Growing Your Garden: Expectations vs Reality
Gardening used to be an activity reserved for farmers and grandmas - until now. Lifestyle brands and health experts have influenced people of all ages to pick up gardening as a new hobby. Although growing your own garden is a wonderful activity with many benefits, it can be frustrating for novices.
Whether you want to embrace a more holistic lifestyle or simply enjoy the taste of homegrown produce, here are the facts so you can dismiss expectations and prepare for the reality of growing your own garden.
Why should you grow your own garden?
There are many reasons for considering gardening. First, it’s good for the planet. The more fresh plants and less concrete we reserve for the world make a difference. Gardening promotes sustainability, a more holistic lifestyle, increases oxygen production, and reduces carbon emissions.
Since many are spending more time at home social distancing, gardening is rising in popularity as people are finding the time to try new hobbies. Prioritizing mental health is simplified through stress-relieving activities, like gardening. You get fresh produce while making your brain happy. It’s a win-win!
Read more: 19 mental health hacks to beat COVID-19
Start with an indoor garden
If you’re new to growing, try starting with an indoor garden. A kitchen counter, window sill, or balcony is the perfect place to house your leafy babies. An indoor garden lets you keep a closer eye on it so you can better monitor its progress. Plus, indoor conditions give you control over light exposure, humidity, and temperature.
Start with some seed trays and grow simple, small plants like alfalfa sprouts or herbs like basil, parsley, or cilantro. Others that grow well indoors are cherry tomato plants or an avocado tree!
How to propagate plants for your garden
Propagating is an excellent way to quickly expand your garden - for free! Plants are incredibly adaptive and have evolved to survive. Propagating is the act of cutting a plant in a strategic place so that it begins growing on its own. This happens all the time in the wild for example when an animal breaks a plant’s branch.
Just like you can propagate common house plants like a monstera or prayer-plants, you can use the same method to add to your garden. It’s a smart and effective way to quickly multiply the plants in your care without needing to purchase anything. Also, propagated stems are already matured, so you are not beginning from square one with seedlings.
Next time you buy green onions from the store, chop them above the white to retain the roots and place them in a jar of water or replant in soil. In a few days, you’ll see regrowth! You can also propagate baby potatoes, ginger root, and lettuce.
Read more: 6 ways to embrace a more holistic lifestyle
Easiest garden plants to grow outside
Put on the SPF, it’s time to take your growing efforts outside! Growing a garden outside is therapeutic in its process and can yield incredible, rewarding results. Depending on the climate of your home and season, you can experiment with vegetables and fruits.
For warmer climates, citrus trees are generally easy to grow. They typically produce bountiful amounts of fruit. Try planting a lemon, orange, or grapefruit tree (if you have space). Do some research and discover what plants grow well in your area. Many new gardeners will buy a plant that's impossible to grow in the conditions and become disheartened when it dies. Set yourself up for success with the right plants from the start, then you can experiment with new varieties as you learn.
Gardening is good for the planet and YOU. It is a rewarding and humbling activity that makes you proud of something. There’s no better feeling than eating a tomato you grew yourself. It’s good to have some dirt under your fingernails. Regardless, that’s what hand sanitizer is for, right?