Just because you crammed into the tightest corner of the city without any view of foliage or semblance of nature in sight doesn’t mean a garden is off the table. All you need is a window and a few supplies to start growing your own herbs and veggies. Here are 5 tips to get started.
1. Find a Spot
Choose windowsills, fire-escapes or balconies that are under the sun for at least 5 hours per day. If plants can catch the rain too, even better! You can keep more delicate herbs indoors while fruits, veggies and greens with more brawn and thicker skin can grow outsider.
2. Choose a Size
Do not overcrowd plants. Containers for herbs should be at least 15-centimers wide, while larger greens (e.g. lettuce), veggies (e.g. carrots) and beans require more space, so you should plant them in a pot at least 25-centimeters wide. Pots should also be deep, so that the roots can grow freely. The deeper the pot, the more successfully your plants will grow.
3. Support Growth
Bean stalks and other tall plants often require something to climb up. Be ready to support their growth by finding a stick to stand upright next to the plant’s stem as it continues to get taller, using a string to tie the stalk or stem to the stick.
4. Go Compost Shopping
Use compost that is fit for containers versus actually land, as these composts are better able to hold onto moisture and are equipped with extra nutrients to buffer plant growth.
5. Layer Wisely
Put stones at the bottom of the pot before packing in soil. This way, you can prevent soil from becoming too saturated with water at any given time. The stones drain the water from the soil. Use your finger to test whether you water too often or too much – poke your finger into the compost and it should be slightly moist just below the surface, not drench and swimming in water.
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image: Selena M.B.H