How to Maintain a Sustainable Home Garden All Year Long
Many of us count down the days until we can eat fresh fruit in summer, pumpkins in the fall and wait for the season to enjoy the foods we love.
But what if you didn’t have to wait? What if you could grow your own food throughout the year?
We know what you’re thinking: “I don’t have a greenhouse” and “I’m not a gardening expert.”
Contrary to popular belief, growing your own food is relatively simple. It’s also less expensive, and healthier for you and the environment.
Here are four foods you can grow in the comfort of your own home - and enjoy year-round!
- To start, you’ll need a large container with drainage holes. Fill the container with 10 inches of soil, leaving three inches of room at the top. Use a blend of potting soil (not garden soil – it’s too heavy) and an organic fertilizer. Garden soil is too heavy for use in pots.
- Sow the carrot seeds ¼ inch into the container soil, and make sure to keep the seeds moist during this process.
- Place the container on a tray large to catch any liquid runoff and move it into a room that gets bright, direct sunlight. Carrots grow best between 70 to 80 F, and take between 65 and 75 days to reach full size.
- Find pots with drainage holes
- Sow tomato seeds ¼ inch inside the soil. Keep soil lightly moist.
- Once germination occurs in five to ten days, move the pots to a well-lit room. Tomatoes need full sunlight. Make sure the indoor temperature is 65 F.
- When the seeds grow to three inches, move to bigger pots.
- Fertilize every two weeks.
The best tomatoes to grow indoors are Red Robin and Tiny Tim.
- You’ll need a container at least 8 inches wide by 12 inches deep.
- Create a blend of potting soil, compost, sphagnum peat moss, and perlite. Fill the container until soil is ¾ inches from the top.
- Insert the cucumber plant and add the remaining soil around it.
- Water the plant and let the soil settle.
- Make sure the container is window-facing. For optimal growth, cucumbers need at least five hours of sunlight every day.
- During its germination period, cucumbers need light watering and heavier watering as they mature.
- Choose a container that’s 6 x 8 inches and a light soil mixture that contains peat, perlite, and vermiculite. Most importantly, make sure you have excellent drainage.
- Find a location with bright, indirect sunlight.
- Place the banana corm in an upright position, covering most of the roots. Leave 20 percent of the corm exposed until the plant has grown new leaves.
- Water regularly and add fertilizer once a month.
As a self-sufficient fruit, dwarf bananas are ideal for indoor climates.
Are there foods you like to grow year-round? Any that are not on this list? Let us know in the comments!
Want to learn more about sustainable living? Check out How Do Household Cleaners Affect the Environment and Sustainable Living 101: 3 Easy Steps to Help You Live More Sustainably.