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A city full of skyscrapers, buildings everywhere, intersected with an occasional park where urbanites go for their morning or evening constitutional. The only bits of greenery are the interspersed potted shrubs by the sidewalk or potted plants on the windowsill. Often, urban homes are small and compact, thus, for the urbanite with green thumbs, growing their own plants might pose a bit of a challenge.
With the innovations and technology today, there have been many ways that the people in the city might be able to grow their own vegetables in their balcony or windowsills. Some methods, like the hydroponics system, take up a small amount of space, and thus are easily set up within a small area. Pot racks are also a convenient method to grow several pots of plants within a small area.
Hydroponics is basically growing plants in a water and nutrient rich medium instead of in soil. The roots are supported using medium such as peat moss, vermiculite, or rockwool. This way, the roots are in contact directly with the nutrient-rich medium while maximizing oxygen intake. This method sees a successful rate of the growth of the plants planted with this technique. As the roots do not have to work through the soil to obtain nutrients, they grow bigger and faster. And it is definitely easy to grow your vegetables right on your low-rent flat’s balcony with this system. Some examples of vegetables that can be planted with the hydroponics system are:
Almost everyone who loves salad would love the taste of some fresh, crisp lettuce to go with their other greens. Lettuces are one of the vegetables that are easy to grow and maintain using the hydroponic system. Using a slightly advanced hydroponic system, the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT), the system uses a shallow stream of water and dissolved nutrients that water and feed the plant. Partially exposed roots also mean that the plant can also get oxygen from the environment as well to keep itself well-oxygenated.
Health buffs would love to have a row of hydroponically grown negative-calorie food right on their windowsill. Celery can be grown using the ebb-and-flow system, a fairly low-maintenance hydroponic method. This system floods the medium that the plant is in and drains slowly, keeping the medium moist at all times, which allow the short celery roots to be kept moist without drowning them. The only thing to be concerned about is to constantly check the medium for rot, fungus and diseases.
Radishes are a unique plant used to add some “zing” into cooking. The snappy, spicy, slightly sourish plants are used to make pickles, grilled, or even eaten raw. They are fairly easy to grow using the Direct Water Culture (DWC) system. The roots of plant are submerged directly into the nutrient solution, with aeration provided to keep the solution oxygenated. The direct contact with nutrients will result in less usage of fertilizers, and is a great medium for cultivating plant cuttings or clones.
Some other great ways to grow plants in a small place include vertical plant pot racks or spice racks. This way pots can be arranged vertically, saving space. Planting herbs in small pots and stacking them in spice racks is a handy way of keeping the herbs nearby the kitchen while cooking. Vertical planting racks are also great for slightly bigger potted plants like a lemon tree.
It is really easy to grow plants and vegetables in the city with the proper know-how to do it. All it takes is some know-how and attentive work, and you can definitely start growing your own vegetables on your balcony as well.