My Baby Bok Choy

7 Things I Learned from 7 months of Apartment Gardening — Intro to indoor plants

Today I’m going to talk about the 7 things I’ve learned from consistent habit of taking care of plants. As with most of hobbies, once I am interested in learning about something, I maximize in quantity. I lack moderation but and consistency. So this year it was a surprise that I got into plants and kept them alive.

So let’s get into it!

1. Plants are inexpensive

Generally, it is easier to start with a fully grown plant (most can average anywhere from $0.25 — $70.00 pending where, type and when you buy them).

However, seeds are very inexpensive. $0.50–$4 per pack of 50–500 or more seed for average garden variety plants. There is no point in buying kits when you can use that money to buy everything you need. Also you can get pots for free. Home depot, garden centers, and a lot of landscape centers have recycling centers for their customers. They are used but perfectly usable plastic containers for plants. Look for ones with no holes on the bottom as it will be easier to use for indoor plants.

My kratky hydrophonics majority started from propagated cuttings

2. Propagate from cuttings

Nature is a font of creativity and survival. You can easily create more plants from plants! Take a fresh cutting and put it water, keep it in there until roots start to grow and then pot it in soil. Though not all plants can be propagated, a lot of common herbs are (rosemary, mint, basil, thyme, sage).

As a side note of my plant experimentation, I’ve found that propagated cuttings also happen to do better in hydroponics.

3. Roots need to breathe and the light is the devil.

I use to compensate watering plants by over doing it, thinking that plants will take what it needs and store up the rest for later. Well that doesn’t really work with living beings does it? Do we just eat 10 hamburgers in one sitting in order to replenish our nutritional needs for the next week? Its the difference between drinking water versus drowning in it.

Sad Bok Choy with root rot. :(

4. Read the leaves, google symptoms.

WebMD that situation. Like a huge metaphor of life, you really learn from failure. Use the leaves to learn how to take care of your plants. Experiment and take note!

Basil I grew from seed

5. Basil are emotionally manipulative, but forgiving.

Basil are emotionally manipulative. It gives you immediate feedback, and has a great bounce back. If you are intent on keeping it alive, this plant will train you to do that.

When the leaves wilt and look sad, water them accordingly and they have a recovery rate of 1 hour to 4 hours. It is amazing to see that immediate feedback that will train you to take care of this plant.

6. It’s easier to start with a plant you are planning to eat.

If you depend it, you are more adapt to take care of it. I love eating thai basil, but living in South Dakota, not only can I not find thai basil, if you go to Walmart or the regional store Hyvee you’ll find that herbs are really pricey. Majority of recipes calls for 1 or 2 cups of loose leaf fresh basil and for the price $2-$3 you can just buy a fresh plant that gives you greater yields.

7. It really really taught me the value of routine and self care.

Daily care with reward through time. Growing from seeds, seeing something grow based on dependency. That daily habit of being mindful of a living plant really helped me visually see that that growth is gradual.

So where am going with this next year?

  1. Well, there is a thing called a Master Gardner Program, a opportunity to learn and then to teach through volunteering.
  2. Rent a plot of land for gardening.
  3. I want to go a larger variety of plants with limited amount of space.