It’s springtime, well almost! Starting January, I began potting a few seeds, cuttings and vegetable scraps indoors to begin my first attempt at container gardening. This being my first year ever, and with an apartment with two very small balconies, I had to pick plants that were easy to grow and harvest and didn’t take up a lot of room. I found tons of tutorials for gardening in small spaces. YouTube channels on small space and container gardening were the perfect frameworks to begin gardening indoors.
One YouTube channel, in particular, has tons of great tips that you can use. The Urban Gardener, Garden Answer, and California Gardening have detailed tutorials of pot and container and succulent planting. Using their tips has gotten me results.
I began with the easiest plants and the ones that I had seeds lying around for. Around mid-January, I planted Tomatoes, Garlic, Fenugreek, Coriander, Mint and have recently planted Marigold and Jalapenos seeds. The ones planted in winter are now ready to be kept outside. The tomatoes slices sprouted within 10 days with partial winter sun and regular watering. The cotyledons grew within the first 20-22 days of planting the slides. Following a steady growth in length and no new leaves, on the 50th day later, the true leaves emerged. It’s a week later, and the true leaves are now growing strong.
Garlic leaves, on the other hand, took just 3 weeks to go from no roots to 1 ft tall plant. The mint cuttings have grown new leaves, but the stem is too weak and needs support. Mint being a self-propagating plant, is growing new plants within the pot! My first attempt at growing coriander was futile. Not only the seeds sprouted, and those who did, did not survive. Looking back at what killed the coriander sprouts, my best guesses are – very little watering and using seeds that were more than 2 years old. Last week I replanted the coriander seeds but the germination success ratio is far too less. I am hoping to get hold fresh(er) coriander seeds and see if that solves the problem.
The Fenugreek seeds are growing strong. The plant is almost two inches tall within 3 weeks! A pro tip shared on Youtube: soak the fenugreek seeds in water for 12-14 hours before planting them. The seeds that I had (regular seeds used for cooking) were more than 1-2 years old. But it still worked! Next, I plan to add some citrus and more vegetables to my collection.
In the coming years, there are a number of vegetables I aspire to grow. Divided into 9 categories, these plants . These 9 gardens, I believe not only help you lead a fresh, organic life but also help reduce grocery bills, aid towards home decor and helps reduce stress and combats mental illness like anxiety.
For the Pots: I recycled a few containers like butter and batter plastic containers, large old plastic bowls and used them as seed starters for tomatoes and garlic. Once the true leaves are large and strong enough, it’s safe to transfer the plants into large containers, buckets or pots. For mint, coriander, fenugreek, and marigold, directly sowing the seeds in large terracotta pots or plastic containers also work. No matter what you use, make sure it small draining holes or you can easily drill one in with a driller or punch some in with a strong screwdriver.
For the Soil: Pretty much any seed starter or all-purpose potting soil worked for these plants. For the coriander and garlic I only used the seed started but for the mint and fenugreek, I mixed the two by 50/50.
Pesticides: After killing a few too many succulents by using a plant-safe pesticide (yes, it says, it kills bugs without harming the plants), I’ve realized that I am ready to look into organic and safer ways of getting rid of pests and bugs without killing the plants. I’m on the lookout for some easy DIY organic pesticides recipes and shall update this page when I find recipes that fully work.
Here are 9 gardens you can grow easily at home.
While these categories have a lot of plants that you can grow in large areas, but I’ve restricted this listen to items you can grow in small areas like containers, balconies or small backyards or portable greenhouses. This list does not include any flowers. Flowers are high maintenance and depend a lot on what region you are, and what the climate is, what kind of flowers do you like. I am not at all fond of bees and reptiles and while flowers are known to attract bugs easily, thus inviting unwanted pests and creepy dinosaur relatives.
This list of small space and container gardening includes plants used in everyday cooking, home decor, organic skin and body care, along with growing tips and tutorials.
1) The Pepper Garden:
Jalapenos, Bell Peppers, Paprika, Serrano, Carolina Reper
Corriander, Mint, Parsley, Chives, Basil, Thyme, Oregano and other herbs
Fenugreek, Lettuce, Bush Beans, Onions, Garlic
Strawberries, Pineapple, Tomatoes,
5) Citrus Garden:
Lemon, Lime are easy to care citrus fruits.
Mustard, Saffron, Fennel, Ginger
Aloe Vera, Eucalyptus, Holy Basil
8) Miniature Gardens:
Air plants, Closed Terrariums & ; Zen gardens make the perfect mini gardens to design indoors.
9) Hobbit Gardens:
Succulents make great fairy/hobbit gardens with just minimum care.