Home Gardening in West Bengal: How to Start from Scratch for Indoors, Terrace, Outdoors, Containers, and Apartment Balcony

Home gardens have become very popular due to their many advantages. In many major cities of India, home gardens are increasing, and more people are into them. Home gardening has many benefits; it is widely growing across India. West Bengal is home to some major cities, such as Kolkata, Asansol, Siliguri, Durgapur, Bardhhaman, Malda, and Kharagpur, in which the home gardens are constantly growing. 

Home Gardening in West Bengal
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Below we see about home gardening in West Bengal, how to set up home gardens in West Bengal, the different kinds of home gardens in West Bengal, how to set up a backyard home garden in West Bengal, and how to set up a balcony home garden in West Bengal, how to set up a terrace home garden in West Bengal, and the different herbs, flowers, fruits, and vegetables for West Bengal home gardens.

Home gardening in West Bengal

Choose the type of home garden

Backyard home gardening/outdoor gardening 
Select the ideal spot in your backyard 

The available sunshine is the most crucial consideration when deciding where to put a garden. Fruit and vegetable yields increase directly to the amount of sunlight available to the plant. Most garden plants require 6 hours of daily light in summer. Assume that a given location receives fewer than six hours of sunlight daily throughout the growing season. Shade-loving perennials are superior to veggies in this case.

Remember that the sun will be at its highest position in the sky throughout the summer months, so keep that in mind. A flat and gentle slope is essential for a productive backyard home garden. Steep slopes must be flattened to prevent erosion and make the spot more usable for gardeners. Regular watering is crucial for the well-being of your backyard home garden’s harvest. Consider the time and effort required for each site if you have many. Before beginning site clearance, create a strategy and gather the necessary equipment. 

Soil preparation for your backyard home garden 

Improve soil fertility by conducting a soil test to identify the soil’s composition and the type and then carrying out the ensuing procedures. When compared to compost, manure is more effective in promoting soil compactness. Adding organic manure to potting soil can gradually improve the soil quality. Organic manures are a great way to increase the soil’s humus and water retention capacity. In addition, it gives plants the perfect balance of macronutrients they need for growth (NPK).

Instead, the only option in India is cow dung manure. When available, composted manure is preferable to fresh animal waste. The ideal organic manure will be black, consistently wet, homogenous in texture, and rich in nutrients. Since practically all organic waste can be composted, it is possible to classify composting as a kind of recycling. Soil humus is produced throughout the composting process, and the particle size of the organic elements is reduced.

A quarterly application of compost increases the soil’s capacity to keep moisture and battle pests. Vermicomposting has gained in popularity as a means of composting in recent years. Here, earthworms play a key role in breaking down organic matter such as manure, food scraps, and agricultural waste so plants can absorb it. Products that have already been manufactured are also accessible.

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Mulch serves to protect the ground underneath. Mulch serves as a soil conditioner and temperature regulator. Mulch can be consumed by soil microbes, earthworms, and other helpful species and therefore incorporated into the soil. Mulches with a high carbon content last longer and are thus preferable for weed control to those with a low carbon content that decompose quickly. Repeated mulch applications during the growing season are necessary and highly recommended.

The best method to maintain a healthy soil structure is to limit foot traffic and grow plants in large, raised beds. Planting close together casts a shade over the soil’s surface, protecting it from drying out and keeping the temperature steady, both of which are good for the plants and the soil organisms. 

Plant your backyard home garden 

Either seeds or transplants can be used to begin a garden. In most cases, transplants are preferable to seeds. A six-inch tomato seedling, for instance, would be around six weeks old, but an eight-inch pepper transplant would be the same age. The rapid temperature rise will ruin any chance of the seeds developing and producing fruit. You’ll have fewer planting options if you don’t sow seeds within 6-8 weeks before transplanting. However, not all plant species are thus easily transplanted.

When you are ready to plant, you should give some thought to the quantity of seed that will be required. Underplanting can result in reduced yields, diminished quality due to insufficient growth management, and the unnecessary use of valuable garden space. In most cases, it’s best to overseed. It’s better to get rid of overgrown plants now than to waste time replacing them later. Verify the planting depth, number of seeds, and seed packaging instructions.

Unless otherwise specified, seeds should be planted at a depth of three times their width. Because of the distance between seeds, root and green crops are often harvested at the same size. Radishes have a diameter of one inch. In general, one inch is a good distance between seeds for planting. A full-grown head of lettuce typically measures between 6 and 8 inches across. Therefore, providing a length of 6 to 8 inches between each seed while planting is recommended.

To determine the appropriate seed spacing, you should choose one of the following methods: It’s recommended to rake the beds again once the seed has been evenly spread, but this time in the other direction. Toss a half-filled container of seed and sand onto the ground. After germination, it is best to dispose of any seedlings that aren’t essential. Just place your fingertips near the soil to keep your desired plants at ground level.

When shopping for transplants, it’s best to go with plants with healthy root systems and no known pests or diseases. To avoid disease and insect damage, you should avoid plants with yellowed leaves or damaged flowers. Roots should be white, densely covered with fine root hairs, and able to penetrate the soil easily. Growers use water and soluble fertilizer to help transplanted plants recuperate.

