Inexpensive Gardening – Part 1 – Pots & Containers

Idea Number 5: Use some old buckets or paint buckets! I know this is the most common idea. But it is one of the best ideas as well.

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This Photo does not belong to Reemasgarden.

Idea Number 4: Plastic Bottles: Don’t underestimate the power of a plastic bottle. It is one of the most important tools in gardening! You can cut open a plastic bottle as shown in the picture below and use it for growing anything ranging from Coriander to spinach to fenugreek and many more. The pictures would give you a better idea! I’ll soon be coming up with an entire article dedicated to the plastic bottles!

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Cut Open the bottles from the center as shown in the picture. Create small holes underneath for outflow of excess water.
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I had planted coriander!  Click here to view an article on how to grow coriander!

Idea Number 3: Use any container/tiffin box from your kitchen! Yes our kitchen has too many plastic containers that are either old or slightly cracked. Instead of disposing them use them as pots!

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This was a plastic box in which we got our ice-cream. So Instead of disposing it, I chose to use it in my garden for small plants.

Idea Number 2: Use a cardboard box! Our house is loaded with cardboard cartons. Just give them a plastic coating from inside and use them. Yes I can hear you asking “Will it hold? Will stay in the long run?” The answer is “NO! It wont stay in the long run. But it will stay long enough for you to experiment and know whether you’re liking gardening! Once you know you’re good at it and you’re enjoying the process there is no harm in making some capital investment in form of pots and containers!!

I had this huge cardboard box so I just covered with plastic from inside and voila!! I had my raised bed ready! Free of cost. This box contained 9 eggplants. Just be careful about one thing when you’re using a cardboard box. Don’t relocate it. Just let it stay fixed in a place. Lifting it or moving it may cause damage to the box as it is just a cardboard!You can similarly use a shoe box!

When you place the lid under the box, it makes the box even stronger and if the height of the box is six inches you can plant any plant. If shorter than 6 inches, choose a smaller plant.

Idea Number 1: Use the existing Containers effectively! The following are the pots that contain rose plants. I used them to grow fenugreek and even Okra! You can experiment with more plants!!

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Okra in a rose pot! Click here to know how to grow an Okra in your Balcony!
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Sneak Peek!

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Composting – 2

The most awaited article of the season : How to make compost ?

Kindly note that following is a procedure for making compost on a small scale. If you have a farm or if you need to start composting on a large scale please contact me here.

Take a huge container (something like an old bucket or a tub or a big cardboard box)

Let’s start layering the container.

Start filling the first 25% of the container with dried leaves or any other carbon rich organic matter.

Fill the next 10% with kitchen waste. As discussed earlier the kitchen waste is a good source of Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorous, magnesium and Calcium.

Again fill the next 25% with dry waste/dry leaves/sawdust

Fill the next 10% with kitchen waste.

And fill the last layer with dry waste/dry leaves.

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Now if you have analyzed you will notice that 80% of the container contains dry waste (carbon) and only 20% contains wet waste. The reason behind this is :

  1. The elements are required in these proportions.
  2. More of wet waste might stink during the decaying process. It may also attract some small insects and mosquitoes. In order to avoid that we add more of carbon especially on the top most layer.
  3. The dry leaves are very fluffy and bulge up but once you add kitchen waste on top of it, it will go on compressing.

Going 100% Organic

By Organic, I mean 0% use of any chemicals. Making our garden chemical-free. Chemicals are mainly used in fertilizers and pesticides.

I believe in going 100% natural i.e. organic. I will be explaining in detail about organic compost and composting techniques in my upcoming articles.

We will now understand what happens when we use chemical fertilizers:

Chemical fertilizers once mixed with the soil do give the desired output. However they destroy the microbial ecosystem (microbes and other organic life like insects and fungi) that live within the soil. With destruction of the organic life, the soil slowly turns impotent and becomes dependent on these chemical fertilizers forever.

From the plants’ perspective, growing in such chemically treated soil, the plants develop a very weak immune system and are not in a position to resist pests! They get affected immediately by the pests and diseases!! To protect such weak plants from pests they are further sprayed with hazardous chemical pesticides and insecticides. These pesticides along with killing the pests also kill the honeybees and other useful insects that help in pollination.

Going 100% organic is the first step towards sustainable living. With growing awareness, there are lot of organic manure and pesticide available in the market. We can easily use these instead of the chemical ones. In my upcoming articles, I’ll be discussing in detail about composting and fighting pests in an organic way!!

How to begin

If you have any space in and around your house which receives sunlight for at least 3 hours in a day, is an ideal place to start.

A balcony/ open terrace/ window grill are ideal places to start!

 

If you do not have a space constraint, I would suggest you start with one or two Rose plants. Rose plants require a pot size of minimum 6 inches and a maximum of 10 inches. It is best to choose a Rose plant with strong stem formation. Rose is a sturdy perennial plant.  It flowers throughout all seasons.

If you have a space constraint where in you cannot fit in big plants like Rose, I would suggest you to go for small flowering plants like Chrysanthemum and Marigold (dwarf variety) in a pot size of 3-4inches.

Flowering plants are the best ones to start with as they require very low maintenance as well as they give us lot of scope to learn.

The plants need to be watered regularly (daily). Different plants have different water requirements. Excessive watering creates equal stress on a plant as inadequate watering. I will be discussing about different plant stresses in detail in my upcoming articles.

Things you require to start Gardening..

The most crucial and vital thing in gardening is your passion. Gardening is beyond the concept of entertainment (time-pass) or hobby. Your involvement with plants cannot be on a superficial level. They are living beings and just like your family members they need your attention and love more than food and water. You need to understand, respect and appreciate your plants only then can you call yourself a Gardener!!

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Once you have passion, rest everything will look very minuscule. You require a space which receives ample of sunlight (at least 3 hours of sunlight in a day). You need to water the plants regularly (daily). And you need to maintain the plants with proper pruning and composting.045db6310a3b2bcfb2bae6ec4ff93ce0

An ideal way to start is to buy one single plant and then every month go on adding different plants to your garden. Starting with just one plant gives you a lot of scope to observe the plant. With such a keen observation you are able to learn a lot of things about the plant. After all, gardening is learnt only through observations.

If it is your plant, it is your Baby. You will have to watch over it and enjoy its growing process. Its new leaves, its first bud, the flowering of the bud, the growth of a new stem. Everything counts.