An increase in home gardening has not only added more green pockets in the city but has also opened profitable margins for nurseries.
Bangalore: During the lockdown, many professionals and homemakers took up home gardening as a hobby. Due to this, nurseries saw a steady increase in their sales post lockdown. Nurseries in Ramohalli and Ketohalli saw their sales shoot up by 30-40 per cent. According to Anand Sharma, owner of Green India Nursery in Ramohalli, “During the lockdown, many people started investing in agriculture at home and even started their own online platforms to sell plants which opened profitable margins for us.” Nursery owners have also stated that there has been a demand for plants like Rose, Dalia, Cactus, Creepers, and other ornamental plants.
According to home gardeners, kitchen and terrace gardening did not only kill time but also helped with stress management. Aruna Rana, a homemaker who started terrace gardening during the lockdown has been vocal about its benefits. “Every time things got overwhelming for me at home, I would spend two to three hours in the garden to help relieve all my stress,” she said. “Having homegrown organic vegetables continues to be a health benefit for my family,” she added. To cut costs relating to soil and pest control, home-gardeners now use other mediums such as sand, coconut husks, and rice hulls to grow plants. They also make their own water sprinklers instead of buying new ones.
The horticulture department promotes terrace and kitchen gardening by providing training of modern techniques like soilless farming using organic waste. Mohammed Ali, secretary of Nurserymen Co-operative Society said that sales almost doubled post lockdown. “We have a separate wing for parks and gardens who conduct terrace gardening training for the entire state. We give some technical guidance of basic knowledge to the interested persons,” he said.
Environmentalists said that having a green cover on your terrace automatically makes your home cooler. This helps in saving energy and preventing carbon emissions from air conditioners. P. Ashwin, project manager at Environment Support Group (ESG), said that there are numerous ways in which home gardening helps the environment. “The plants suck in Carbon dioxide and other pollutants in the atmosphere and give out fresh oxygen helping with the city’s air pollution,” he said. “Many people are recycling kitchen waste and using it in home gardens. Hence, home gardens can help with waste management,” he added.
Experts also say that home gardens act as reservoirs of biodiversity as many insects and micro-organisms live in symbiosis with the plants.