Gardening is regarded as one of the healthiest activities (for both mind and body) that anyone can take up. To get into contact with soil, to earn the reward of seeing your lovingly tended seedlings and cuttings mature into fully grown plants, and above all to eat the produce of your own labor, can put you in touch with a very important part of your human psyche. For those of us who have moved to the city, it can be difficult—difficult but not impossible!
“With the aid of modern technology,
there is much that can be done to
supplement nature and to help you grow
your own crops in the city.”
What Do Plants Need?
To give of their best, all plants need certain basics:
- The right amount of light. Generally, more is better.
- The right temperature—in the Goldilocks zone.
- The right amount of water.
- The appropriate nutrients.
Start with the Weather
If you are growing outside, nature will provide most of the light, warmth, and water that you want, but you need to know when to intervene. A good place to start is to keep yourself up-to-date by getting hold of an app on the weather by Apalon Apps.
You may need to combat nature by providing protection against the cold. A simple cloche is like a miniature greenhouse which will enable your growing plants to stay snug and warm during sudden cold snaps in the all-important months of spring.
Adequate, but not excessive, water is essential. If your plants are indoors, you need to take full responsibility for their water. If they are outside, you need to look after them when the climate lets them down. There are a number of watering gadgets (ranging from very lo-tech to fairly hi-tech) which can help you, especially if you are away for a few days.
As well as keeping plants alive, water also delivers the nutrients they need. You can do this by guesswork and hope, or you can use technology to help you out. The Parrot Flower Power is a great example of a sensor that you can implant in the soil which will constantly analyze the moisture content and the available essential nutrients. It will then notify you via an app on your smartphone when water or the correct type of fertilizer is needed.
If you really want to take over responsibility for your plants completely, you could look into the expanding world of hydroponics, the method of growing plants without soil by providing all their nutrients directly to their roots in water alone. You might lose the satisfaction of getting your hands dirty, but enthusiasts claim that hydroponics is not as complicated as most people fear, and provides a reliable source of healthy plants.
Give It a Try
If you love the thought of growing your own fruit and vegetables (or at least some of them) then do not be put off too easily by the fact that you do not have a lot of space. With the aid of modern technology, there is much that can be done to supplement nature and to help you grown your own.
Have you tried to grow fruits and vegetables while living in the city?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.