Gardening provides perfect path to grow through quarantine

While we are stuck inside during quarantine, it is pretty easy to fall into a rut. However, learning a new skill can be a great way to keep yourself focused and creative during uncertain times. With spring in full swing and summer approaching, now is the perfect time to start one of the most popular hobbies out there: gardening! While not everyone has space for a large garden outside, or time to build flats to plant in, there are many ways to start gardening even inside your own home. Here are some tips on how to get your gardening on during quarantine.


  • Try Indoor Gardening


Individual pots and plants have been increasingly popular lately, especially for college students, as it’s a manageable and easy well to bring some green into your space. An easy way to expand from a couple succulents to a more robust indoor garden is by creating a container garden! As the name implies, this way of gardening offers a lot of flexibility because it’s really like a create-your-own garden. Clay gardening pots are one of the best ways to go, but you can plant in a variety of pots and containers, as long as they’re big enough to allow the roots to spread and grow, and holes in the bottom to release water, called drainage holes. I’ve seen someone a couple blocks away with a bunch of lined laundry hampers in front of their house, each with a different plant growing in it!

Every plant has it’s own individual requirements for water and sunlight, so make sure you’re buying plants and seed that you can accommodate. If you have limited access to direct sunlight, avoid plants that require a lot of sun! Don’t worry though, there are plenty of plants that like a bit of shade. Some great beginners for indoor container gardening are herbs, because they take up very little room. Bonus points if you can keep them going long enough to use the herbs in your cooking! Some others that do well are anthuriums, spider plants, peace lilies, marigolds, or lucky bamboo, although there are many others. Just make sure your pot is big enough for your plant to grow into! You can also experiment by planting vegetables! Just make sure you can move them into a much larger pot (1-5 gallons) once they really start growing. 


  • Grow A Themed Garden


One way to make gardening more fun, is to start with a theme in mind. For example, you could plant flowers from all the colors of the rainbow to make a pattern. Or maybe try to get flowers, herbs, and vegetables all of the same color. A purple garden could have purple asparagus, eggplant, violets, etc. 

If you or your family enjoy cooking, you could also try planting a pizza garden by rowing toppings like tomatoes, basil, and peppers. 


  • Star With An Herb Garden


Herb gardens a great way to start off, because they’re easy to grow, relatively small, and can be useful in the kitchen. Parsley, thyme, rosemary, basil, and sage are some basics, but there are also some fun experimental herbs that you won’t find in stores that you can grow instead. Herb garden is a great way to try out gardening without commiting to a full vegetable garden.


  • Try Composting


Plants take a lot more care than just throwing seeds in a random patch of dirt and watering them every so often. The makeup of your soil and garden location are an incredibly crucial part to having a successful outdoor garden. One way to help keep your soil rich and plant friendly is by adding compost. Composting is incredibly easy, and very eco friendly. You can start a compost pile by just collecting leftover compostable food scraps and combining them with some dirt, and leaving them to decompose and mix together outside. Eggshells, coffee grounds, cut up banana peels, the stems of strawberries, lots of fruits and vegetables and other foods can decompose and be added to your garden to enrich the soil and promote plant growth. It’s a great way to use food waste too, and takes so little effort you’d be silly not to try it. 


  • Always Know Your Plants


Most importantly, if you want to start gardening, get to know your plants. Every plant requires something different, so make sure you know what they need before you pop them in the soil. Make sure you’re attentive to how much water and sunlight they require, and that you have the right area to plant them in before you go and buy up every seed packet you can find. 


  • Have Fun!


Now is a great time to start a new hobby, or simply expand on your already existing indoor garden. Try something new and experiment with variety, setup, pots, theme, and just have a good time. My mother says that one of the most important steps of gardening is to talk to your plants and make sure you’re encouraging them along the way. I think right now we could all use some encouragement, and might benefit from having something small to water and take care of, so have fun experimenting with gardening!


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