There's a lot to be said about gardening outdoors and growing your own food and plants. Research proves it's beneficial to our mental health and makes people 'feel good' when they are getting fresh air and exercise. Caring for plants connects us with nature and gives us a sense of responsibility and achievement, that's if they don't die a death of course! You have to be prepared for your plants dying and not take it to heart, after all, plants are actual 'living things so that is going to happen even for no apparent reason!
But, what if you don't have a good size garden or indeed a garden at all, or you find gardening too difficult due to health reasons? Whatever your situation, you don't have to give up on growing your own plants and enjoying the benefits that come with that, as there is a simple solution to be able to create an alternative 'garden'.
Where there's a window there can be a garden!
Growing plants of all kinds can easily be done on a sunny windowsill. You may not be out in the garden but you are bringing a little bit of nature indoors. Seeing plants everyday can subconsciously uplift you and brighten your mood and inhaling the wonderful aroma of aromatic herbs as you walk in a room is an absolute pleasure.
And let's not forget the delight when you snip a few herbs leaves fresh from the plant and throw them in your cooking, making your dishes come alive with flavour or picking salad leaves or juicy cherry tomatoes straight from the plant, making your salads taste fresher than ever.
So, if you are looking for a new hobby that will lift your spirits or you want to improve the taste of your cooking! then look no further than windowsill gardening.
But before you get started, here are a few tips to keep in mind;
Choose the sunniest window which gets at least 5-6 hours of sunlight a day for best results. Lack of enough light will leave you with spindly, stressed plants, with little flavour.
Avoid windowsills near radiators or cooking appliances as these will disturb the natural humidity in the air and will dehydrate the plants very quickly.
Choose compact, miniature or dwarf varieties that don't grow too tall or wide and are quick to mature. These will require less space and time to reach harvest. Herbs are the easiest plants to grow such as; basil, lavender, parsley, mint, rosemary and thyme and are very nutritious and versatile.
If you are germinating from seeds, know your plants. It's important to learn about their growing needs, so always read the seed packet instructions.
Turn the plant often so as to ensure it grow evenly.
Harvest the plant regularly and remove dead blooms and leaves as this will encourage a healthy new growth.
Spray the plants leaves if needed to provide some humidity, especially in the summer or heated homes in the winter months.
Keep your plants watered regularly but don't over-water them. Too much water can lead to fungus.
Talking of watering, it's a sad fact that over and under watering is the cause of many plant failures, so look for some of the new window gardeners that are available which automatically prevent these problems from happening - particularly the INDOOR WINDOWSILL GARDEN that waters the plants and feeds them at the same time direct to the plants root system. This makes for a faster and bigger growth to the parts of the plant we enjoy.
The great thing about windowsill gardening is that you can still grow edible plants through the winter months; it may be a bit more difficult so choose plants that can tolerate some shade. Plants like; lettuce, spinach, cherry tomato, chillies, peppers, carrots and onions. Be mindful though, the plants that begin to flower and produce fruit like tomatoes would need to be hand pollinated. Using a small paintbrush it;s simple to transfer the pollen from one plant to another.
There's no denying that growing plants can occasionally be challenging, even for the experience gardener. But, the excitement of watching them grow and flourish is just the start of something wonderful, and not just for your cooking!
Let's think....reducing toxins, reducing stress, creating oxygen, increasing humidity and helping insomnia. These are just a few reasons to grow your own plants indoors.
There's an old Chinese proverb that says - "Life begins the day you start a garden"
So why not start your garden now, revel in the benefits and breath life and good energy into your home.