Grow a gar­den in your Apart­ment

We prac­ti­cally live in a box called apart­ment, such is the con­straint of space in most big cities of the world. One look around and all you'll see are lofty ce­mented tow­ers or dusty con­struc­tion sites. Amidst the dust, grime and life­less sur­round­ings, it'

The Northlines - - HOME & GARDEN -

Not many have the lux­ury of a lawn fac­ing cot­tage or a bun­ga­low with a pri­vate gar­den at the back. How­ever, that should not be a rea­son to avert the idea of grow­ing some greens in your hum­ble lit­tle apart­ment. Surf through your home care­fully - the win­dow next to your kitchen sink, the bal­cony, the cor­ners of your liv­ing room, and the ter­race (if you have one), all of these serve to be ideal places for your ur­ban gar­den.

For Mum­bai based mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary de­sign con­sul­tant, Sh­weta Kaushik, cacti and succu­lents make for ideal house plants. "If you are look­ing for has­sle free no non­sense green within your house­hold, cacti and succu­lents are your best op­tion. They do not need to be wa­tered that of­ten as their nat­u­ral ten­dency is to sur­vive in harsh con­di­tions. You can leave them out on your bal­cony or a win­dow sill and pretty much for­get about them un­til you re­mem­ber you were try­ing to cul­ti­vate a green thumb. I have per­son­ally grown some Aloe Vera, and if you have the right con­di­tions, it even blooms!" she says.

An­other kind of con­tainer plant that fea­tures in her list of apart­ment greens is trop­i­cal palms. She says, "They are very easy to main­tain and do not die on you un­less you ig­nore them for too long. They come in a va­ri­ety of sizes and will be eas­ily avail­able at your lo­cal nurs­ery. They can grow up to 4 feet in height and look quite ele­gant when placed in the bal­cony." Be­sides this, peo­ple with culi­nary in­cli­na­tions can try grow­ing herbs. "Herbs aren't dif­fi­cult to main­tain at all and the thought of pluck­ing fresh leaves from your makeshift gar­den while cook­ing can be quite ex­cit­ing," adds Sh­weta. 6 herbs you can grow in your apart­ment

Lemon­grass: When you buy a stalk of lemon­grass at your lo­cal mar­ket, pick a stem that has a firm base. Sim­ply, trim the top of the herb and place it wa­ter. Don't sub­merge it; just en­sure that the base is 2-3 inches deep in wa­ter. The stalk will start pro­duc­ing roots and news shoots in a few days.

Mint: Out of spearmint and pep­per­mint, the lat­ter is an eas­ier op­tion when it comes to grow­ing herbs in an apart­ment be­cause this herb has a ten­dency to grow like a weed. Spread the pep­per­mint seeds in a small pot full of soil and keep it in the shade but near the sun.

Curry leaf: A flavour­some herb with beau­ti­ful aroma, curry leaves are found in most South In­dian homes. Plant the sapling in a flower pot and sup­port it with a stick as it will grow ver­ti­cally and would need some sup­port. Make sure it gets enough sun­light and wa­ter it at least once a day.

Pars­ley: Sim­ply spread the seeds in a pot full of soil and wait for the seeds to ger­mi­nate. Pars­ley grows very slowly and it may take 2-3 weeks for the herb to grow fully. Place it in an airy, shady corner.

Rose­mary :

Rose­mary doesn't need to be wa­tered fre­quently a n d there­fore can be eas­ily main­tai ned in an apartme nt. Out of the many va­ri­eties of the herb, it's wise to pick the one that grows up­right, mak­ing it eas­ier for you to care for it in com­pact spa­ces.

In­dian Basil: Al­most all In­dian homes will have the In­dian basil ( tulsi) in their homes. The herb re­quires very lit­tle care and grows well if placed near the win­dows. En­sure that the soil re­mains moist al­ways.

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