Bangalore: Bangalore, which was once known as the garden city is slowly losing its charm and turning into a concrete jungle. A study by an IISc (Indian Institute of Science) professor says that the city's green cover has come down alarmingly from 68 per cent in 1973 to 6 per cent in 2017. With increasing pollution levels and chemical-filled food, is it not time that the Bangaloreans realised the need of a healthier environment? The city is now witnessing a new trend: people are drifting towards urban gardening. Though there are space and time constraints, technological advancements and innovations have provided new ways and means to overcome them. Here are some options available for gardening enthusiasts.
Why should space constraint stop us from cherishing the happiness of having a garden? Since many of the Bangaloreans now live in a calculated amount of space, it is difficult for them to have a typical garden. In such cases, where the space available is small, vertical gardens are one of the best solutions. "I was bought up in Shimoga, amidst the greenery. After shifting to Bangalore, I wanted to have at least a small garden. But I had no space to have a full-fledged garden. That is when I found out that vertical gardens served my need aptly," said Swati, who grows 430 plants on her vertical garden.
Vertical gardening is a technique in which the plants are grown on a vertical panel attached to the wall. The panel could work as a medium to hold a number of small pots or can also be used to hold soil and fertilisers in which plants can directly be grown.
Vertical gardens can accommodate 300 or more plants based on the height
Grow your own food
People from big cities have an urge to show their children that agriculture is the backbone of our country. But lack of space and urbanisation have made this difficult. For such enthusiasts, "Swayam Krishi" serves as a platform to get back to their roots and spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Urban gardeners, who look forward to take their gardening to next level or anyone who wishes to experience the joy of cultivating their own food can use this platform. It rents out land at a price of Rs 2 per sqft. Once you indicate the dimension of land you wish to cultivate, you are given a list of plants you can grow. "Swayam Krishi" team helps you out with the infrastructure and other resources required. Once you sow the seeds and leave, the team takes care of watering and maintaining the plants. You can visit your garden/farm whenever you want and spend some peaceful time there. Plants start yielding crops after about four weeks, and the gardeners get to pick their yield themselves.
The five-acre land is divided into a number of plots
National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) conducted a "Clean air study" to find ways to clean the air in space. Its results suggested that in addition to absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through photosynthesis, certain common indoor plants may also provide a natural way of removing toxic agents from the air. Indoor plants have been in use for many years. Though they do add to the ambience of the place, indoor plants are preferred for their contribution to air purification.
Indoor plants act as natural air purifiers
One can also adopt traditional front yard and backyard gardens. Rooftop gardens are also becoming popular in the city.
Hanging pots in the frontyard brightens the environment
A study has predicted that the world population will grow to 9.6 billion by 2050. Such a huge increase in population would in-turn means that food production should also increase proportionately. There is a need to grow more, to feed the increasing numbers. But, with 80 per cent of cultivated land already in use and the rapid urbanisation of the countries set to continue, the challenge of producing more food in a sustainable way will become even more pressing.