It’s sometimes difficult to find activities to do in the wintertime. The weather can be harsh or dreary and can take a toll on our mental and physical health. One easy-to-do winter activity is indoor gardening!
December 5th is World Soil Day, aimed at raising awareness about the importance of soil quality. Soil is one of the most important parts of our ecosystem – and affects everything from food to water and even climate change.
There are many benefits to indoor gardening from increasing oxygen production in your home to simply enjoying a low-maintenance, fun activity that’s known to lower stress, Alzheimer’s risk and depression. Another benefit of gardening is intergenerational quality time between people of all ages, from seniors to children.
Let’s look at where to begin on your indoor gardening adventure:
Start by deciding what you will plant.
When deciding on what plants to start with, you will want to consider a few things. First, how much light does your house get? Some good low light plants include ivy, pothos, ferns and peace lilies. Next, you should consider what your space can hold. Do you have room for a large plant, or just want something to put in the window? We can all benefit greatly from fresh fruits and vegetables, so why not consider growing some in your own home! If you want to grow some edible plants that will do well indoors, consider carrots, lemons, microgreens, herbs or tomatoes. Finally, if you have pets, be wary of plants that are poisonous to animals.
Pick your planter or pot.
Once you pick your plant type, you must then decide what you will plant them in. Different types of plants require different types of containers. Amazon.com offers many options for all types of plants. Chain stores like Lowes, Home Depot and Walmart also offer a pretty extensive selection. Planters can range in price from a couple of dollars to hundreds, but more expensive planters aren’t necessary as your pots will be inside and won’t need to battle the elements. When in doubt on pot or planter size, erring on the side of wider and bigger is usually the safer option as it allows your plant room to grow.
Gather your supplies.
While picking out your planter, be sure to pick up the other supplies necessary to get started. This includes your juvenile plants or seeds, pots, and soil. Some other optional things to buy for this activity include gloves, hand trowel and clippers.
Get your hands dirty!
Now for the fun part! Prep where you intend to plant your seeds/small plants by putting down sheets or newspaper to minimize mess. Start with a little dirt in the bottom of your container, then place your plants or seeds in. Cover or surround your new plants with soil and give them a little bit of water and get ready to watch them grow! It’s as easy as that!
Make a maintenance plan.
Be sure you know when to water your new plants and how much light they will need daily. Creating a maintenance schedule to help remind you when to water and provide light for the plants is an excellent way to ensure that they will thrive in your home.
We all can benefit from fun, stress-free activities. Most gardeners will tell you the experience is meditative and something they look forward to doing. Start small, and don’t be surprised if soon, your house or apartment is full of plants!