Hey guys, how are you doing? It has been crazy in so different ways due to corona, but the quarantine has also forced me to take a long hard look into my house and garden. While it is still far from being perfect, I am happy with my progress. In the process, I discovered few things which I will try to avoid in future.
1. Estimate your gardening area
This might be a little difficult, when you are dripping your feet in gardening, but it is very important not to aim too high when it comes to planning your planting. Know how much available area you have and whethe it is enough for the plant you are planning. Last year I planted capsicum in very small pots and transferred them to a bigger bed way too late, thereby ruining the plants.
2. Choose your plants carefully
Learn to choose your plants carefully, Even if you are skilled gardener with years of experience in growing flowers for example, growing vegetables is a bit different. If your friends plant melon in their garden, does not mean you can grow melon in a 10 by 10 balcony. Remember, each plant need it’s requisite soil to grow.
3. Think of winter
This is probably very important to those who have cold winters like I do and do not have huge garden. In summer, when there is sun everywhere and plants are in balcony, it is easy to bring in more plants. Please remember, plants like hibiscus, lemon, even strawberries, can survive over winter indoors and during the cold time, you may need to bring plants indoor. The available space in summer may be occupied in winter and sometimes it creates lot of clutter.
4. Think of indoor decoration while planning
For a lot of us, our green babies form an integral part of our indoor decoration. But there is a fine line between tasteful decoration and unnecessary clutter. Also, sit down and plan how you want the indoor of your house look like. Ideas from pinterest and instagram are a good starting point, but if your house is alredy set up, make sure to work around with what you have, instead of forcefully adding what you think will look good. From my last years experience, it is pretty disappointing.
Also, when your instincts tell you, it is too much, it indeed is too much. Even though we all want that perfect garden with all the perfect plants in it, that will not happen, we will end up with a lot more clutter than where to put them. Last year I had so many pots in my balcony that I ended up cluttering the balcony table completely with plants and instead of having a place to quietly sit and enjoy my hard work, I was constantly shifting soil and cleaning my table to make space for it.
5. Make time for your garden
Please plan for your garden according to your busiest schedule. The plants, while do not need much care, still need some care. Some plants need daily attendance to protect them from insects like aphids, else they end up dying. So make sure you only plant those for which you can make time for.
What I learnt was that it is okay to trim the spider plant instead of making it grow and replanting all the mini shoots. I ended up having so many mini spider plants and hydroculture succulants because of that. I had running out of space to put them and more often than not one of us would end up tripping the small glass jars and creating a mess. it happened to me when I tried to organise them.
6. Do not over-water your plants
Trust me, they need sun more than water. Do not over water them, specially during winter. Even the sturdiest of plants can handle only so much water. This is the most important lesson I learnt through heartbeak: check the soil before watering the plants. one of my oldest aloe-vera died last year because of careless watering in the November months.
Gardening goals of 2020
My gardening so far has always been a bit of go with flow, see what you like on pinterest and youtube and try it out. The result has been mixed. I expanded even before I knew what I want, how the plants should look and how I want my house or apartment to look like. With the onset of fall last year, I had a lot of dead or dying seasonal plants in my house, which I did not know where to put, and frankly had no time to focus on and take care of. They all stayed in my living room. It was neither pleasing to the eyes nor a good utilisation of the space.
This year my motto is “Less is more”. I already know the vegetables I can grow and want to grow, and I organised my garden and pots accordingly. The blessing of the quarantine has been the ability to slow down a little and take a look at my home and organise my garden, without potting and planting non stop. I have been able to distribute my green indoor plants properly in the different rooms. I can sit in my balcony, beside my plants and enjoy my morning coffee or practise yoga.
With the craziness all over us and the quarantine forced upon us, I hope I can take solace in my beautiful indoor garden.
Like my gardening stories? You can read more gardening posts and tips in my green family stories.