene cloth to create a vapor barrier along the back of your garden if this might be a concern.

That being said, vertical gardening is one of the most forgiving and flexible gardening systems. If you can already get a harvest from container gardens, vertical gardens should be no problem. There are several ways you can try doing vertical gardening in your own home during this lockdown season. These include the traditional trellis, hanging pots, garden tower, gutter systems, pallet tray systems, hardware cloth frame, bottle systems, hydroponics, aquaponics and more. Vertical gardening is a boon for the land or space-challenged, is on the rise. Vertical gardening adds structure and beauty to any growing space.

Decorative Plants
Think Vertically With Hanging Plants

If you’re lucky enough to have high ceilings, hanging planters with long, trailing stems can emphasize the grandiose size of your space. A hanging planter with floor-to-ceiling pothos vines gives the whole space a distinctly tropical, jungle-like feel.

Create a Living Wall with Open Shelves
Sure, shelves are great for storing your favorite books and showing off knick-knacks, but they also can become the foundation of a simple living wall. You can pack in the pots as much as you like, and they’re easy to swap out with new plants whenever you want. In addition to helping you fill your garden room with even more greenery, shelves make it easier to admire the variety of leaf shapes and sizes at eye level. 

Of course, you’ll need something literally green inside your home. Decorate your home with cute little plants such as peace lilies, bamboo palms, aloe vera, spider plants, Dracaena, snake plant, and chrysanthemum.

These plants can remove air pollutants like benzene (a leading cause of cancer and anemia), formaldehyde (that causes certain types of cancer and irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat), and xylene (that causes headaches, dizziness, and breathing difficulty).

Aside from the physical health benefits, houseplants can also provide some great psychological benefits. Keeping plants in your home help create a balance in it with their calming and soothing effects. Studies also show that having plants around can increase concentration and memory retention by up to 20 percent.

The lockdown period is a good opportunity to be engaged in activities we wished we could find time for but didn’t. Instead of feeling bored, restless and moody, you can turn to plants for relief by engaging in the art and science of plants simply for want of another name is known as gardening.