Over quarantine, I discovered my new-found fascination with growing and maintaining my own flowers, herbs, and crops in the comfort of my home! Something about having green life around me makes me feel so refreshed. The list below will provide you five eco-friendly hacks, DIY’s, and tips that can be done by anyone to improve or start your at-home garden!
1. Upcycle that Rainboot you can’t find the Match too!
Pots and plant holders can get quite expensive but don’t worry, I have a simple solution! Look around your home for any solid container that you can reuse and recycle into a pot for your plants; For example, glass jars, water bottles, empty toilet paper rolls, mugs, jugs, or tin-cans. You can even get creative and use items that you typically do not see plants in, such as a rainboot or a teapot. I love that this hack is so open-ended, making it easy for you to add your own twist on it! Below is a picture of my own upcycle. I put a plant into an old Gatorade jug I had laying around my house! And Because it is a larger plant, I placed rocks at the bottom to create a drainage system. Which brings me to my next hack!
2. Simple, but Effective, Drainage System
Let’s start with the basics! What even is a drainage system and why is it important? A drainage system is a method used to ensure that the water you used to hydrate your plant gets to the base of the pot without it pooling. Water pooling at the base can cause your roots to grow a fungus or bacteria, but it can also drown your plant. Placing rocks at the bottom of your pot will allow the excess water to seep out once it has traveled downward. So, step outside, get a breath of fresh air, and begin to gather a few medium-sized rocks. Once you have collected your rocks, rinse them off to discard of any insects, and then place them into your pot prior to adding your dirt and plant. I typically prefer this type of drainage method when dealing with larger plants, but it is completely up to you when you use it!
3. DIY Water Canister
This DIY is by far one of my favorites and you only need two supplies!
A jar, jug, or bottle that has a corresponding lid.
A device used to poke holes, like a pencil, a pen, or an Exacto knife.
Once you have your supplies, grab the corresponding lid to the item you are going to use as your canister, apply pressure to the lid with the device of your choice making holes. This will serve you as your sprout. Please be careful when completing this step, go slow and steady. Once you are done poking a sufficient amount of holes, you can customize your canister by drawing on it, painting it, or adding a label. (An optional step is to attach a piece of material to act as a handle!) And there you go, your very own water canister to keep your plants healthy and hydrated! Here is a picture for a little bit of inspiration!
4. Growing from the Seed: Tips I Gained throughout my Quarantine.
A fun way to widen your window-sill garden is by planting your own herbs. During quarantine, I planted basil, chamomile, and mint all by seed. I found that it was important to research the water intake of each specific herb and how many times you should water it, as well as how many seeds are acceptable to plant together. Adding too many seeds can cause a malfunction in the growing process, as they might not have a sufficient amount of space to grow.
5. Throw your Garbage Into your Plants!
Yeah, you read the caption right! There are certain products you would typically consider as waste that can be very beneficial to your plant’s growth. Here are a few examples: Once you finish eating a banana refrain from throwing it away! Cut up a few chunks and place them into your plant to boost their potassium level. After you crack an egg for breakfast, set it aside, and later crush it up to sprinkle in your plants. Not only do eggshells serve as a fertilizer, but they also act as pest-deterrent. After you set aside your eggshells from your breakfast, I am sure you are ready for a cup of coffee. While you have your coffee grounds out don’t be afraid to sprinkle a few into your plants. Dry coffee grounds are a great form of fertilizer. These are just three items that are helpful to your plant, the list continues from vinegar to copper coins! One important thing to note though: Be sure to remove any food or perishable items out of your plants after a few days to refrain from bug attraction or mold!