Water your backyard home garden 

You can water your garden manually with a can or hose, mechanically with sprinklers or systems, or in any combination. The only things that matter to the plants are how easy and cheap it is to care for them. A small garden or a few plants can be watered using a bucket or hose. Water can be saved in a big garden using a timer or drip water sprinkler system.

It’s essential to think about the watering can’s temperature. Plants aren’t the only ones that don’t like the feeling of a cold shower or bath. When watering seedlings and young plants, use warm water instead of ice-cold water. Seedlings and young plants, in general, are more vulnerable to the effects of a sudden temperature change. This might happen if you leave a watering can or hose in the sunlight for a long period.

Avoid wetting the leaves of plants while watering from above. Preventing foliar diseases requires an early start and drying before dusk. Succulents can withstand dry conditions for longer than other plants. Plants absorb groundwater and release it into the air. Water evaporates rapidly under the sun and breeze. Your plants can die from a lack of water throughout their whole bodies, from their roots to their leaves and stems. Water newly planted plants well, but don’t let them sit in a puddle of water.

There is also the risk of overwatering. However, if your plants begin to suffer from an excess of moisture, they are likely doomed. To their relief, most plants can be brought back to life simply by being watered again after they have begun to wilt. Drainage is improved with compost. Roots might rot if there’s too much water in the soil.

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Fertilizing your backyard home garden 

The fertilizer analysis can be found in the three numbers on the bottle label. The fertilizer consists mainly of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Numbers in this list are always presented in the same sequence. Home gardens should have their soil tested at least once every two years. Those with less gardening expertise might benefit significantly from knowing this. A soil test can show what amount of each nutrient to add or remove.

Do not over-fertilize your grass or plants. This might cause severe damage or even kill plants. Fertilizer typically weighs one pound for every two cups. The nitrogen content of fertilizers should be decreased. To get the same quantity of nitrogen as two pounds of 5-10-5 fertilizer, only use one pound of 10-20-20. Do not just throw organic fertilizer on top of the soil; mix it evenly and then apply it to your plants.

Balcony gardening/indoor gardening 
Choosing the proper containers for your balcony 

Almost every kind of pot can be used to grow plants on a balcony. You can use bushel baskets, drums, five-gallon buckets, and wooden crates. What goes into determining the container’s dimensions is the type of plant and the available area. When growing vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, 5-gallon pots work well. One or two-gallon pots are suitable for growing chard and tiny tomato varieties. Herbs, lettuce, and radishes are all low-maintenance vegetables that can be grown in pots of varying sizes.

The little maintenance required and room for established roots make them a great landscaping option. Storage containers can be made from either porous or nonporous materials. Glazed plastic, metal, or glass containers are other nonporous options. No matter how big the container is, drainage is a must. Adding one inch of coarse gravel to the container bottom will help the water drain more effectively. A distance of 0.5 to 1 inch from the bottom is optimal for the drain holes.

Choosing the suitable potting soil for your balcony home garden 

Water, nutrients, and structural support from the growing media are essential for plant growth. A proper drainage system is a must for every growing medium. Plants in pots on a balcony thrive in synthetic or soilless mixtures such as sawdust, peat moss, perlite, wood chips, or vermiculite. They can retain nutrients and moisture while draining effectively and are devoid of diseases and weed seeds.

Blending vermiculite, peat moss, and limestone with the correct amounts of superphosphate and garden fertilizer yields a silt-free mix. The optimal ratio for applying a 6-12-12 or 5-10-10 fertilizer after mixing compost and vermiculite is 1:1. It is recommended that 1 cup of 0-20-0 (superphosphate) be mixed with ten teaspoons of limestone to create a nutrient solution.

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If you want to reduce dust, just add water. Before planting or spreading seeds, thoroughly wet the mixture. Soil mixes can be made using sphagnum peat moss, compost, pasteurized soil, vermiculite, or perlite in equal parts. To enhance the soil’s physical properties and to provide nutrients, compost cow dung. Water is retained better in soil-based systems than in soilless ones.

Water your balcony home garden 

Watering a balcony container garden once a day is usually plenty for it to flourish. However, plants may rot and die from waterlogging if drainage is poor. If there’s too much water in the combination, the plants will perish from lack of oxygen. Sick plant leaves can be nurtured by water. You should use a fertilizer solution every time you water, other than the weekly leaching. Many people are using water-retaining gels in their container gardens on their balconies.

Hydrogels are the term used to describe these starch-based gels. They can soak up as much water as 100 times their body weight and then release it back into the soil. They are most effective when stirred into the soil before planting. Mulch added to the soil may also assist prevent water loss. Mulches come in many forms, and each has the potential to enhance soil quality in its way.

Manage pests and diseases in your balcony home garden 

Balcony container-grown plants are more susceptible to pests and diseases than those planted in the ground. These pests and diseases can rapidly spread, making a balcony container garden unusable. Pests that consume leaves, fruits, and illnesses should be checked for. Using fast-acting fungicides and insecticides is recommended if plant diseases or pests are identified.

