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22 days ago

Urban gardening in the monsoon

How should I start in-house gardening?

Several plants thrive indoors, making gardening feasible even in small apartments
Several plants thrive indoors, making gardening feasible even in small apartments Photo : Jannatun Nahar

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The recent heat wave in Bangladesh left everyone speechless. This is a stark reminder of the impacts of global warming. As temperatures soared, the urgency to mitigate these effects became apparent.

Recently, there was such chaos in planting trees as if it would immediately control the heat. One practical solution is planting trees in large numbers, which can bring a slight but significant coolness to the environment, but there are times, places, categories of plants, and other issues.

Monsson is the ideal season for planting. Source: Jannatun Nahar

Dhaka, the bustling capital, is dominated by skyscrapers and has minimal greenery. However, residents can take the initiative to transform their city into a green oasis, starting from their own homes.

Within limited gardening space in the city, plant lovers always find spaces for plants. Be it on roofs, on tiny balconies, or indoors, rooftop and balcony gardening are popular options for gardeners among Dhaka's urban dwellers. Several plants thrive indoors, making gardening feasible even in small apartments.

Monsson is the ideal season for planting. From late June to August, the weather is perfect for gardening. The abundant rain and moderate temperatures create ideal conditions for plants to thrive.

Rooftop Gardening

Rooftop gardening is an excellent way to utilize the ample sun, wind, and rain exposure on roofs. Though this opportunity is not available for all, like the tenants, those who have must grab it.

It is expected to plant fruit and vegetable trees on rooftops, as well as a variety of flowering plants. Before starting a rooftop garden, it's advisable to seek help from skilled professionals to prevent damage to the roof and ensure optimal results.

However, adequate sunlight, air circulation, and space are crucial for the healthy growth of these plants.

Suppose there is sufficient space on the roof. In that case, large or medium tubs can be used to plant flowering plants such as multi-coloured Baganbilash, Shiuli, Hasnahena, Bakul, Kath Togar, Deshi Joba, Kathgolap or Krishnachura. Alongside flowers, fruit trees can also be planted in tubs.

Ismat Jahan, a teacher at a Dhaka college, started vegetable gardening during COVID-19. "I have less sunlight on my balconies, so I preferred the roof. I have several winter-season veggies, chilli plants, and pui shak on my roof. I enjoy gardening at my leisure."

Planting fruit trees in an open space in front of the house or tubs on the roof can yield delicious, homegrown produce. Guava, Amlaki, Grapefruit, Strawberries, Pomegranate, Lemon, and Chili trees are well-suited for rooftop or tub planting. Ensuring enough sunlight and air circulation is critical to their success.

Creating a permanent structure on the roof and filling it with soil can provide a stable environment for plants.

Balcony Gardening

A green terrace with a cup of coffee or a good book can provide instant relaxation and peace of mind at the end of a long day. No matter the size of your balcony, you can create a personal sanctuary with thoughtful plant arrangements.

You can plant flowers like China Togor, Belli, Madhobilata, Orchids, Mosroses, cactus, and money plants. Source: Jannatun Nahar

You can plant flowers like China Togor, Belli, Madhobilata, Orchids, Mosroses, cactus, and money plants. Rain lilies bloom with the onset of rain and are a must-have. Consider creating a small pond with aquatic plants for an added touch of nature.

Long-lived or woody plants may not thrive in tubs for extended periods, so seasonal flowers are often the best choice for balcony gardening. Roses, Marigolds, Hajari belli, Aparajita, Nayantara, Shondhamaloti and Gandharaj are excellent options for tubs on balconies.

White fragrant flowers like Dolanchanpa, Kamini, Sugandi or Aromatic jui, Gandharaj, White Champa, White Rangan, Sudarshan or spider lily, Rajnigandha and Mehndi flowers are also options for balcony planting.

One has to take care of these fruit-flowering plants a lot. Provide fertilizers, medicines if required for insects, a portion of sunlight, and all. One can also plant indoor plants that proliferate with less care and attention to avoid all these hassles. Different types of money plants, such as green pothos, calathea, aglaonema, snake plants, philodendron, and bamboo trees, are very adorned species that provide a rich look to your house.

Jannatun Nahar, a gardener, has many plants in their house. "From the roof to our balconies, my mother and I have planted different seasonal plants, for which, in every season, you can see flowers blooming and fresh leafy greens in our house. Though the rainy season gives the best view to my garden, of course."

The monsoon season is undoubtedly the best time for planting trees. If you are passionate about greenery, you can start growing in your house, balcony, roof, or any open space.

The current tree fair in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka, offers a wide variety of flowers, fruits, and decorative plants for your home. Small and large nurseries have set up hundreds of stalls, making it easy to find your favourite plants.

Many nurseries in Dhaka, including those in Asad Gates, Agargaon, Kolabagan, Khilgaon, Doel Chattar, Satmasjid Road, Uttara-11, Kuril Bishwa Road, 300 Feet Road, and Mirpur-13, sell a variety of plants. You can visit these nurseries to purchase or order online from platforms like Tree Haat, Bonayan.com, Aroneer, Plant Shop, Bonsai BD, Cactus, and BRAC Nursery.

Greening Dhaka is not just a dream but a necessity in the face of rising temperatures and global warming. The rainy season provides the perfect opportunity to start planting, and with numerous nurseries and online platforms available, getting started has always been challenging.

Whether you have a large roof or a small balcony, transforming your space into a green retreat can bring immense joy and tranquillity while benefiting the environment. So, take the initiative and start planting today!

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