Coronavirus - how to garden without a garden - repot houseplants

Coronavirus – how to garden without a garden

No garden? Discover 10 ways you can get growing if you’re stuck indoors during coronavirus lockdown.

The UK Coronavirus lockdown has forced us all to stay at home. Many of us can spend more time in the garden, getting on with the growing season and enjoying the flowers, shoots, birdsong and buzz of insects, that spring brings. But what if you don’t have a garden?

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How to garden without a garden

Gardening is a great way to destress. Being around plants and nature has been shown to lower stress levels and improve our mood. If you don’t have a garden you can still ‘do gardening’. You can create beautiful houseplant displays, and grow herbs and some vegetables on a windowsill. You can buy seeds, plants, pots, tools and compost online, and get everything you need delivered to your door.

We’ve put together some fun gardening activities you can do at home, even if you don’t have a garden. Find out more, below.


1

Grow chillies

How to garden without a garden - grow chillies
How to garden without a garden – grow chillies

Chillies are a great way to liven up store-cupboard meals and they’re easy to grow in a pot on a sunny windowsill. There are hundreds of varieties to choose from, from flaming hot to mild and fruity. Be careful when buying chillies, as some varieties can grow to 2m tall. Choose a compact variety such as ‘Numex Twilight’ or ‘Demon Red’, that will suit your growing space.

It’s too late to sow chilli seeds this year, but you can buy plants online. Many specialist chilli nurseries and online retailers have chilli plug plants for sale now.

More on growing chillies:


2

Grow herbs

How to garden without a garden - grow herbs
How to garden without a garden – grow herbs

Fresh herbs add so much to home-made dishes, and are easy and cheap to grow. Annual herbs such as basil, coriander and parsley are easy to grow from seed, thriving in a bright, sheltered spot such as a windowsill. Buy perennial herb plants online, including mint, thyme, rosemary, marjoram and chives (chives also grow easily from seed). You can plant them up singly or together in a large pot, such as a window box.

More on growing herbs:


3

Repot houseplants

How to garden without a garden - repot houseplants
How to garden without a garden – repot houseplants

Now’s the perfect opportunity to pot on your houseplants. Spring is the ideal time to repot plants, and a larger pot with fresh, peat-free compost will keep your plants healthy. Choose a new pot that’s slightly bigger than the previous one and fill around the rootball with fresh compost – keeping the surface of the rootball at the same level it was previously. Firm the compost in with your fingers and give it a good water.

More on repotting hosueplants:


4

Take houseplant cuttings

How to garden without a garden - propagate houseplants
How to garden without a garden – propagate houseplants

Propagating your own houseplants is usually easy and always fun to do. If you don’t have any houseplants yet, you can order plants online.

How to propagate houseplants:


5

Plant a hanging basket

How to garden without a garden - make a hanging basket
How to garden without a garden – make a hanging basket

Think hanging baskets are just for outdoors? Think again. Fill a hanging basket with houseplants for an eye-catching indoor display. Streptocarpus, spider plants, string-of-beads and donkey’s tail all work well. Or for a contemporary take on a hanging basket, you could make a kokedama. This Japanese method involves wrapping the rootball of a plant in moss, before hanging it up.

More on indoor hanging baskets:


6

Grow microgreens

How to garden without a garden - grow microgreens
How to garden without a garden – grow microgreens

Loved by chefs for their intense flavour, microgreens are easy to grow indoors on a windowsill. Microgreens are the seedlings of vegetables and herbs, and they pack all the flavour of the adult plant into their tiny leaves. Growing microgreens is so quick and easy, it’s a great thing to do with kids. You don’t need any special equipment, you can sow the seeds in a margarine tub or yoghurt pot, and you’ll have fresh pickings within a few days.

More on growing microgreens:


7

Grow beansprouts

How to garden without a garden - grow beansprouts
How to garden without a garden – grow beansprouts

Sprouting seeds and pulses are ready to eat in as little as three days, are packed full of nutrients and make a great addition to salads. Kids will love seeing the shoots emerge inside a glass jar. You can sprout mung beans, lentils, chick peas and a host of other seeds and pulses.

How to grow sprouting pulses indoors


8

Make a terrarium

How to garden without a garden - make a terrarium
How to garden without a garden – make a terrarium

Even if you can’t go outside, you can still make your own tiny garden by planting a terrarium. These miniature landscapes under glass let you exercise your creativity, and planting one is a great activity to do with kids at home. You can encourage them to add little toy people, dinosaurs or fairies to complete the feeling of a magical, miniature world. You can buy everything you need online.


9

Grow carnivorous plants

How to garden without a garden - grow carnivorous plants
How to garden without a garden – grow carnivorous plants

Carnivorous plants are fascinating, grow well indoors and are a great way to get kids gardening. Specialist nurseries have a dazzling array of weird and wonderful plants for you to choose from, and many offer home delivery.


10

Grow cacti from seed

How to garden without a garden - grow cacti from seed
How to garden without a garden – grow cacti from seed

Cacti make the ideal indoor plants, but did you know you can grow your own from seed at home? Spring is a great time to sow seeds. You’ll need to be patient, as cacti are slow growing, but they’re fun and rewarding to grow.

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