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How to create a garden? Here’s what to do

Living in big cities means that we miss the luxury of sitting in our garden and enjoying an evening as life goes by. While we may not have a full-fledged garden, here’s what we can do

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How to make the garden
Source: The Spruce

Just the thought of sitting in the evening with flowers and greenery everywhere is a luxury that few can afford. Gone are the days when there were bungalows with huge gardens with trees and rows of flowers in the flower beds. Well, all is not lost here. If you have a terrace, there is a lot of the outdoors that you can bring to it.

Planting a roof garden is not too expensive and it’s an investment that will help you improve your well-being and health. Here are some benefits that it brings given the stress and anxiety that the present pandemic has brought with it.

Improved mental health

Regular daily contact with nature is very important for mental health. However, many people who are living in cities don’t have the luxury to leave their homes or workplaces to have much needed daily contact with nature. With a roof garden, you can take a coffee break from work and enjoy your break as you work from home.

Better air quality

Roof gardens are known for filtering and absorbing CO2 emissions and releasing oxygen. If you have a garden on the terrace, you are reducing greenhouse emissions and conserving energy.

Effective use of rainfall

Green roofs absorb up to 80% of rainfall and their plants serve as a natural filter for the water that runs off the building.-

Energy efficient

Rooftop gardens are energy efficient because they provide insulation. This means less air conditioning in the summer.

Urban agriculture

Another advantage of roof gardens is that you can grow your own veggies. Fresh veggies plucked from the garden are more nutritious because it’s not processed. It is also environmentally friendly because it has a smaller carbon footprint.

Less noise

Having a roof garden can help absorb the city noises and provide a quiet and peaceful environment.

But the question is how does one go about creating a rooftop garden? There are many options that you can go for. Using hydroponic planters is an effective way to grow plants with water that contains nutrients instead of soil. Many hydroponic planters and kits are available, you can choose what suits you best.

Options

Homemade growing systems can be simple. There are 2 main types: Flood and drain and the reservoir method. The flood and drain method consists of using 15-litre plastic tubs with lids opaque in colour to help keep the light from depleting the nutrients in the water.

Place individual plants into their small plastic planters. Cut holes in the lid of the tub, just the size of the smaller planter and drop the plants into each hole. Use the second tub with a lid as a reservoir. But in this tub cut holes in the side of the tub.

Run your waterline between the two tubs. Placing the reservoir tub level with or above the tub containing your plants, allows the water solution to flow through the waterline from one to the other, flooding or watering the plants.

The second method or reservoir method also uses the 15-litre buckets or tubs. But here, the plants sit in a reservoir filled with a nutrient solution that covers the roots.

But if water is an issue and you don’t want to use these two methods, using good old soil to grow your plants is a tried and tested method. But then comes the issue of choosing what kind of planters to choose? Should it be wood, metal, concrete/stone or plastic? Choose a durable product.

Wood

These tend to be the most durable and weather-resistant. They can be beautifully painted or stained to accent your decor and many have lovely designs made out of the wood itself to add depth and dimension to the planter.

Metal

Have a modern accent to them and add beauty to the roof garden. They are very durable and rugged, but be careful as they may damage your plants when they overheat in the summer.

Concrete or stone

These planters are great for an outdoor garden. They are generally very decorative, durable and resistant to wind.

Plastic

These planters are affordable. They are lightweight and easy to transport or move if needed, due to in-climate weather or to move indoors for winter.

Ceramic

These planters are fragile but very colourful as well as decorative. These tend to be on the heavier side like the stone or concrete pots, but are an appealing addition to any outdoor space.

Things to keep in mind

Creating a roof garden requires a complete transformation of the roof, especially if this is the first venture of its kind. Check the load-bearing capacity of the roof structure and drainage regulations. Climate conditions are also important factors to consider, as temperatures and winds affect plant life, flowers and trees.

Each plant requires different conditions, different temperatures and lightning. If you are incapable of picking the right plants in your roof garden, it is best to leave it in the hands of an experienced professional.

Learn how to utilise the space you have. Many small roof gardens have some truly stunning designs. Gardening is often described as an art form. It’s very easy to add shape to your garden and hide boring lines.

When planning your garden design, start by writing a list of all the things you like. Are you one for barbecues? Do you like to cook with fresh herbs?

Do you need a low maintenance option? Do you prefer dainty flowers or clean-cut modern lines with an organised look? Split your garden into at least two sections to incorporate all of your ideas.

