Earth Day 2020 is here! Let’s get outside and do something that’s beneficial for ourselves and our planet. During this time of social distancing, I’m lucky to have my sister Gwen around to teach me some new skills. A landscaper, gardener, and lover of plants and herbal remedies, Gwen has been able to teach me some new gardening tricks. Now I want to share some with you!
First, let’s talk about why you should start a garden. Home gardens can teach you where your food comes from, how it grows, and be an engaging and educational activity to do together with kids, roommates, partners, or family. Gardening is a great way to get off the screens, which leads to stress relief and inspiration! Your garden can provide food for bees and give a welcoming space for different birds.
Now, you might be thinking, “How can I get started planting seeds if I don’t have tons of small pots or garden beds?” My suggestion is to recycle what you already have! Think about things like plastic water bottles, yogurt cups, cardboard boxes or plastic grocery bags. When your plants get big enough, you’ll want to plant them in larger pots, in the ground, or in straw bales outside.
If you can’t get a hold of any of these things, think of some other things you might be able to use that are deeper or larger for your plants to grow in. You can get creative and use things like kiddie pools, large plastic tubs or old tires. As Gwen says, “We have all the resources we need, we just need to be creative. And creativity is a huge part of helping the Earth!”
What you need:
- Potting soil (get this from local farmers, gardening or hardware stores, online, etc.)
- Seeds (get them from local farmers, gardening or hardware stores, online, etc.)
- Recycled containers (yogurt cups, cardboard with plastic bag liner, etc.)
- Nail or thumbtack (so you can poke holes in the bottom of the plastic cups)
- Something to make labels with
- A sunny window or place to put them inside
- Pick your seeds!
- Check online first to see if the vegetables/flowers will grow well in your region.
- Gather your recycled containers
- If using a plastic water bottle, cut it in half (lengthwise).
- If planting in the cardboard box, line it with a plastic bag.
- Poke holes in the bottom of your containers
- If using the cardboard box with a plastic bag liner, don’t poke holes. Just use less water when watering these.
- Put the soil in the containers
- Don’t compact it too much, you need it a bit loose so it’s easy to plant the seed.
- Make a hole or rows to plant seeds.
- Check on the seed packet to see which they need. Some like to be planted deeper, and some can be sprinkled into shallow rows and then covered.
- Cover the hole and then water your seeds.
- Place in a sunny spot.
- If you have a bunch of smaller containers (yogurt cups or plastic bottles), you can place them inside a larger cardboard box to keep them upright and to catch water coming out of the bottom.
- Use a spray bottle filled with water to spray them daily (you don’t want to pour water on them when they’re still small).
- Another opportunity to recycle! Wash out an old cleaning spray bottle and use it as your plant mister.
- When your plants start getting larger, gently take them out of their containers and place them in larger pots or containers with more soil.
- Enjoy the process!
It does take a while to start a garden, so be patient and continue to support local farmers! Tag us on social media @frontierrtp and show us your gardening process.