The sun is out this spring and for many of us this glorious warmer weather means pottering around our beloved gardens. Gardening is a great hobby which is really taking a come back. Whether it’s growing flowers, nurturing an allotment or simply tending to your indoor plants, gardening can have a huge impact on your physical and mental health. Scientists are finding more and more evidence for the ways in which gardening enhances our wellbeing – from increasing our productivity to decreasing anxiety levels.
Gardening isn’t just for the old and retired, young people are taking an interest in their gardens too; wanting their outdoor space to look appealing for socialising and entertaining, as well as taking an interest in growing their own fruit and veg.
One of the main factors that stops many people from becoming green fingered is their lack of space. However, it may come as a surprise that you don’t actually need surplus acres to grow your own. You don’t really even need a garden. As long as you have a pot, some dirt, water, and sun, you can grow a harvest full of fruit and veg. Plant breeders know that after taste, home gardeners want a high yield in a small space, so they develop varieties that can grow in a small footprint or even live in containers all year long.
So, what you do need is good soil, plenty of sunshine, a water source and possibly a fence. Even if you don’t have a lot of space, there are plenty of plants that will thrive in small boxes or pots. If you have a small sunny spot in your garden, patio or balcony, you can quite easily grow vegetables and herbs. Here’s how:
- Vertical plants: One of the rules of thumb for small spaces is to choose plants that grow vertically. Vertical plants take up the least amount of space, so pole beans are a great choice for small gardens.
- Use your windows as a greenhouse; you can plant avocados in your kitchen with a leftover seed from a store bought avocado.
- Herbs will happily grow inside; Basil is easy to grow and will do well on a window sill or sunny spot. Chives, parsley and cilantro are also great for small spaces.
- Reuse & Recycle: Growing a sustainable garden doesn’t cost a lot either. You can reuse items like drinking cups to keep your plants thriving.
- Baskets are your best friend: You can grow small cherry tomato in hanging baskets or larger tomatoes vertically in a container.
- Sun: Vegetables need a good six or more hours of sun each day. Without sun, the fruits will not ripen and the plants will be stressed. Even if you are sun challenged, there are a few vegetables that can survive in light shade, such as lettuce and broccoli.
- Water: Vegetables require regular watering. Otherwise, they will not fill out and some, like tomatoes, will crack open if suddenly plumped up with water after struggling without it for a while. You can’t always rely on rain.
- Soil: Plants need a soil rich in organic matter. The soil is important to the growth of all plants but even more so with vegetables, and the taste can be effected by the quality of the soil.
Take on board these tips, as well as those in the infographic below from Trago, to create an indoor or outdoor garden within your space!