For many of us our home and gardens are our safe havens at the moment. It’s a place we can get some fresh air without worry, where we can be creative, and where we can get some semblance of that outdoors feeling.
Gardening is for everyone, young or old. However, not everyone has a huge garden to play around with. In this blog we’ve suggested how to get the best from only a little green space.
Herbs are the windowsill heroes. They can survive all year round in the cosy comfort of your home with just some sunlight and occasional watering. Herbs are also heroes of the culinary world. A sprinkle of fresh coriander can transform a Thai green curry or adding some thyme to your roasties can elevate your Sunday dinner to another level. Below is a brief overview on what you’ll need and where to grow herbs.
What you will need
A propogator (a covered container which traps seeds in order to aid germination. You can buy standard unheated propogators, heated versions or you can just place cling film over you seeds too)
As many 9cm pots as seeds you’re planting
Garden trowel (you can also use a spoon or your hands)
Herb seeds. (coriander, mint, sage, parsley, thyme, dill, basil etc.)
How to grow
Moisten some of your compost with water in a container or bowl
Fill each of your propagator seed pots with your moistened multi-purpose compost
Create a 0.5cm hole in the centre of each pot with your finger, or a pen, or a chopstick!
Place one seed into each hole and cover with more compost
Place the propagator cover over all of your seed pots and move to a warm and sunny position. Often the best location is a south facing windowsill.
Wait! Seed germination tends to happen fairly quickly when they have the right conditions, you should start seeing sprouts after around a week. Make sure to keep them hydrated but never over-water. Use a spray bottle onto the soil to control this.
After a couple of weeks you should have some strong seedlings. Start to remove the propagator lid to get them used to life in the world. Take the lid off during the day and replace at night for a few days, then move onto removing the lid entirely for a couple more days until you're ready for the next stage.
After a few days, carefully transfer each plant into their own 9cm bot and refill with moist compost. Keep in the same sunny position but be careful to watch out for any browning of the leaves (this means it’s too sunny and they’re burning). Experiment with different windowsills until you’ve found the one that your plant loves.
Eventually you will have some aromatic and tasty herbs to bring your dishes to life and all of this from inside your home. Transfer to larger pots as necessary.
Anywhere and everywhere
A fully-paved or decked garden shouldn’t stop you from having a green thumb. Whilst planting directly into the ground is the ideal, growing into planters or containers is a fine alternative that will yield results. All you need is soil, sun, water and the same love and attention.
From potatoes in grow bags to carrots in pots, there’s plenty to grow and a lot of options for containers.
Top tips for growing in containers:
Most plants require a deep container. Look for ones that a 30cm in depth or more so they have enough room for the roots to develop.
Read the individual seed packets for instructions on when to sow, and pay attention to the required depth and width between seed types, as they all differ
All plants need well drained soil otherwise their roots will suffocate and they will struggle to grow. To combat this add a layer of pebbles/gravel/stones at the bottom before topping with soil and planting as instructed. Make sure not to overwater your plants either.
Space saving tips
Use a square or rectangular container so that they fit closer and leave no gaps (minimising the space they take up).
Focus on vegetables which allow you to sow close together so you can grow several crops out of one container. Beetroot, onions, spring onion and radish for example can be spaced between 10 and 15cm apart without affecting each other’s growth.
Use shelves so you can stack multiple containers in the same place
Handy with wood? Make your own containers inside the gap between your fence panels. Perfect for growing flowers in!
Starting on your gardening journey is fun and exciting. It can also be a great way to connect with the family – potter with your partner, or enjoy the childrens’ delight as their plant starts to grow. Gardening is a huge learning opportunity; it gives everyone involved a good sense of the determination and patience needed. There will be highs and lows but the rewards are sweet (literally if you’re growing fruit).
Make sure to tag us @milletsonline in your Instagram gardening snaps!