Ikore International

Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years. Knowing the advantages of gardening makes you want to go all out and enjoy the benefits. To start with, the maximum exposure to vitamin D and the enjoyable aerobic exercise gardening provides make it worthwhile. Being surrounded by nature, digging, planting and watering can improve your mood, taking your mind off the stresses of everyday life.

Are you thinking of limited space for your garden in the city? Let’s take a look at the seemingly unavailable space at the backyard, hallway, rooftop or a shelf. Permit yourself to be innovative with the windowsill, balcony, patio and any free space in or outside the house. The walls can also serve as space in the case of vertical gardening.

Containers, pots, used tyres and buckets in an urban setting can replace the regular use of ridges in a spacious backyard. The number of plants to be planted in a pot determines the size of pot to choose. The pots could be windowsill pots, hanging pots, colored tyres, plastic kegs and jerry cans be cut open or in two. Small plastic bottles can also be cut open, filled with soil and hung on the wall. Multi-pocket fabric wall planter can also be hung on the wall with enough pockets to accommodate a number of your choice plants. Do ensure that these containers have irrigation holes to drain off excess water to avoid the roots rotting off. 

The sunlight available at the chosen garden location determines the choice of plant. Certain plants need at least 5 to 6 hours exposure to sunlight. Some others however can do well in a shaded area or indoors. Soil can be sourced around the house, bought at the market or ordered online for a good start of your seedlings.

Seeds could be sourced from the fruits in your fridge. A ready example is the tomato. Cut the tomato in half using a knife. Get the seeds out on a tissue or cloth and allow them to dry for a day or two. Plant the seeds 2 or 3 per container, placing them an inch deep into the soil. Keep watering regularly to keep the soil moist. Within 7 days the seeds should start to germinate. Depending on the space, soil type and exposure to sunlight, many vegetables will thrive with a little effort and attention. 

Making your choice of what to plant depends on your preference and that of your family members. This is where the money is. Even though gardening could just be a hobby, it saves the money spent on buying fruits and vegetables in the long run. As the garden grows and expands, there is a ripple effect: storage of your garden product increases, which could be sufficient for long periods of time, thereby shielding you from scarcity and price hikes. You also save money from the reduced visit to the doctor as a result of healthy eating and regular exercise gotten from tending the garden. 

So which option(s) would you choose? Tomatoes, peppers, okro, ugwu (fluted pumpkin), scent leaf (Ocimum gratissimum), bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina), waterleaf (Talinum triangulare), ewedu or jute leaf (Corchorus olitorius) are some of the ideas for a Nigerian garden. Make your choice and enjoy the gardening experience.