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7 Urban Farming Tips for Small Spaces
Posted June 17, 2024, 4:55 pm

Urban Farming is no longer something new for Singaporeans. In fact, as a way to fight the country’s dependence on commodity export, the Singapore government, along with local organisations, has made clear efforts to foster urban farming and gardening in the past few years. Working towards ‘30 by 30’ — to produce 30% of our nutritional needs by 2030.

So the question remains; How you can have an Urban Garden without the luxury of space?

While one can get an allotment lot from NParks, here are some tips for those who would rather stay away from the brutal heat and look at options within their homes.

If you want to join the movement, follow the tips below and see if you can turn your free space at home into a verdant urban oasis.

1. Go Vertical!

A 3-stack Grobrix Farm Wall

Traditionally, people plant horizontally on a vast expanse of land. But, when the space is limited and there is a need to pack an abundance of crops into a small space, the most logical way is to go vertical. Going vertical means putting plants in specific containers and stacking them up in a wall-like space.

That’s why we designed Grobrix – a grow system requiring minimal footprint and maximising the number of plants by building up!

2. Use Wall Pockets

Image credits: Singapore-hotline

If hydroponics isn’t for you, and you want something that can accommodate a variety of crops but with low maintenance, then wall pockets are probably best for you to grow the most with the least amount of footprint.

3. Use Hanging Pots

Image credits: Ikea

Hanging your beloved plants is another way to optimise your space while making the area look as fascinating as possible. While people normally use hanging pots to plant flowers, you can choose to put some herb plants in them. The best thing about hanging pots is that it should provide the plant with good air circulation.

Butterfly Sorrel would look great suspended in the air.

4. Provide Enough Air Circulation and Avoid Excess Heat

Image credits: The Uncommon Goods

Whatever crops or ornamental plants you are planning to get, it’s important to provide them with enough air circulation to grow. Just like humans, plants can get suffocated, and it will be hard for those plants to develop into their optimal forms. Some simple tips would be to add a fan to promote air circulation and ventilate your crops, or place your plants where natural breeze can be felt, and to avoid placing your plants on/near concrete surfaces that are directly exposed to the sun (particularly west facing facades).

5. Get Heat-tolerant Plant Varieties

Image credit: Grobrix Basil grown by Gerald Foo in his home

Not all homes are created equal; the facing of your windows determines the amount of light and heat your home receives. In our local climate, which is hot and humid, isn’t particularly favourable for most plants. However, don’t let that discourage you, as there are still plant varieties suitable for our climate. Plants such as basil, mint, and Chilli Padi are heat-tolerant plants that can thrive in our climate and are ideal for growing on the balcony or by the windowsill. While shade-tolerant plants such as Spring Onion, Bayam, Watercress, and Red Veined Sorrel are good for indoors where there is little sunlight.

6. Fertilise Your Plants

You want your plants to be fresh and bountiful. To achieve this, providing them with the right kind and the right amount of fertiliser is the answer. 

Over-fertilising can harm your plants just as much as under-fertilising. We recommend to follow the dosage instructions as advised by your fertiliser label and always check with the plant seller.

7. Provide Your Plants with a Good Drainage System

Drowning your plants is as dangerous as not giving them enough water. A general rule of thumb is to use the finger-test method to determine when your plant needs watering. Stick your finger about 1 inch deep into the soil. 

  • If your finger is covered with soil, hold off the watering. 

  • If there are some soil/particles sticking on your finger, you could water slightly or leave it another day. 

  • When the soil feels grainy/dry to the touch, water thoroughly. 

Most plants can tolerate a bit of drying up and additionally, a reduction in soil moisture will discourage pests and inhibit fungal growth. Whenever watering, perform a full drench (water should percolate out through the base of the pot), and make sure that there are no stagnant water.

Too much effort?

If all these sounds too much a hassel to you, check out Grobrix for Home, the only all-inclusive, most comprehensive farming solution in town!

For S$129/month, you get:

✔️ A Grobrix Farm Wall for your home.

✔️ 20 seedlings of your choice and nutrients delivered to your door. 

✔️ A direct support WA line to reach our urban farmers for any growing questions. 

✔️ In-person support for any troubleshooting that cannot be resolved via WA.

✔️ Perpetual warranty for any accidental breakage.

All you have to do is check the water levels once a week, refill the nutrients and learn to prune and harvest the crops as needed.  With Grobrix, you can enjoy a cleverly built edible green wall, complete with a wide range of non-GMO seedlings that will add a decent variety to your meals.

The Takeaway

Plants are like humans, they have the same basic needs as us. If it’s too hot of us, it’s probably too hot for them too.

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