Terrace gardening 
Consider these for terrace home garden  

Determine whether or not the terrace can support the weight. As the plants continue to develop and expand, the soil will become much heavier than it was at the beginning, which will cause the pots to become more loaded. To what extent do nearby buildings and rooftops block your terrace? Even in the middle of the day, plants supported by concrete in West Bengal can have some difficulties. 

Rooftop solar radiation in West Bengal generates heat reflected off nearby buildings, street vehicles, metallic exhaust structures, and utility equipment like water pipes. You may need some shade to protect both yourself and your plants. Strong wind gusts are possible on urban streets that are quite straight, particularly those with steep slopes. It could be necessary to erect a wall or fence to keep the trespassers out. Ensure that the building code is adhered to guarantee the structure’s safety and protection.

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Waterproof your terrace garden 

Making sure that your terrace is fully impervious to water infiltration is the first stage in developing a garden on a terrace. If you are going to take care of it by yourself, the best thing to do is to cover the whole patio with a tarp. Hiring a professional is another option for ensuring a watertight terrace. Check the strength of your foundation to ensure that the additional weight of your pots will not cause any harm to the structure. 

If professionals constructed it and the appropriate ratio of sand to cement was used, your house shouldn’t be too hefty for its foundation. If you do not like the way of collecting water without using tarpaulin, a terrific alternative is to use pot saucers. If you choose these choices, your terrace will be protected from rain.

Soil preparation for terrace home garden 

Even though the soil is a crucial component of every garden, inexperienced gardeners sometimes show little interest in working with it. You’ll have less work to do when your plants and soil thrive. You can include soil when using raised beds and containers in the growth process.

You can purchase potting mixes of a good grade or make your own by combining three parts compost and one-fourth part peat in a single container. The drainage in each container can be improved by adding a minute quantity of perlite to the bottom. Every spring, the soil in the pots has to be changed. You may repot the plant, replant it, or add more soil.

Water your terrace home garden 

Make it a habit to give your plants a good drink of water daily to help them reach their full potential and stay alive. Plants can efficiently use vast quantities of available water due to their daily hydration needs. Before 10 in the morning, the soil is in the optimum position to absorb water. During the hottest months of the year in West Bengal, most sun-loving vegetables and flowers, particularly those that thrive in April and May, need watering twice a day.

Consider using self-watering containers as yet another potential solution to this problem. As damp leaves provide the ideal environment for fungus growth, it is essential to allow them to dry out before night falls. You shouldn’t water your plants frequently with little water, and the moisture level should be steady. Plants require a steady, consistent water supply, but too much might kill them. When leaves are moist, there is a greater chance that diseases can spread. As a consequence of this, it is of the utmost importance to maintain a dry atmosphere around the leaves.

Always and consistently provide the plant’s habitat with moisture by watering it appropriately. Utilizing either a sprinkler or a drip system allows for more effective watering of plants. Sprinkler systems with moisture sensors can be used in your garden, balcony, or bed. However, an overabundance of moisture can be harmful to a plant’s roots. As a direct result of this, water does not build up. Work with soil with a significant amount of sand and clay for optimal results. You can access diverse watering tools and supplies to accomplish this goal.

Fertilize your terrace garden 

Insecticides derived from neem oil are consistently ranked as some of the most effective organic pesticides on the market. Aphids, mealybugs, and whiteflies are just a few of the pests that can pose a threat. It does not harm humans or animals, has no negative impact on the surrounding ecosystem, and effectively eliminates or controls unwanted organisms. It is also generally known that this medication has antifungal capabilities. As a direct result of this, powdery mildew could be prevented.

In addition to soap and neem oil, tobacco is an efficient organic insecticide that can be used against caterpillars and aphids. Cigarettes and cigars both include tobacco in one form or another. At the very least, one day should be allotted to thoroughly combine one cup of tobacco with four liters of water. It is best exposed to bright, warm light to maximize the solution’s effectiveness. The color of the solution will be quite light and reminiscent of tea. Before the solution is used on the plants, it must first be well combined.

Best vegetables for West Bengal home gardens

Chilies, bitter gourd, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, potatoes, beans, okra, spinach, peas, bottle, gourd, ivy gourd, eggplants, cucumber, onion, and lettuce are among many vegetables that can be grown in West Bengal home gardens.

Best fruits for West Bengal home gardens

Pomegranate, mulberry, Indian gooseberry, papaya, mango, watermelons, muskmelons, guava, custard apple, sapota, banana, pineapples, and figs are among the many fruits grown in West Bengal home gardens.

Best flowers for West Bengal home gardens

Jasmines, roses, dahlias, lilies, hibiscus, marigolds, daisies, chrysanthemums, and gerberas are among the many flowers that can be grown in West Bengal home gardens.

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Best herbs for West Bengal home gardens

Mint, chives, fennel, Basil, cilantro, oregano, and coriander are among the many herbs that can be grown in West Bengal home gardens.

Conclusion 

A great home garden can be grown in West Bengal in a short amount of time if you follow these instructions. Just be patient and ready to put in the efforts your garden may require. Soon you will have a beautiful and bountiful harvest in your home garden, whether it be a terrace, backyard, or balcony garden.

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