Talk to experts at your local garden centre to find out about any specifics such as when to plant and soil types etc. Alternatively, buy yourself a good gardening book.

You can add a rockery, a waterfall, curved flower beds, and small trees or bushes. Colour is a matter of personal choice but opt for bright colours.

Once the garden is ready, you will need tools for its upkeep. Here’s what you will need.

Hose

A rubber hose is more flexible and less likely to get cuts or splits. But these can be a bit expensive. The length of a hose will also determine the weight (the longer the hose, the heavier it will be.

Pruning shears

These are essential to prune your plants or cut and trim unwanted branches and weeds. They are great to help shape your plants to allow for effective growth. After each use, rinse in water, dry and cover with a protective cover before storing it away in a proper place so that you can find it next time you need it.

Gloves

This is one of the most crucial items to possess. We all know that weeds as well as many plants and flowers have thorns. Gloves will prevent blisters as well as protect your hands from getting scratched.

Getting all of your ideas and plans in place all comes down to imagination. It may be hard work in the beginning but your time and patience will be more than worth the wait. And it all starts with preparing your roof and waterproofing it.

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Lifestyle

The ultimate kit for the body

Keeping fit during the present pandemic and increase immunity to fight the looming third wave is the best way to move forward.

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two girls doing pussups
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

We all want that perfect body. More so today due to the COVID-19 ad need to build our immunity to prevent getting infected. While there are many things that one can do, we are somewhat restricted since not everything is open – gyms with 50 per cent occupancy and swimming pools not open yet.

But this doesn’t mean that we have to totally give up on the exercise. In fact, this is perhaps the best time to put on your shoes and get that perfectly healthy body that one always wanted. Here is a list of super-easy hacks that can actually help without much hassle.

Lightweight shoes

If one is chasing something then running is a must. More so, if one wants to lose weight or clear the cobwebs — mental and physical problems. Running will help burn those extra calories that one may have put or are eating because one is at home. Early mornings are usually the most soothing time to hit the road. There are fewer people. This means that there is social distancing. A good pair of shoes can achieve mental peace and that body goal.

Hydration factor

Drinking enough water is not many people’s priority despite being aware of its multiple benefits, right from good skin to weight loss it curbs all problems. What can be better than plain water?

Doctors and nutritionists agree that drinking eight to 10 glasses of water has proven to help in weight loss much faster. Many celebs mention detox water in their diet. The digestive system is dependent on your water drinking habits. Promise the body to stay hydrated properly. Take four cups of water, add one sliced cucumber and sliced lemon. Refrigerator before drinking throughout the day.

Fitness tracker

Since the time this gadget has come in, it has changed the lives of many. However, there are people out there who don’t monitor their workouts. It is very important to have a workout journal, it helps you track down physical activity, check body composition, and have a monthly target for effective and faster weight loss.

Since many of us are still working from home, tracking workout patterns can be difficult for many. This is when technological innovations like fitness trackers can be of great help as it helps us to track heart rate 24/7, steps, distance, calories burned, hourly activity, active minutes, floors climbed.

All the busy people out there trying to strike a balance between work and gym can simply add this to keep a count on their day-to-day physical activity.

Dumbbells

Weight always adds extra power to the weight loss journey and that is why people usually tend to join the gym. But with only 50 per cent occupancy allowed, it may not be possible to lift weights every day.

Invest in good dumbbells. They are great when it comes to curbing extra fats from the body. Buying dumbbells prevents one to spend extra on a gym subscription every month. Also, it can be an added benefit as one can do it whenever there is time — early morning or late night.

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Lifestyle

What to do when you miss your ex

It is always tough to deal with a situation when you have to get over the ex. Here are 16 ways to move on when you still love your ex.

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What to do when you miss your ex

It is always tough to deal with a situation when you have to get over the ex. You miss the closeness you shared and the love you still have for that person unfortunately the other person has moved on and so should you. Here are 16 ways to move on when you still love your ex.

What to do when you miss your ex

1. If you love a person, fight for him/her as hard as you can. No matter how strange or weird it seems, fight for the love of your life. You may not succeed but at least you tried. This will help you avoid regrets in the future that you may have with regard to that relationship.

2. If despite fighting for that relationship, the person leaves, the next step is how to let go. You must accept the reality. You need to tell your brain it is all over.

3. There’s an adage: If you love someone set him/her free, if it’s meant to be, they will come back to you. Leave everything to destiny.

