New Delhi: Are you someone who loves gardening, but doesn’t have enough space in the house? Are you concerned about increasing levels of pollution and decreasing levels of green cover in the country? As the spaces inside India’s houses gradually decrease, making room for greenery becomes a tad difficult, but there is a solution. Vertical Gardening – is a solution that tackles the issue of lack of space and yet using plants to reduce indoor pollution. Here is a complete guide to do vertical gardening at home, like a pro.
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What Is Vertical Gardening And Why Should One Adopt It?
As the name suggests, vertical gardening is the process of growing plants on walls and pillars. It is about creating islands of greenery without using horizontal spaces. Plants in small pots are positioned vertically, one over another, on a supporting mesh like frame, giving the wall or pillar the look of vertical garden or green wall.
Talking about why an individual or organisation should opt for vertical gardening, Ruchika Wadhwa Bhalla, environmental entrepreneur and Chief Green Evangelist at We Decor8, a Gurgaon-based firm specialising in green décor and urban farming, says,
Vertical gardens are great options for houses or offices which don’t have much of floor space available for gardening. They can also be used to hide walls which look ugly. Such gardens can be erected both indoors and outdoors. Vertical gardens are not only a great aesthetic tool to improve the appearance and quality of life of living spaces, but also have significant health and environmental benefits.
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Apart from this, vertical gardens keep a check on air pollution, especially ultra-fine dust pollutants which easily enter the human body and lead to respiratory problems. Along with eliminating pollutants, green walls absorb heat and provide a cooling effect. As compared to bare walls, green walls can be cooler by up to 2 degrees.
Highlighting mental health benefits of vertical gardening, Ruchika says,
They bring a slice of nature into indoor spaces, lessening the psychological effects of living in enclosed concrete spaces. They elevate mood and help reduce depression by giving us a feeling of nurturing and protecting other living beings.
4 Step Guide To Do Vertical Gardening At Home
1. Identify a wall that needs a green makeover.
2. Choose the plants. From aloe vera, spider plant, bamboo palm, there is a long list of both indoor and outdoor plants. Select plants on the basis of location that is indoor or outdoor and the amount of sunlight the wall gets.
A range of plants are available, right from Rs. 200 to Rs 1 lakh per plant, choose depending on your budget. Many indoor plants require minimum maintenance, so decide accordingly, says Ruchika.
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3. Get the mesh like frame made to hang pots. Again, this will depend on the number of pots or the area of wall to cover.
The frame is often covered with a waterproof sheet so that water used to irrigate the plants does not wet the wall, tells Ruchika.
4. Set up a drip irrigation system for watering the plants. Don’t get scared with the ‘drip irrigation system’, there is no rocket science in it. This is basically a tube that runs horizontally on top of the frame. The tube releases water drip by drip directly into the pot.
It is not necessary to have a drip irrigation system. Some people prefer to do it manually, especially when the size of the vertical garden is small, which is completely fine. If you are having drip irrigation system, a good idea is to have some pots placed on the floor below the vertical garden to catch any runoff from the pots, tells Ruchika.
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Cost, Maintenance, And Everything Else To Know About Creating Vertical Garden
The initial cost of the project depends on the type of plants chosen. Starting from Rs. 500 per square feet for a module of three pots with plants to go with them, the cost can go up to Rs. 1,000 per square feet. Metal frame and drip irrigation will lead to extra cost.
Talking about sustaining vertical gardens, Ruchika says,
The trick is to choose the right location and grow the right plants which are best suited for the growing conditions offered by that location. Vertical gardens need some amount of sunlight, whether direct or indirect. Since there is not much soil used in pots, the plants are mostly nurtured by adding nutrients or fertiliser in water. Ensure you use optimum level of nutrients for each plant species. Remove dead leaves and flowers regularly and keep a check on diseases and pests.
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To begin with, try a single module of three pots to cover a square feet space of the wall, which can be watered manually. Though vertical gardens are less prone to attack by insects and pests, but pesticides can always help evade these. As far as life of the garden is concerned, it depends on how well it is taken care of.
Vertical gardens are rapidly gaining popularity in cities worldwide due to aesthetics and functionality. They filter air much better than artificial air filters and have a soothing effect on your soul. They are especially loved by children. Vertical gardens can not only change the quality of your surroundings, they can also change your quality of life, signs off Ruchika.
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NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.