Victory Herbal Garden in Your Limited Space: Sustainable Gardening for Children/Beginners
I was just talking to one of my friends about gardening, because she was bemoaning the huge amounts of money she had to pay for fresh vegetables and I asked her why she did not make a garden of her own.
Her immediate answer was - she had no time. After that, she looked around and said she had absolutely no free space. Especially for flowerpots, herb pots, and all that mess.
This book is not for all those people who go into things with enthusiasm, and then one fine day decided that they do not like dirt under their fingernails. And so they abandon all their gardening efforts and decide to do something else constructive like let us say – moan about high prices for vegetables.
This book is for all those who are interested in a back to basics food revival where you are going to grow healthy food for you and your family. More and more people want to eat fresh, seasonal and locally grown foods.
Most of us are urbanites. Most of our dwellings are high-rise apartments, where you are not going to find any sort of outside space. You may be living off a really busy, noisy, road and you think that no plant is going to grow there.
So not true. So if gardening is your game, and even if you have just limited space, use your ingenuity and creativity and let us start this new campaign of growing your own food and growing healthy naturally.
You do not need custom made expensive containers. I went to the mountains 1this weekend, and picked up my favorite plant, growing wildly on the ground there – it is a succulent creeper with magenta flowers – which I could not find in the nurseries in my town.
So when I came back, and began to look at all the containers where I could pot the cuttings, I just found a leaking old plastic container. You can see the rough scissor marks, where I made it into a container, drilled a couple of holes underneath, filled it up with gardening compost, planted my succulents, watered them, and put them in the shade in a corner of the Terrace.
If your container has 4 corners, and has holes from which the water can be drained, it can be used to plant anything. You may want to decorate it from outside, if you think it is too shabby.
Remember that you have taken upon yourself the responsibility of using minimal space. So just like the Japanese, you are going to seize even unconventional or unexpected opportunities to cultivate your urban Eden and Oasis.
But then you are going to say, where are you going to get the fresh earth from? Mark this carefully – you do not need to have land on the ground, which we call gardens, roof terraces, and patios in order to garden. However, if your kitchen ledge is sunny, there you are, you have won half of the game.
Drainage and Size
All living plants need to be watered but the water must be able to drain away or you may have problems with fungus, root rot, and pests.
The simple solution is to take a container and make a few holes in the base of it, then stand it in a dish or stand it in a tray.
Alternatively, pot your plants in a standard plastic plant pot or in any crates you have around.
These containers should be deep enough to comfortably hold your chosen plants, and also allow them plenty of room to grow. Anywhere from about 15 to 30 cm deep is going to be excellent.
But before we start upon limited space gardening, let us come to the basic germination process.
Most Popular Seed Types For Sprouting
Mung bean sprouts are famous all over the world. You can also sprout any type of seed or beans but do not sprout kidney beans and tomato seeds. The safest and best seeds to grow are chickpeas, radish seeds, alfalfa seeds, brown lentils, aduki beans, and mung beans.
Just one tablespoonful of seeds is going to make you a whole jar full of sprouts. Make sure that you have organic seeds because the seeds have been covered with pesticides, half of the fun of having organic food has already been negated and nullified.
There are a number of healthy organic food stores, where you can get packets of raw seeds and beans for sprouting.
Sprouting containers – there are plenty of places where you can get sprouting containers, but you have them right there in your kitchen in the shape of any jar with an open mouth. Traditionally, sprouting was done on jute sacking or any natural thick fiber cloth, or any wide mouthed glass jar.
Popular Herbal Tea Herbs
Lemon balm tea is going to heal you in no time.
Many people are going back to herbal teas today, especially peppermint or mint tea. So if you do like experimenting with herbs, you may now add herbal teas, infusions, and tisanes to your herbal brew list.
The popular herbal teas, that you can grow in your garden are lemon balm. This is going to help you relieve stress, and also get you to sleep. This is excellent in the winter, preventing you from suffering from any coughs and colds.
You are going to make this tea by using either fresh herbs, or allow the leaves to dry out for a few days before you crush them and then infuse them in boiling hot water. Infusions are normally made by taking a kettle full of boiling hot water off the heat, putting the leaves in them, and leaving them for 20 minutes to steep in the water.
Chamomile, garden mint, peppermint, lemon Verbena, sage, and other teas are also excellent as digestive and stress relieving teas. Chamomile likes growing outside. If you are not feeling very energetic, take some leaves of lemon Verbena, and make an infusion with a couple of sticks of cinnamon. Excellent for instant energy.
Gravel And Potting Compost
If you have some potting compost in your own garden, so much the better because that means you have made organic potting compost.
The best material to put in a pot is broken pieces of charcoal, potsherds, or old mortar and concrete. This is excellent for draining purposes. Above this layer, you are going to spread a small quantity of dry moss, dead leaves, and coconut fiber if you can get it or any similar material to vent the soil that is to be put in from falling down into and clogging up the drainage below.
The soil, which is best adapted for the potted plants in your garden is common garden loam in which you have mixed 1/8 part by weight of vegetable compost, well-rotted animal manure, and a little sand.
To keep the soil open, nothing better can be mixed with it than a small quantity of garden compost, broken into small pieces, and old mortar or concrete broken up into size of peas, and hazelnuts.
This book has given you plenty of information on how you can make your own small garden, even if the space is limited. The herbs which you have grown in the garden can be used for culinary purposes or for other purposes like drying them up and using them in sachets, teabags, potpourris, and so on.
So enjoy gardening, Live Long and Prosper!