4. Stop thinking about that person all the time or the good times you spent with each other. This will hurt you. Return his/her things.

5. Focus on other important things in life. Focus on your job, family, and friends.

6. Stay away from all social media accounts for some time. You may be tempted to look at what he/she is doing. This is a strict no-no.

7. It is just as important to stay away from common family and friends. Communicating with them will only remind you of him/her. If you don’t do this, it will only make it hard for you to forget him/her.

8. Always have a friend whom you can speak with regarding your ex. You need a person who can listen to you instead of pass judgment on your relationship. Look for a person whom you trust and who understands what you are going through.

9. It is important to give yourself time to get over the ex. Be patient. Don’t force yourself to heal fast. Some people take more time to get over it than others.

10. Depression is a common symptom when the ex walks out. Don’t brood. Surround yourself with people who care about you. Ask a friend to give you company. Or go stay with a friend. Take yourself out of the situation that was familiar.

11. If you don’t a family member close by, take up a hobby or an activity that will keep your mind from thinking about the ex. Take up painting or learn a new skill. A new skill can help you further your career and advance professionally. It will give you a sense of achievement.

12. Your ex is not the only person you love. There are many others who can appreciate the love you shower on them.

13. Learn to love yourself. Tell yourself that you can love yourself. You can be your best friend. Sleep properly, treat yourself well, avoid stress and eat well.

14. Don’t dwell on the pain. It will make you eat junk food and engage in unhealthy activities. Instead of developing destructive habits and up in a worse situation look for constructive things to do.

15. Find romance elsewhere. You may think that your ex was the love of your life and you won’t find anyone else. This is not true. You gave to move ahead — despite the temporary heartbreak. Love should not be restricted to any person. You can keep a pet and show it, love.

15. It is not very easy to be happy for your ex since you are miserable but it’s a sign of maturity. Love should not be selfish. It should be about being happy for others even if it is your ex. Like you celebrate your friend’s success, do the same with your ex.

16. Be happy in all situations. Life is about ups and downs. It is not all roses. It is important to be happy. It may not be possible for you to imagine that it is possible to be happy without the love of your life but this is very much doable. Remember, after a dark night, there’s bright sunshine the next day.

Disclaimer: The above list is not exhaustive. The idea of this article is to let people know that it is possible to move ahead in life. Always take professional help as and when the need arises.

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Lifestyle

Best five ways you can charge your electric vehicle

Since the time electric vehicles have come into India, the question is how to easily charge them. Here are a few tips. Read on…

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can you charge two electric cars at home
Source: @Inventya Ltd.

Electric vehicles are slowly but surely taking over the automotive market. With electric scooters joining the four-wheelers, the question is how to charge them efficiently. With their many benefits, ranging from reduced emissions to low running costs, it’s easy to see why they are becoming increasingly popular.

And while this uptick in demand is great news for the environment and our wallets, it does present one small challenge – how do we keep all those electric cars juiced up? Here are five easy ways suggested to charge your electric vehicles.

Plug into a standard household outlet

Most electric vehicles come up with a charging cord that plugs into a standard household outlet. This is the slowest way to charge your vehicle, but it’s also the most convenient one of all other options that already exist in the market because you can use normal outlets in your house. This is also known as ‘Trickle charging’.

Level 2 chargers can be used for both home and commercial charging stations

They use a 240 V (residential) or 208 V (commercial) plug and must be installed by a professional electrician. They can also be installed as part of a solar panel system. Level 2 chargers deliver 10 to 60 miles of range per hour of charging, which means they can fully charge an electric car battery in as little as two hours. They are an ideal option for both homeowners and business owners.

Charge your electric vehicle using public charging spots

This is the fastest way to charge up your EV vehicles. Several ultra-fast charging stations can provide more than 150kw of power. DC charging is 10X faster than trickle charge and can boost up your charging from 20%-80% within 40 minutes. The power does not flow continuously in this, as of the charging power gradually decreases as the battery percentage increases.

Battery swapping is an alternative

This is a good way to charge electric vehicles, which involves exchanging discharged batteries for charged ones. This de-links charging and battery usage, so the vehicle can stay in the operational mode with minimal downtime.

Induction pads

These are the breakthrough technology that will eliminate the need for charging cables but still let you charge up your car on the street outside your home? So-called induction charging pads work like the wifi charging pads for smartphones – magically charging up the unit without plugging it in.

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