Micro-Gardening: How To Start Yours At Home
In an increasingly overpopulated world with ever-decreasing space, micro-gardening has found a rapidly growing niche. For the urban citizen, growing one’s own plants, vegetables and herbs has become equal parts passion, therapy, self-sufficiency and economics.
What is micro-gardening?
Micro gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating your own vegetables, herbs or roots in a confined space. Spaces generally utilised are balconies, rooftops or patios. Storage containers, old tires, trash cans and wooden crates are some of the materials you need to commence.
But first, what makes micro-gardening worthwhile? It is…
Energy and space efficient
Supportive of a healthy lifestyle
“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.”
― Alfred Austin
What do I need?
The best thing about micro-gardening? You don’t need fancy equipment. All you need are microgreen seeds (of your choice), potting soil, a container/tray or pot, a source of light and water. Along with these, kitchen scissors and a rake could come very handy.
What should I grow?
Ready to roll your sleeves up and get your hands dirty? A tiny garden can go a long way especially if you grow delicious herbs and vegetables.
Here are some to start you off:
- Plants in the Brassica or dark greens family: this includes kale, mustard, radish, arugula, broccoli, and kohlrabi.
- Plants in the Amaranth or spinach family: this includes spinach, beets, and swiss chard.
- Plants in the Aster or lettuce family: this includes buttercrunch and romaine, but really, you can grow any of your favourite leafy greens from this family.
- Plants in the Apiaceae or carrot family.
How should your garden grow?
Timing Matters It is important to do your research before planting. Some seeds require warmth and others cold for germination. Additionally, veteran farmers believe that the time of the month plays a vital role and recommend planting in harmony with moon phases. The gravitational pull of the moon affects soil moisture and plant sap flow.
Protect your microgreens Not just from the weather! Especially if planted outside or on your balcony, microgreens attract creatures like ants, rodents and birds because they serve as a source of nutrition for them. It is advised to put a lid on or plastic bag cover to create a humid environment for them to grow.
Mould is real Growing seeds in a warm and humid region can lead to the growth of mould. Here are a few things to prevent this from happening:
- Make sure the soil is moist daily
- Increase airflow or cross ventilation
- Sow fewer than usual seeds
Observe them daily Making sure your seeds are healthy, not over watered and getting all they need everyday is crucial. If not, act fast. Make sure they are getting sufficient light too.