Did you know that working with plants can actually be therapeutic? There is something incredibly satisfying being responsible for growing a beautiful living thing. Relaxation can be found in pruning and shaping plants; whether they are indoor or outdoor. There are many benefits in growing plants, fruits, and vegetables as a hobby; not to mention the health benefits of having plants in your home. If you’ve felt like you do not have a green thumb and haven not had success growing plants, maybe you’ve started with the wrong plants.
The easiest and lowest commitment place to start when it comes to finding joy in growing plants as a hobby is; houseplants. Published studies suggest that indoor gardening tasks reduced the stress response in the participants. Researchers suggest the results of their study show a reduction of stress both physiological and psychological. Other studies have shown that live plants sharpen our attention in a way that artificial plants don’t.
There is no question that houseplants improve air quality of our homes. NASA has done extensive studies regarding the benefits of houseplants. They’ve researched houseplants’ ability to cleanse the air in hopes of using them on the space station. They discovered that certain houseplants are very good at cleaning the air. They suggest having 15-18 houseplants for a 1,800 square foot house. Now, this is a lot of plants and not reasonable for most of us. But adding even half that number will make a positive difference in air quality of your home.
When choosing a plant, make sure to ensure it’s not toxic if you have pets or children. You should also choose low maintenance options – then, as you become more experienced, you can work your way up to more specialist species! Recommended houseplants for beginners include:
- Spider plant
- Snake plant
- Golden pothos vine
Look up how regularly to water your plant, where it should be placed, how much sunlight it should be getting and whether you need to add nutrients to its soil.
Planting a fruit & vegetable garden
Planting a garden seems really intimidating. You may think you don’t have room for a garden if you don’t live on acreage, your garden doesn’t have to be huge. Even a smaller raised bed garden can produce lots of beautiful fruits and veggies. A small container garden on your front porch can grow peppers, tomatoes, and strawberries.
When I think fruits and vegetables I buy a few times each month, tomatoes top the list. This fruit (yes, a tomato is a fruit) is among the most versatile in use. Whether diced in a salad, sliced for a sandwich or burger, or stewed for sauces, the tomato does it all. The first step you need to take when growing tomatoes is to determine what type of tomato you want to grow. There are a number of varieties out there and each variety will have different needs and requirements when it comes to the growing process. Most home improvement stores will have tomato plants that have already started to grow, many will already have small tomatoes on the vines. Just transplant them into your container or right into your garden.
Strawberries are great for desserts and smoothies. How great would it be to just run out and harvest strawberries anytime you’re craving some strawberry shortcake, or wanting to jazz up morning cereal? Strawberries are great for sunny areas as they need up to eight hours of full sun. There are pretty strawberry pots that not only aid in the growth of your fruit but look beautiful doing it. These too can be picked up at your local home improvement store already growing in pots. You can grow strawberries from seeds as well, but for convenience, grab seedlings already growing. Strawberries are perennials and will grow year after year with care.
Mushrooms are another great option when it comes to growing food for yourself. Again, there are countless types of mushrooms you can consider, but chestnut mushrooms tend to be a popular choice that gives great flavor! Growing chestnut mushrooms will give you a nice addition to your sauces and casseroles.
If you’re looking for a truly practical plant to grow – and if you have the space available – you should try potatoes. The majority of us eat potatoes on a regular basis whether mashed, roasted, baked, or fried, the potato is king. Growing potatoes is fairly simple; you can even grow them in a 5 gallon bucket! Purchase some seed potatoes and plant after they sprout really well. Two seed potatoes in a bucket will yield about 4-5 pounds of potatoes.
A kitchen window sill is made more beautiful when it’s covered in gorgeous growing herbs. They are perfect for growing in small spaces. Fresh herbs turn our dishes into delicious meals. Think of the herbs you cook with most, and plant them in a beautiful window box. You’ll get such a feeling of accomplishment when you harvest your own herbs to add to soups and sauces.
Popular herbs to grow at home include:
- Coriander (or in the US the leaves are called cilantro)
These are just a few different types of plants you can consider growing. Hopefully you’ll find joy in growing plants, fruits, and vegetables as a hobby!