Small spaces, large gardening | Health Beat

Herbs are ideal for small container gardening – they are easy to grow indoors and require little maintenance. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

How many times have you wished you could start a garden but feel like you just don’t have the space?

You may be surprised to learn that it can be easy and convenient to garden in small spaces, especially with the new technology available today.

There are many benefits to growing your own food. Just a few to consider

  • Cost: Seed packs and starter plants, which cost just a few dollars, will produce more than what you can buy at the store for the same price.
  • Check: Whether it’s organic produce or heirloom tomatoes, the choice is yours. You can shape your garden – and your diet – as you see fit.
  • Eat more products: Studies have shown that children who garden have a more positive attitude towards vegetables. Children and adults who garden tend to eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Mental health: The mycobacterium vaccae in the soil can increase your levels of serotonin, the hormone that acts as a natural antidepressant. This can boost your happiness and mental well-being.
  • Sustainability: Skip the packaging. You save on fossil fuel emissions by eliminating the movement of products to your supermarket. Also, many of the gardening supplies can be reused.

Embrace the space

Try to choose plants that are more suitable for small spaces. The last thing you want is a zucchini plant taking over your patio.

Plant vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, herbs, peppers, cucumbers, beets, radishes or potatoes. All of these grow well in pots – and they don’t take up your horizontal space.

Go inside

Try growing microgreens, which are delicious on avocado toast. Carrots, beets, onions, cherry tomatoes, leafy greens and mushrooms are great indoor growers.

The biggest challenge when growing indoors is the right lighting. A south-facing window is a good option for spring and summer. Otherwise, buy a grow light to get good lighting all year round.

Discover hydroponics

A hydroponic garden is one that grows plants in a solution of water. No soil is needed, but you do need plant food that adds nutrients to the water to support growth.

Hydroponic gardens use less water and less space. They give more yield compared to traditional methods.

You can grow everything on hydroponics: herbs, vegetables and flowers. Herbs can be enjoyed all year round and you can save money by skipping the expensive fresh herbs at the supermarket.

If this sounds overwhelming to you, you can always try it with a small plant.

You will soon realize how much fun it is to watch your vegetables grow – and you will soon appreciate your home-grown food even more.