Friday, Sep 20, 2019 | Last Update : 09:26 AM IST

Garden on wheels

THE ASIAN AGE. | VANDANA MOHANDAS
Published : May 26, 2019, 2:49 am IST
Updated : May 26, 2019, 2:49 am IST

The jackpot hit is that the system can accommodate 30 plants in one go and all the space it requires is just four square-feet-area!

Mary Varghese’s mobile vertical vegetable garden, complete with drip irrigation system and compost unit, is perfect for those who don’t have enough space at home to grow plants.
 Mary Varghese’s mobile vertical vegetable garden, complete with drip irrigation system and compost unit, is perfect for those who don’t have enough space at home to grow plants.

Everyone would love a little greenery in their space, even if it is their office desk, dingy room, studio flat or apartment balcony. But what if there’s not enough space to accommodate floral plants or herbs or those essential organic veggies? Even if you could manage to set a few pots in your balcony, harsh weather conditions like summer heat or lashing rains could damage the plants. And if you are away for a few days, you will have to depend on neighbours or friends to water them.

What Kochi-based entrepreneur Mary Varghese has come up with is a one-stop solution for all these concerns – Vertigrove, a smart and innovative vertical growing system equipped with an automated drip irrigation system and a compost unit. The jackpot hit is that the system can accommodate 30 plants in one go and all the space it requires is just four square-feet-area!

“Four years ago, I had tried to build a vegetable garden in 30 grow bags at my home balcony, but was a messy affair,” begins Mary. During monsoons, the manure and soil spillover turned her home muddy. When summer came, the heat from the concrete building added to the misery and it all dried up. She never gave up and did it again and again, but nothing worked. That was when she thought of a vertical vegetable garden. It took her two years to develop it into the current form.

Learning from her failures, Mary gave add-ons to the system. “It’s a mobile system with caster wheels that helps one move the garden to ensure optimum sunlight. For watering, there’s automated drip irrigation with rechargeable battery which has a timer that can be set for one week if you are out of station so that the plants stay hydrated,” she says. Even moving is hassle-free, because the garden is cent per cent spill-proof.

The whole system comes in three models – pedestal-type with vermi compost, hanging type with compost and pedestal type without compost. Vegetable peels from the kitchen can be added into the compost, which turns into nutrition for the organic plants. Coming in many shapes and colours, including terracotta design, the pesticide-free veggie garden also serves as a beautiful décor piece at your home.

From decorative plants to herbs like oregano, parsley and medicinal herbs, to lettuce, spinach, mint, coriander, chilli and amaranthus, the system can host any green leafy vegetable or shrub. All it matters that the home stays pretty and healthy!

Tags: vegetable gardens, drip irrigation, terracotta