Small space gardening has enjoyed a wealth of popularity in recent years as many are starting to broaden their green fingered horizons and get stuck into gardening. Whether you have a garden, balcony or windowsill, gardening is a great hobby to take up; with indoor plants offering a great many benefits, from air purification and stress reduction, to simple aesthetics. Gardening is a fun solo task to keep you busy and improve your mental well-being, and equally is a unique way to get friends and family excited about something new. We have curated a list of tips for indoor gardening beginners to start your gardening journey; peruse, enjoy and share these indoor garden ideas with loved ones and see if gardening could become your favourite new hobby.
1. Herbs are a great place to start for indoor gardening beginners
Ideal for the indoor gardening beginner, annual and biennial herbs like basil, coriander and parsley can take as little as one week to grow and are some of the lowest maintenance seeds to sow and harvest. Growing best with lots of sunlight and well-drained soil, a well-lit garden or south-facing windowsill makes an ideal herb home. Starting in spring, you can sow new seeds every couple of weeks through to summer to ensure a continuous supply of herbs to sprinkle atop any meal.
If you’re lucky enough to have outdoor space in which to get stuck into herb gardening, pick a sunny, sheltered spot and choose well-drained, neutral soil. Don’t worry if your garden is more shaded; herbs like parsley and lemon balm grow well in moist and shady conditions. Most herbs stay small even when they’ve reached full maturity so make great additions to an existing flower pot or garden border if you don’t have the space to dedicate an entire plot to creating a new herb garden.
A windowsill also makes for an excellent place for an indoor gardening beginner to nurture a herb garden. Chives, basil, coriander and mint are all suitable for indoor growth and can be regularly harvested to encourage continual re-growth. To grow mint indoors, sow seeds on the surface of damp compost and add a sprinkling of vermiculite (a commonly used natural mineral) to promote speedy growth. Cover the pot or container with a clear lid or plastic bag and place somewhere bright to create the warm conditions needed for germination. Once germinated, remove the cover and continue growth as normal.
Did you know: herbs can be frozen to extend their use by date so you can save your harvest and enjoy it year round?
2. Pick the right plants for your home
When indoor gardening beginners feel like venturing to new gardening pastures, it’s important to consider your indoor space before selecting what seeds to sow: how light is the room? How warm is the room? How big is the room? Fresh produce that grows quickly and easily in cooler, dimmer spaces includes lettuce, spinach and bok choy; all perfect produce for salads. Give indoor vegetable growing a go and see how much better they taste when you know you grew them yourself!
It’s recommended to water houseplants weekly, however the temperature of the room might also affect how frequently your plants need watering: a warmer room may mean less water is needed, while plants in a cooler room may require more. Indoor gardening tip: for indoor gardening beginners and for more delicate plants, an easy way to not overwater is to place your plant pot (remembering to poke holes in the bottom) on a tray and fill the tray every now and then with water to allow your plant to absorb only as much water as it needs. When it comes to fertilizer, little and often is a good motto to live by.
3. Breeze is good for your indoor garden
Indoor gardening is ideal, but we don’t want our plants getting weak as they get used to their comfortable surroundings. If you have plants potted on your windowsill, remember to open the window sometimes to allow the breeze to toughen plants up: this will serve your plants well if you ever wish to re-pot them outside. Repotting plants – whether that’s transferring an indoor plant to the garden, or simply upgrading a pot when your plant has outgrown its home – is the best way to promote new, healthy growth and avoid your plant dying. First, chose a pot (with drainage holes) that is both wider and around one inch deeper, fill with soil then gently remove your plant from its old pot. Next, you can work to untangle the roots and cut off any stray or dead roots to ensure your plant flourishes in its new home. Place your plant in its new pot, water and see how much growth improves!
Top tip for indoor gardening beginners: place a coffee filter into the bottom of the new pot to prevent soil falling through.
4. Get your friends and family involved
We may currently be in lockdown, but there’s no reason why you can’t get your friends and family involved in your new green fingered hobby. Sending some seeds to your loved ones in the post is a unique gift: giving older family members something to keep them occupied and allowing you to stay connected with friends. Kids can get stuck in too as gardening can be made into a simple DIY project. Ask them to get inventive by using household items as plant pots such as a toilet roll tube (cut in half) for the early days of seedling growth or a used mushroom container for a mini herb garden. Just remember to poke holes into the bottom to create a makeshift drainage system.
Why not start a competition with friends or family to see who is the most naturally gifted gardener? A growth competition is an easy way to give yourself and others a purpose outside of work; a new project to work at and get excited about. Gardening is proven to have restorative powers as you are responsible for the nurture and growth of a living thing, which is important for everyone, but grandparents and children especially.
5. Don’t let having a small space stop you indoor gardening
Indoor gardening is a great way to bring some green life into your home and there are plenty of ways build your very own leafy oasis in a space of any size. Why not try tying some string around small herb pots and hanging them from a cork board, metallic grid noticeboard or clothes rail? Hanging terrariums in any form are an easy way to bring some dimension to a room without using up any floor space. Laddered shelves also make an excellent plant display: simply lean any type of laddered shelves against a wall in your home and you’ve gained multiple ledges on which your pots can sit to create a wall of greenery.
Now you are armed with these gardening tips for beginners, indoor garden ideas and have an idea of the best ways to nurture your indoor garden, we’d love to see your green spaces so get involved and tag us in your pictures online. After you complete an at home workout, have a browse of the best recipes for serviced apartments and see where you can use your home-grown produce to refuel.