Harvesting herbs that we have tenderly nurtured all season can be a wonderful way to experience the joy of nature. Most of us don't have the time, or space, to have a full-fledge farm. But, many of us grow herbs in containers, on windowsills, or in a small plot in our backyard.
The process of cutting them, drying them and crumpling them into pieces allows their fragrance to erupt. Inhaling their aromas is a joy just unto itself. Anticipating the addition of these delicacies to warm, comforting recipes this fall and winter can make ones mouth start to water.
Not sure how to dry your herbs? Take a look at this short how-to-video we created just for you:
Want to learn more about how to experience the joy of nature? Enroll now in our new online course! Learn more
Air plants are a great option for people living in small spaces because they don't use soil and require little care. There are many varieties. Many people collect them. Let's take a look at what care they need:
Light: Their preferred light is bright, filtered sunlight. Direct sunlight may burn your air plants.
Water: The more light they receive, the more water they will need. So if you have them close to a light source, you may need to water them twice a week, otherwise, once a week will probably be fine. You can either soak them in water for a few minutes, then allow to dry thoroughly; or mist them with a spray bottle. Do not allow them to sit in water.
Other tips: When they grow in the outdoors, they will attach themselves to other plants. They prefer temperatures between 60-90 degrees. They thrive when there is ventilated air.
There are a lot of creative ways to display air plants. Maybe do a search on pinterest for more inspiration!
Learn more about growing food and other plants in small spaces in our special issue of Healthy Green Thumbs: Link.
The choice to grow from seed, versus buying a plant already started, brings with it some particular attributes. Let's take a look at these, shall we?
First: As we discussed in the second episode of the Healthy Green Thumbs™ campaign, growing from seed allows for a much greater choice in variety of plants. Take lettuce for example-arugula, butter lettuce, iceberg, and romaine are just some of the varieties we can choose from.
Second: Will it grow? There is something thrilling about the anticipation of seeing if a seed that has been planted will actually grow. Ask any seasoned plant grower, and they will tell you that they still find it exhilarating when they go to visit their garden and notice that the seeds that they planted are actually sprouting! Couple that with the joy of then watching it grow and bloom into a flower, or produce a red, juicy tomato, become a tad tree that produces much needed shade on a hot summer day.
Third: Knowing we are connected to something much greater. We may prepare the soil, plant the seed, and water it, but experiencing a seed transform into a magnificent plant is a humbling reminder that there is a much greater power supporting all living things. Research shows that those connected with nature, something called nature connectedness, are happier.
What are your thoughts? Do you grow plants from seed? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Learn more about how growing plants can help your health and wellbeing by subscribing to our free, biweekly Healthy Green Thumbs™ e-newsletter: Learn more.
Everyone, even those who claim to have 'Brown Thumbs', can learn to grow healthy plants. The key is providing what plants need to grow well. The funny thing is, plants and humans require some of the same basic needs: light, a growing medium, nutrients and water.
Light: Plants need light exposure or sun to grow. If we are growing plants indoors, a sunny window may be enough. But for some plants, special lighting is required. When we grow plants outdoors, we need to plant seeds and plants in a setting that offers the amount of sunlight they need. Light and sun allow the plant to perform a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is essentially when a plant takes the energy from the light source and converts it into chemical energy (food source) that the plant can use later to fuel its activities. Just as we poop and pee, most plants give off waste too; oxygen. Good for us, because we need this to breathe!
Growing Medium: We need a home to grow in. So do plants. The type of home depends on the plant. Most plants need soil to sink their roots in so they can flourish. Other plants, however, can grow in water, or air, if they have somewhere to anchor their roots.
Nutrients: When we eat well, we feel well, right? The same is true for plants. Plants require essential nutrients. Knowing what they need and ensuring they get these nutrients will make your thumbs greener and your plants happier.
Water: Even the plants that thrive in the hottest desserts need at least some water. Water is an essential nutrient that no living being can thrive without. Finding the balance between providing enough versus overwatering can be tricky. Be sure to look up the water requirements for the plants you want to grow.
Getting in sync with what your plants need to thrive can take a little time and patience. Just as raising a newborn infant or puppy, we need to rely on others for advice, search for instructions, and just get to know this living entity we are connecting with.
Over the next year, the Healthy Green Thumbs™ campaign will dive in deeper to help you with tips on how to provide these four essential components needed for successful plant growing. We will also grow a community of like-minded people trying to enhance their health and well-being by connecting with nature through plant growing. Whether you choose to grow herbs in your kitchen window, keep an aloe plant alive or take on a full outdoor vegetable garden, the Healthy Green Thumbs™ community is where you can get information, share your successes and find support during the inevitable failures.
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