National Garden Month celebrates the tradition of gardening at home, at school, and in the community during the month of April. Whether you want to start small with colorful flowers or dive in with a full vegetable garden, gardening is a fantastic way to enhance your yard's appearance and boost the value of your property.
Benefits of Gardening
- Combats stress levels - The monotony of everyday routine can take a toll on physical and mental well-being, elevating stress levels. Spending half an hour working in your garden can help ease the day’s stress.
- Healthier daily produce - The opportunity to produce your own organic meal is undoubtedly one of the greatest advantages and rewards.
- Good for cardiovascular health - Sound cardiovascular health is conducive to the overall functioning of the body. Gardening has been proven to increase blood flow into the vessels, helping keep the heart pumping steadily.
Indoor/Container Gardening Tips
Indoor gardening is a blessing in disguise for those that must give up the hobby outdoors due to a lack of space. Even if you are an apartment or tiny home dweller, you can enjoy the pleasures of gardening with planning and bare minimum indoor gardening essentials. Use these tips when planning to start indoor gardening:
Choose the type of garden you want
The first thing to decide when designing your garden is whether you want to plant flowers, fruits and vegetables, herbs, or a mix. If you go with fruits, vegetables, or herbs, choose the types that your family likes to eat.
Do some research about the plants that are native to your area and grow well in your climate. You will also want to find out the expected first and last frost dates where you live and the hardiness zone. Developed by the United States Department of Agriculture, the hardiness zone helps gardeners determine which types of plants are most likely to thrive in their area.
Decide where to plant your garden
Most fruits, vegetables, and flowers need at least six hours of sunlight each day to grow, so choosing the right place to plant your garden is crucial. Watch your yard throughout the day to figure out which spots receive direct sunlight versus partial or full shade.
You’ll also want to make sure the location you choose for your garden slopes away from your home to prevent water drainage issues. Avoid areas that are prone to intense winds or visits from wildlife that could harm your garden.
Select the plants according to the available space
Purchasing the right plants is extremely important when it comes to indoor gardening. Expecting to grow a tomato or eggplant with limited sunlight is not possible. Each plant has a different growth process; some are self-pollinating while some may require help from a gardener; some grow ideally in limited sun exposure, while others need it in abundance. Another aspect to consider is whether the plants would be kept outdoors once they attain desirable growth or would continue to be kept indoors. Before purchasing your plants, speak with the experts at the store to ensure your choices will work in your space.
Pick the right pots or containers
A pot or container can enormously affect the growth of plants and should have ample space to let the roots develop and grow uninhibitedly. The soil depth varies for each plant, which should be considered before selecting a pot or container.
Regular watering is important for your garden, especially right after planting. Seedlings should be watered daily so they do not dry out. Transplants should be watered every other day until their roots take hold.
As your plants continue to grow, watering frequency will depend on the type of plant, soil, and the weather. Hot, sunny conditions will dry soil out faster than cool, rainy weather. You can also check the top 3-4 inches of soil – if it feels dry, your plants need water.
Maintain a stable temperature
A stable temperature ensures steady growth, so summers are considered one of the best times to grow plants. The sunlight through the window will provide adequate exposure to plants, but if there is air conditioning, it is always best to adjust the temperature accordingly.
Protection from pests
Pests can attack indoor plants, potentially causing permanent damage. Even if kept in a safer place, plants are prone to pest attacks anywhere. To help avoid this issue, consider using a chemical-free pesticide. This often helps a great deal in protecting the plants. Azadirachta indica (also known as “neem,” “Indian lilac,” etc.) leaf oil is one of the best organic options that can protect potted plants.
A hydroponic system helps plants grow using formulated, nutrient-rich water instead of soil. In hydroponics, the plant is suspended with a net pot, allowing the plant to rise above the water while the roots go down through the netting and into the water solution. This option is especially great for those who lack the time and commitment for an indoor garden but still want to go for it.
Prepare your soil
Healthy soil is the key to a growing garden. Before you begin planting, you will need to know whether your soil is sand, clay, silt, rocks, or a mix of the four. The type of soil and its pH will affect what type of plants you can grow.
At-home or professional soil tests can help determine any issues that could affect the health of your plants. If your natural soil proves problematic, creating a raised bed garden could be a more efficient option for your planting needs.
Maintain and protect your garden
Cover your soil with a couple of inches of organic matter to stop weeds and prevent it from drying out. Dead leaves, mulch, coffee grounds, and other types of compost will keep moisture in and act as a natural fertilizer.
If weeds start sprouting, pull them immediately before they grow. Regularly remove dead or dying vegetation from your garden beds to protect from pest infestation. If your garden starts attracting insects, rabbits, or other small animals, consider fencing or utilize other natural pest control methods.
How to use peat moss in pots?
One other thing to consider incorporating into your gardening is peat moss. Based on The Spruce’s “Peat Moss: What is it and how to use it?,” peat moss is the dark-brown, fibrous material that helps plants grow. This lightweight option helps create better drainage and keeps a good amount of water for the plant.
Over the years, it’s been discussed as a solution that is not as environmentally friendly, making it a good option for those looking for an indoor opportunity.
Planting a garden is a fun way to stay active, improve your mood, and spend time outdoors with your family. When it comes to your garden’s overall quality and safety, WIN Home Inspection has you covered. Your local team can ensure your garden and outdoor areas are secure during an inspection. Additionally, indoor inspections are thorough, giving you peace of mind with your current or future home.