Grow your green

GROW YOUR GREENS: The ultimate Guide

Written by Krushitha Reddy

How to grow microgreens indoors and with zero budget.

Have you ever thought of getting vegetables from your backyard and cooking them in the kitchen? 

How amazing is it, when your garden can decide your menu for the day! Personally, I feel growing your own food is the best hobby one can ever have. 

Is it really complicated to grow vegetables and greens in your home? Well, it is definitely not. These days, people have become conscious about their food and also about the way it’s grown. Most of them prefer food grown by organic farming to usual farming. This is because people have understood the difference between naturally grown food and the usual food grown by using pesticides, fertilizers. They realised the effect of pesticides on the health of the consumers and also on the soil. 

Vegetables and greens like tomatoes, chillies, spinach, lettuce, broccoli and microgreens like mint, methi, mustard can be easily grown in our backyards. If you think time, space, cost are the constraints for gardening, here’s how you can grow food with zero budget and without investing much time.

If you live in apartments and space is your major constraint, you can at least grow microgreens indoors. Microgreens are something which you use every day. Despite buying these greens from the market for everyday use, you can grow them at home and save money. Lets see more about how to grow microgreens indoors and with zero budget. 

Used milk packets, coconut shells and used water bottles/cold drink bottles, which are available in every home can be used to grow your greens. To grow methi, mint, mustard, coriander and other few greens which are available in the kitchen, all you need is normal soil and water. Take some soil which has no stones and lumps in any container and sow your seeds on the soil. Make sure that the seeds are sown very close so that they support each other to grow.

Then, cover the seeds with a very thin layer of soil (about 1/4 or half inch). Sprinkle some water just to keep the soil moist. Handle it gently till the seeds germinate. The container must have 1-2 little holes at the bottom, just to be able to drain excess water. Your microgreens can be harvested in 4-6 days, depending on the type of greens. Most importantly these microgreens do not need much sunlight. You can also place them indoors, at kitchen corners, on the dining table or in the balcony. They happily grow in partial shade. 

Spinach, lettuce can be grown in 10-inch containers filled with regular soil. Make half inch holes with your finger. Maintain about a 4-5 inch gap between the holes and sow two seeds together. Cover the seeds with soil and water it gently. Make sure the soil is wet till they germinate and once they germinate, water only when the top soil is dry. 

Leafy greens need at least 1hour of sunlight and vegetables need 4-6 hours of sunlight for good production. You do not need to invest much time for taking care of your garden. Generally, you can take a look at your plants while having your coffee in the evenings and remove pests, if there are any. During summers, a bit more water has to be supplied to the plants.

Moreover, soil health has a direct impact on our health. Convert your kitchen waste into nutrient rich soil by composting. Kitchen waste is not really waste, when you treat it right. Composting can easily be done in a pot. Fill 1/4th of an empty pot with normal soil and dry leaves. Dry leaves help in aeration.

Then, add your everyday kitchen waste ( vegetable and fruit waste, stems of greens) into it and cover the remaining pot with soil. However, it stinks if the compost is too wet. On the other hand, diluted buttermilk can be sprayed if the compost is too dry. Diluted butter milk provides millions of microbes to the plant which is very essential for green chillies, tomatoes etc.

Egg shell powder, banana peel water and combination of egg shell powder, banana peel water, coffee powder gives all the nutrition a plant needs. You may provide this to your plant twice a month.

This is how you can grow all the local varieties which are absolutely maintenance free. Green plants have a significant calming effect on our minds. Spending time in your garden after a tiresome day can help in reducing your stress levels, anxiety and makes you feel peaceful.

Gardening is so cool! And my garden makes me feel so happy, I hope you will enjoy growing your food too.

Eat healthy, Stay healthy.

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