While practising social distancing and following stay-at-home orders, gardening can be an interesting hobby to support your own personal development, or simply to help your children discover the wonderful world of plants! And the good news is that gardening is not just for those who have a lovely plot of land to work with. Many everyday objects can be used for sowing plants.
First, you’ll need some soil, and unfortunately this is the one essential thing that you cannot replace with anything else you might have to hand.
Once you have your soil, here are some of the things that you can use as a container: fruit juice cartons with the tops cut off, jam jars, empty yoghurt pots, egg boxes and, of course, the ubiquitous toilet roll tubes.
Fold tubes in half lengthwise and cut small, 1 cm notches around the edge, then fold these notches up to create a closed bottom. And there you have it – pots ready for sowing! Get your kids to help decorate them!
But what can we plant if we can’t buy seeds? Have a closer look at your cupboards, it’s time to discover some unexpected resources. You can plant dried chickpeas, dried beans, small onions (with the roots in the soil) or even cloves of garlic.
You can also plant the seeds of fruit and vegetables that you buy to eat. The seeds in your squashes, tomatoes and other vegetables can be planted, however don’t expect them to produce the same vegetable as the one from which you took the seed. There’s a risk that there will be significant variability in the vegetables that you harvest, or you may end up with a very low germination rate. It’s therefore important to check the source of your seeds and to avoid replanting seeds that were not designed for that purpose.
And there you go, you have all you need to grow your own little garden! Gardening is known to increase serotonin, reduce anxiety and cortisol (the stress hormone), according to research from UNC Healthcare, and is also a great way to keep you and your family busy at this time.
If you’d prefer to grow specific types of fruit and vegetables and you’re looking for some equipment, Terre de Monaco’s website has an online store featuring numerous options including strawberries, salad leaves, basil, parsley, tomatoes and much more!
Don’t forget that your plants have many different uses. Here are a few examples that might encourage you to create your own garden:
- In addition to its use as a herb, basil is also great for making herbal tea that reduces stress and migraines.
- Marigolds are edible flowers which add colour to your garden and help to deter a lot of pests, particularly those that prey on tomatoes.
- Parsley can also be used to make herbal tea that can help to ease digestive problems, and it’s a great antioxidant too.
Have fun and enjoy gardening!