Do winters cold, colorless, light shortened days tend to get you down in the dumps after awile? Why not try indoor gardening to lift your spirts until spring arrives. Indoor gardening doesn’t necessarilly mean you need to literally grow a vegitable garden inside your house. You can start small with some colorful blooms, and simple greenery! I’ve put together a few beginer tips below that might just inspire you to bring the outdoors in…
CHOOSING YOUR PLANTS
The first “trick” to indoor gardening is choosing the right plants for your space. When shopping for indoor plants be sure to be selective. The plants should should not be “leggy”, in other words they shouldn’t have more stem than foliage. Also, the foliage should be firm with deep, rich color whatever it may be. Check out this photo gallery & information aonsome indoor plants you might want to grow from Better Hosmes & Gardens.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SPOT
Basically choosing the right spot means, choosing the right lighting conditions. Be sure to read the information that comes with your plant. Full Light means 6-8 hours of direct sunlight, which baring any obstructions you should be able to get in windows that face the south. Moderate light means direct sunlight only part of the day, four hours or so which can usually be obtained in windows that face East or West. And finally, Low light means your plant will be fine in a room that gets very little light. One hint here, be sure to turn your plant every once in a while so that it grows cymetrical.
CHOOSING YOU CONTAINERS
There are many containers available at you local nursery, hardware store or big box. One of the most popular, and practical is terracotta. One important tip with terracotta is that water will evaporate through it, so if you the forgetfull type like me you might want to consider an alternative. Tha alternative might be resin or fiberglass, both will hold moisture much longer than terracotta will. Be sure the pots drain at the bottom, as the majority of plants don’t like “swamped” roots. That said be sure to use some sort of coaster to protect your floors, or funiture.
TECHNIQUES IN WATERING
Condtinons can vary greatly from home to home, so there really is no one single technique. Some say “water once a week”, but if your house is extremely dry this might not work for you. Go back to your plants info and read it’s watering requirements. If the info says water evenly then your plant needs to watered when the soil at the top of the pot feels dry. If the info says water moderately then your plant needs to be watered when the top inch or so of soil is dry. If anything underwater your houseplants, as overwatering is much more likely to kill them!
You really shouldn’t keep your plants in the containers you buy them in, unless they come in one of the containers we spoke about earlier, but most of the time they come in plastic pots. Transplanting the plants is simple. First, hold the stem of the plant between two fingers, tip the pot upside down, and it should slide right out. Quick tip here, water the plant a little bit before you do this as it will help the roots stay together. Second, put an inch or three at the bottom of the pot, place your plant inside and center it. Quick tip here, you might want to put something over the drainage hole on the bottom so the soil doesn’t wash out, and don’t worry it’ll still drain. Finally, fill the remaining empty spots packing lightly as you go. Last tip, don’t fill the soil to the top of the pot, leave enough room for the water to be able to soak into the soil when watering.
So there you have it, you know know the basics of growing plants inside. I hope you’ll try at least a couple of plants, trust me it’ll brighten up those cold, colorless, light shortend days!
AARP The Mag
As always don’t forget to sign up over there to the right for regular TUFF GUARD updates, and all things garden hose related!