Home Farm: Growing Indoors Tips
For people who live in the city, have a garden is a luxury many can’t afford. The green spaces we do have around our cities are so manicured and perfectly fenced that at the best of times it really feels like you're living in a concrete jungle. However, we can bring a bit of green into our homes by gardening inside!
As a self proclaimed 'city farmer' my love for plants grew from my grandmothers garden in Jamaica. I always wanted to have the trees she had - except in London there isn't really much of a climate for that. I knew it was possible to grow plants indoors, but how far I could push that was another question. In the summer I decided to dip my thumbs in the green pool, and make a little experiment! These are my tips and tricks for a healthy plant growing indoors.
If You're Buying A Plant, Go To A Garden Centre
Large home stores offer a wide range of baby plants for you to take home. The problem with these plants is that often many of them are damaged as a result of poor transportation, or not being taken care of properly whilst in the shop. I bought a tomato plant that was growing so oddly that it was leaning heavily to one side.
For such a young plant that didn't have a heavy stalk, this was bad. I had to tie up with my little sisters wooden sword as it practically parallel to the ground if left on it's own. The first few weeks were of recovery and very slow growth. Buying from a dedicated garden centre is always a much better option as the staff know what they're talking about, and the plants are well looked after. You can be sure that you're taking home plant that has a good chance of surviving, and you won't have to work to nurse it to health.
Turn Your Pots Around Frequently
It sounds weird but I started growing carrots in my room (it's been approximately 4 months now), and after a while I noticed that the leaves were leaning to one side. I knew from my basic knowledge of plant science that plants tend grow and bend to face the Sun, to maximise the amount of sunlight they receive. However, I didn't want wonky carrots. So everyday I turn the pot around to make sure all the leaves receive an even amount of sunlight - and they grow straight.
Beware The Fruit Flies
A young Wonky Tom (above)
And a grown up, much healthier Wonky Tom (below)
After a couple months of happy indoor farming, a sudden influx of tiny flies had come from nowhere! After much research and deliberation, I realised that the flies were making a lovely home for themselves in the soil of my plant pots. This was most likely caused by the compost I was using - more specifically, where I had bought it from. Garden centres that store their compost outside are much more likely to receive a few stray eggs of insects. This is why it took a few weeks before I noticed any flies. The eggs had yet to hatch!