Gardening Responsibly and Safely

Gardening is a therapeutic activity that helps promote mental relaxation and physical activity, bringing much benefit to the gardeners. 


However, if gardens are not properly maintained or if good practices are not followed, it may have detrimental effects on the gardeners and their neighbours. Some common issues include mosquito breeding, blocking of walkways or access paths, encroachment onto neighbouring property, as well as unsafe structures.

 

Here are some tips to help prevent or mitigate some of these issues and to create a friendlier and more conducive environment for everyone:


1. Mosquito Breeding

Flower pots and dishes

  • Loosen compacted soil for better drainage

  • Remove water in dishes daily

  • Keep unused pots and dishes overturned and in sheltered areas

Plants

  • Prune and maintain all plants regularly

  • Regularly flush plants that collect water (e.g. bromeliads, cocoyams and pitcher plants)

Water features and hydroponic/aquaponic setups

  • Add fish or BTI to all exposed water features

  • Check hydroponic/aquaponic pumps and reservoirs regularly and change water if needed

  • Install mosquito netting over hydroponic/aquaponic reservoirs

Drains, gutters, and other areas that may collect water

  • Remove debris and horticultural waste regularly to prevent stagnant water

  • Add environmentally-friendly larvicide such as BTI to kill mosquitor larvae

  • Keep garden tools, including watering cans, neatly in sheltered areas



2. Blocking of Walkways or Access Paths
 Corridors
  • Keep a clearance distance of at least 1.2 m width along the corridor to maintain an unobstructed passageway at all times

  • All planters, pots and racks should be neatly placed and should not obstruct the corridor

 

Pots

  • Choose planter boxes or pots that are lightweight with rounded edges to ensure safety of passers-by

  • Ensure that hanging planters, pots, racks and other structures do not protrude or obstruct the walkway or access path

  • Flush pots and planters against the edge and sides to avoid tripping

 

Plants

  • Avoid growing plants that have an untidy growth habit or have spines and thorns that will protrude into the walkway or access path

  • Trim plants regularly that may be obstructing the walkway or protruding out

  • For roadsides and ground level planting, refrain from planting near road junctions as this can obstruct traffic visibility

 

 

 

3. Encroachment
  • Garden either within your own home, or at the area immediately outside of your home, within reasonable limits and conforming to authority guidelines and regulations

  • Engage your neighbour and get their understanding if your garden may go beyond the area immediately outside your home

 

4. Unsafe Structures
  • Planters and racks should be safely secured on the inner side of the parapet walls using brackets

  • No items should be placed on top of the parapet walls, hung from the ceiling or hung outside the building

 

For more information and tips on how you can garden in a safe and responsible manner, check out relevant resources available online.

 

 

Gardening with Edibles
NParks will be distributing a total of 400,000 seed packets of edible plant varieties to interested members of public this year, as part of the Gardening with Edibles programme under the Edibles Horticulture Masterplan. Through the programme, NParks aims to encourage the public to garden at home or in community and allotment gardens, as well as give them the opportunity to play a key role in the ownership and stewardship for nature as we grow our City in Nature, which will bring forth benefits of health and well-being. 

 

The seed packet will contain one type of leafy vegetable from among 10 varieties and a plant care sheet in four languages. Members of the public who are interested to receive the seed packets are invited to register at www.go.gov.sg/seed-pack-registration or call 6499 1099 to receive their seed packets through mail. 

 

This brings the total number of seed packets distributed under the Gardening with Edibles programme since its launch in June 2020 to some 860,000, complemented with a slew of free online resources and workshops catering to different skill levels. The programme is also aligned with Singapore’s national strategy to strengthen our food resilience and reach the “30 by 30” goal led by the Singapore Food Agency. The Gardening with Edibles programme was established with the support of founding partners DBS Bank and Tote Board, as well as the Garden City Fund, a registered charity established by NParks. This round of seed packet distribution is made possible by the programme’s partner Singapore Post Limited, through the Garden City Fund.

 

 

Gardeners’ Day Out

Participate from the comfort of your home with online activities such as talks and demonstrations, video tutorials of activities and promotions offered. Enjoy Gardeners’ Day Out online at www.nparks.gov.sg/GDO.

You can also enjoy videos of our Gardening With Edibles Masterclass Series. They are conducted by NParks horticulturists, focusing on unique and challenging edibles across different plant families.

 

 

Learning More
If you are a gardening newbie, visit NParksSG, our refreshed YouTube Channel that serves as a one-stop repository for close to 300 video resources. It covers topics ranging from types of soil needed for your garden and how to plant, harvest and even cook your edibles. 

 

For more information about the flora and fauna found in Singapore, please visit Flora and Fauna Web.


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Text by Hong Zhongzhi, Jacqueline Chua and Ang Wee Foong


 

 

 


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