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Gardening For Wellness: Grow Your Greens Organically At Home

The Plantita Project gives tips and tricks on how to make your vegetable and herb garden flourish healthily

With the plant parenting trend  on high, a lot of people have already converted their spaces into respective gardens—whether they’re growing the greens in an actual backyard or a makeshift one in their urban spaces. The health pandemic pushed us to hone our inner green thumbs, with most of us letting the soothing effect of the activity nurture our souls and keep our mental health in check.


However, having stylish plants that are perfect for the ‘gram or our interior setups aren’t just the rage. We’re all currently staying put at our own abodes, and wouldn’t it be nice (and safer!) if, instead of buying your salad greens or herbs from the market, you grow them yourself?


In Forest Lake Memorial Parks' second run of their Creating Better Days webinar series called, The Plantita Project, one of their segments taught attendees on how to grow your greens organically at home, presented by Lorenzo’s Sanctuary co-founder, Olive Medina. If you’re curious about how to jumpstart your vegetation at home, or already at it, but in need of tips on how to make them flourish healthily, she shares a bounty of useful and practical solutions!


“If you have a healthy living soil, then your plants will grow,” the webinar speaker shares. It all starts with the foundation of the plant—and to keep your greens happy and healthy, the first thing you need to tend to is the soil.


For existing plantations, you can nourish your soil with a homemade compost. Olive prompts plantitos and plantitas to watch out for DPK deficiency, or the lack of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in your plants. If your greens have yellow leaves, bear white or black spots in its fruits, or are unusually wrinkled, you need to create a compost that targets specific concerns.


Leaves that turn yellow is a sign of lack of nitrogen, and Olive says that sprinkling kakawate leaves or coffee grinds to the soil will address this dilemma. Meanwhile, black or white spots caused by lack of phosphorus can be fixed with fertilizers available in agriculture stores. Finally, a compost with a mixture of banana peels, molasses, and rice water that are fermented for 21 will correct the wrinkling of leaves due to lack of potassium.


If you’re just starting to grow seedlings, she warns not to put them directly to the soil as you need to make the ground a healthy one for your saplings to absorb much-needed nutrients for growth. Fifteen days before you transplant your seedlings to the ground or its permanent plant, prepare your soil.


Olive gives two options for this:



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The first one is EMAS or the Effective Microorganism Activated Solution, a gardening technology from Japan. All you need to do is combine 50ml of EM1 solution (available in agriculture stores) with 50ml of molasses, and mix it with 900ml of distilled water or rice water to make one liter of solution. 


The second option is to make your compost at home. It’s like layering your lasagna, she says—you need to alternately layer the Browns and the Greens in a bin. Browns are the plain brown bags, dried leaves, saw dust, and wood chips, while the Greens are coffee grinds, fruits and vegetables peels (except citrus), and green leaves. Every three days, you have to mix them, and on the 21st day, it will be ready to use.


She ends her talk with a few more reminders for budding plant enthusiasts. Olive reminds viewers that the perfect time to water your plants is from six to nine in the morning, or three to six in the afternoon, as these are the times when they can absorb better. She also shares that rice water is better as it adds nutrients to the plants. Lastly, avoid transplanting your plants too often as this leads to stress—and a stressed plant won’t likely to flourish nicely.


Watch the full webinar here:





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