It is Spring! Looking to add some green? Try these three less conventional ways to GREEN up Your Life
Growing a garden can be a rewarding pursuit. You till the earth, plant seeds, and reap the rewards of watching your garden grow. If you don’t have much space, or just want to try something different, there are some alternative gardening methods that have sprouted up in the last few years that can put a fresh new spin on your growing pursuits.
You can turn the smallest space in your home into a garden of edibles that you can bring into your kitchen. For example, all you need is a sunny windowsill and a few propagation trays, and you can grow your favorite microgreens.
Microgreens are small, young vegetable greens that are approximately 1–3” in height, easy to grow, and packed with flavor. If you’re not the most patient gardener, consider growing sprouts. They only take a day or two to germinate, and then they’re ready to top your favorite sandwich.1,2
Many people may put houseplants in hanging baskets, but vertical and tiered gardening can allow for a bountiful harvest. It’s a perfect method to grow trailing edible plants like strawberries, where there’s room for the vines to grow downward. Peas and tomatoes are also good choices for vertical gardening. If you’re going to grow tomatoes, just be sure that your planters are capable of supporting the weight of a full-sized tomato plant.1
Vertical and tiered gardening also allows you to grow in smaller and urban spaces. You can set up tiered gardens indoors or on a balcony, porch, or rooftop if you have the space.1
Many gardeners are replacing their planting pots or beds with grow bags. Grow bags aren’t a new idea; in fact, ancient Egyptians used woven grow bags made out of plant fibers. Many ancient Greeks used grow bags on their rooftop gardens because they could be easily moved.3
The same technology that made grow bags so appealing in the past is why they’re becoming more popular in gardens of all shapes and sizes today. Besides being ideal for balcony and rooftop gardens, grow bags help with drainage and prevent the plant roots from becoming waterlogged. Other types of planters can cause plants to become rootbound, which means that the roots don’t stop growing and will wrap around each other, effectively strangling the plant. When the roots hit the side of the grow bag, the exposure to sunlight and air prevents them from continuing to grow. You can easily grow everything from houseplants and flowers to zucchini, potatoes, and other root vegetables.3
These alternative methods are just a few of the many ways you can cultivate a beautiful garden in whatever space you have. Get creative and explore. There are numerous resources to help you get started online, and your local nursery can help make sure you have all the tools you need to green up your space. From houseplants to aromatic flowers to fruits and vegetables, you can decide how you’d like your garden to grow.
1. Gardeners.com, February 17, 2021
2. Healthline.com, 2021
3. Almanac.com, April 1, 2021
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