There Are Many Ways to Garden Your Plantings….
“Quick and easy to read gardening post!”
Part 2 …
E14 – W10
Part 3 – Small Spaces and Raised Beds
Part 4 – Greenhouse and Backyard Plot
Part 5 – Potagers and Ornamental Garden Beds
Did you know that there are ‘antidepressant microbes’ in soil? If you did well done! Whilst l didn’t – l did know that when l was working in the garden pottering about or planting seeds or digging my compost that whatever the stresses [normal and not floodings] l am always happier. It’s not just being outside that makes me happy which it does and more so when it is sunny weather – but just working with the garden, being around nature and doin’ the dirty on my knees ….. with the soil of course – makes me happier!
Studies recently have revealed that on the positive side of working with soil microbes, you are in essence receiving the same quality feelings and emotions as if you were on prozac! [Without the negative potential of dependency and withdrawl from the chemical itself]
Working with soil, running it through your hands can ‘officially’ make you happier! In healthy organic soil there are distinct microbes that work as antidepressants – l know who would have thunk it?
Growers for years have been promoting the healthy benefits of being outside and at one with your veg! I can agree to that – ever since becoming very keen as a gardener l become itchy [no not that kind of itchy], but l get restless if l haven’t been out in the garden for a couple of days. Ideally l would spend all day outside – however l have other things to do and whilst l love blogging about gardening and vegetables and compost – this isn’t a gardening blog in the main.
The soil microbe mycobacterium vaccae has been found to mirror the effect on neurons in the brain that drugs like Prozac can provide, but without side effects.
If you get a moment pop along to the link and check it out for yourself, it’s a short read but a fascinating article. But if not that then check out the video below.
Anyway, l just thought you might like to know that …..
In Part 1 of this mini-series l opened it up by stating that there are many ways today to actively grow your own vegetables and that no longer were you purely reliant upon only using a small plot dedicated at the back of your garden, or only using the greenhouse or having an allotment of your own – the two/three main ways for many years. It’s all changed. Now gardening at home is a lot easier, not requiring yards and yards of space and loads and loads of undesireable digging – of course you can STILL do that should you wish – but it’s not integral to growing your own greengrocers.
With the wide diversity of variety available today in not just the basics like ‘lettuce, runner beans, cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes and carrots’ as an example which formed the very foundation of gardening layouts for years – you as a new or an existing gardener can now trial and test out from a huge range of vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers. There is literally something for everyone’s tastes and palate. In even simpler terms ‘gardening is now much easier’ than ever before. Everyone if they wanted to ‘could grow something’.
Whilst the first three mentioned are still strong contenders with those who have the passion and dedication and space and time, there are other alternatives to growing your own vegetables and getting the most from your garden to your healthy benefit.
Part 2 is going to discuss two such alternatives – 1] Windowsills and 2] Containers.
Growing on your Windowsill
You are not just restricted to herbs here … of course it’s reflective upon how big your actual windwsills are? Where l am now, l don’t have very large sills only about 6″ wide which is pretty basic for many households especially modern builds, but of course many older properties have beautifully large sills measuring at times up to a foot in depth! They can hold so many pots should they so desire.
But if you were to grow herbs there are so many to choose from .. we have currently some basil and coriander but come the season we will be having a lot more. One of the challenges for this year is to grow Thai Basil a tricky beast at best, but it will thrive [hopefully] indoors behind glass and in the house as opposed to being outdoors. I will be growing more coriander and other basil varieties.
Whilst l have a herb plot outside in the ornamental garden beds containing various mints, Rosemary, thyme, bay and chives amongst others – all of those can be grown successfully inside the house on your sill. Equally as could the likes of the sages, lemon grasses, parsley, oregano and even some of the more exotic varieties like chervil, marjoram, cicely, lavender and tarragon as a few examples.
Herbs are wonderful to grow indoors as they award the house such lovely scents and ideal for those who may not have a garden or access to a plot or even just a lot of spare space. Obviously don’t go mad and fill your house [unless you really want to!], but grow what you would use in cooking.
Also, you can grow vegetables indoors like spring onions, salad mixes like corn salads and rocket or wild rocket and loose leafed varieties of lettuce. Tomato plants like that of Tiny Tim or similar. Don’t forget the likes of spinach or as we are doing in the green house you could grow sweet peppers or even aubergines or be a devil and try your hands at some chillies!
With the new miniature varieties you are not restricted at all and can afford to be quite adventurous with your growing choices.
Growing in Containers
This year, Suze and l will be growing 50% of our vegetables in containers and as you can see from above l have a varied collective of them in plastic, fabric, ceramic and earthenware pots. They are of an assortment of sizes as well. But in the past we have used ‘growing bags’ which are also classed as ‘containment’. I have also used alternative growing containers like old tin baths, old water butts like l do for the horseradish, old metal tubs, we have a few of the Boston sinks here as well, l have used old buckets, tyres and wooden boxes and a few years ago, where l used to live l had use of an old horsedrawn cart and l used to grow flowers in that.
In part 1, l displayed this …. and l have seen people utilise old machinery and cars to grow vegetables in. You can use virtually anything as long as you have drainage and holding capacity. No pots? Use tin cans or even plastic cartons. This year, near the bug hotel, l have an old water fountain being used to grow with as something quirky.
In short anything that is deeper than 5 – 8″ [pending what you are growing] can be used, l knew a lady once who collected old watering cans, Wellington boots and hanging baskets and grew marvelous vegetables in them!
The beauty of container growing is that they can – size reflective – be sited anywhere of your choice, so if you are short of space – but have a conservatory, or a small concrete backyard, a patio, a balcomy like Ribana of Popsicle Society in Singapore you too can grow your herbs or flowers or your vegetables.
The other item of interest here is that if you are container growing, you don’t have to follow always the conventional path you can opt to grow more exotic choices for your table.
Additionally you could mix companion plantings into your containers so have a mixture of flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables all in the same small plot. This way would make it incredibly decorative and multifuntional.
Of course containers require more watering, frequently – but so do too all plants, it’s a case of remembering. There are many advantages to container growing and it reduces space , stress and also pests and unnecessary weeding.
A huge selection of videos below that offer choices galore and vegetables you can opt to grow inside your own containers too!
So, does anyone currently grow vegetables indoors, on their windowsills or in containers already?
If so, what do you grow? Let me know below.
Catch you later, thanks for reading and see you in part 3.
In Case You Missed These Last Year! …
…. you might like to revisit for this year!