Planting a garden is a unique way of planning for the future. While it may be an engaging hobby for some people, Gardening is also a passion for many. It is known to offer various benefits and may relieve stress and anxiety among senior citizens as well.
Recently, Seniority organised a Virtual Gardening Workshop for Senior Citizens, which was conducted by Gardening Expert Mr. Nilesh Rokade. He spoke at length about the basics of gardening and also gave valuable tips on the maintenance of balcony gardens, vegetable gardens and terrace gardens.
Basics of Gardening
One of the most important aspects of gardening is having a proper space for your plants. Mr. Rokade explained how it is important to select a dedicated space, where your plants can receive sunlight along with sufficient shade.
If you do not have a proper garden, you can still have potted plants in your balcony. Also, Mr. Rokade explained the importance of having different types of plants in your garden. Not only does this promote biodiversity in your garden, but it also prevents the spread of different infections.
Tips and Tricks of Gardening
One of the most important factors that can have a huge impact on your garden is maintenance. You must buy the ideal gardening equipment to take good care of the plants, in order to have a blossoming and lush-green garden.
Watering is another essential aspect of gardening that cannot be ignored. Although regular watering of plants is important, Mr. Rokade also warned about the ill-effects of heavy watering as it can have an adverse impact on your plants.
Moreover, people tend to use fertilizers or other chemicals to treat damaged plants. However, Mr. Rokade suggests that you need to allow these plants to recover through their own natural process, as the use of heavy chemicals may have an even more harmful impact on them.
Important Garden Requirements
For potted plants, you need to have rich, red soil along with a good mixture of compost. Mr. Rokade suggested the use of gau-mutra or cow urine for the maintenance of Tulsi plants.
He explained the benefits of having medicinal plants like Hadjod plant, Black Turmeric plant or the Costus Igneus plant (Insulin plant). These plants offer may offer relief from common health issues like joint pain and diabetes.
Mr. Rokade suggested adding tulsi and lemongrass leaves to black coffee, as these health drinks can help improve immunity as well.
Types of Plants in Your Garden
Winter is the ideal season to grow strawberry plants as well as curry leaves plants. Mr. Rokade also explained the benefits of having some fruit and vegetable plants in your garden.
You can grow brinjal plants, chilly plants as well as mango, pomegranate and papaya plants too. Mr. Rokade suggested the use of common household waste items to build a strong compost for your garden. You can also buy some important gardening tools that would help maintain your garden.
Importance of Medicinal Plants
Mr. Rokade spoke about the medicinal benefits of various plants as well. One of the most popular medicinal plants is Tinospora Cordifolia, which is commonly known as Giloy Plant. It is believed to be an immunity-boosting plant and has recently seen an increase in demand, due to the Covid-19 situation.
Apart from this, Ashwagandha is another medicinal plant that has been in high demand during Covid-19. Mr. Rokade suggested having a different section altogether for your medicinal plants as it will allow you to take better care of them.
Also, these plants do not require any special care or maintenance. You need to have proper pots to grow these medicinal plants and water them according to the climate. For example, you can water these plants once every few days during the rainy season and twice a day during the summers.
There was a Q&A segment at the end of this Online Workshop, where the attendees were given an opportunity to ask questions and Mr. Rokade answered them. So, here are some of the questions that were asked by attendees.
Q. How can I create and maintain a rooftop garden?
Mr. Rokade: You can start by getting different varieties of plants for your rooftop garden. Next, you can get green shade nets for your shade-loving plants and move the rest of the sun-loving plants to an area of sunlight. You can use earthen, cloth-made, geotextile or potato bags as well.
Q. What is the remedy for Mealybugs?
Mr. Rokade: Mealybugs are white-colored, sticky bugs that usually cause problems in the gardening area. You can get rid of these bugs by cutting the stem of such bug-affected plants. Also, you can use a chemical spray or insecticide to get rid of these Mealybugs.
Q. How do I pour water to the plants in my vertical garden without damaging the walls?
Mr. Rokade: One of the most common problems with having a vertical garden is that the walls tend to get damaged due to regular watering. However, you can avoid this by implementing drip irrigation in your vertical garden and pouring calculated amount of water.
Q. I have brinjal plants and chilly plants in my kitchen garden. But, the flowers on these plants fade away very quickly. How can I prevent this from happening?
Mr. Rokade: One of the main reasons for such behaviour may be the lack of calcium among plants. For this, you can try cutting off the top part (5-10 cm) of the plant along with the initial 1 or 2 flowers. Due to this, the plant will slowly begin to grow a greater number of branches. This will eventually lead to more number of flowers and finally the plant would have a good number of fruits or vegetables.