Gardening Essentials for Home Gardeners
Gardening is easy. Well, almost. Knowing gardening essentials, helps a lot though.
As home gardeners many of us may have experienced the joy and sorrows associated with it. Our plant seems to be doing really well until one fine day when it just turns lifeless. It is a painful sight to say the least. While success & failure to grow plants indoors is a part of the whole process, it is equally important for us to know certain essentials of gardening which will help us get better results.
In this article we shall discuss a few such essentials for you to consider while performing indoor gardening. You may also consider these to be part of your basic preparation about indoor gardening.
-Pot Size To Be Selected.
One of the primary gardening essentials involves selection of proper pot sizes.
Pot variations are available a plenty, so is there an ideal shape or size?
Well, we surely feel so.
Generally speaking, choosing a wide mouth – tapering bottom pot with drainage holes is an ideal choice. But is there an ideal size as well?
Let us first understand that a pot size is generally referred to using the upper mouth diameter.
There are 3 standard pot sizes which are prevalent no matter who is the manufacturer of it.
- 4 Inches Diameter
- 5.5 / 6 Inches Diameter
- 8 Inches Diameter
Most of the basic gardening requirements are sufficed within these 3 pot sizes & you may not have to look for bigger or smaller size of pots than these 3. The pot height also varies in similar fashion.
More often than not, when starting with a small plant, a 4 Inch pot works the best. Whether one has a small sapling or is trying to germinate a seed to grow new plant, this size serves the best. It holds enough growth media to serve as an ideal environment for roots to grow. They are generally light weight and cost effective. Use fancy colored designer pots or black grower pots, the choice lies with you.
The 5.5 / 6 Inch size is ideal for plant older than 8 months up to about 16-18 months. For plants older than 18 months an 8 Inch pot may be more suited. There is a generalization to these statements & it is always good to exercise discretion with pot sizes.
– Gardening Essentials – Tools & Their Usage
Let us be very clear about it, most of the commercially available tools are surplus to indoor gardening requirement and are in fact more suited and required for outdoor gardening. In the context of indoor gardening a few of these tools prove extremely pivotal though. If we have to suggest a few ‘must haves’ then they would be as follows.
- Hand Trowel (Small Size)
- A watering can,
- Spray Can or bottle spray
- Pair of gardening gloves (If you are conscious of getting your hands dirty)
- A base mat .
- A pruner is an essential tool because pruning stimulates new growth in plants. (More on that in future article)
- A small trowel helps you while adding growth media to pot & levelling in general.
- The watering can is extremely important as to maintain proper watering. Using it, one can roughly estimate the water needed by each plant and overwatering may be avoided.
- The spray can or spray bottle is essential for misting the leaves and stem along with aerial roots and spraying insecticides or fungicides as and when required. The second part is extremely important as excess spraying of insecticide may harm the plant itself.
- The gloves can prove useful in case you are mindful of getting your hands dirty with minor cuts and shabby nails. Please note gardening gloves are generally thicker than usual latex gloves.
- Finally, the base mat is a must have as it ensures all the media / soil used in pots doesn’t cause spillage on your floor and you can work in tidy manner after all we don’t want the floor to feel dirty afterwards.
– Healthy & Potent Seeds
We have come across a lot of people who miss out on this small yet extremely significant detail. This could easily top the list of gardening essentials. When trying to germinate seeds while growing new plants, the potency of seeds matters a lot. High quality seeds are packed in such a way that external contamination doesn’t have an effect on them till they remain packed. The potency of seeds is never 100%, meaning all your seeds may not germinate when sowed but with good quality high potency seeds, you are likely to get good results in ideal timeframe suggested for each plant.
– Growth Media
One of the most important factors needed for plant growth is growth media. It is usually a mixture of some form of base media having a nutrient providing ingredient along with a component that helps retain water. It may also have an ingredient that acts for preventing fungal growth.
Frankly speaking, growth media is a huge topic in itself and we will be covering different aspects of it in detail in our upcoming articles. For now, you must know that soil is only a type of growth media and there are many different alternatives available that can give you much better results when used for indoor gardening.
Plants ideally need well aerated media that holds sufficient water without being damp all the while. Its source of nutrients needed to be added periodically to improve plant growth. Indoor gardening can in fact be done without using any soil at all. Soil less media are generally light weight and hence prove extremely useful during indoor gardening.
This is a factor that is often undermined by many gardeners. Growing plants at home can be a real test of patience at times but hey, rewards are equally beautiful. Many pants, that one may come across while performing indoor gardening will not be native to the given geography. These are the plants that have their origins in different parts of the world and are grown here in our part of the globe. Thus, adaptation and acclimatization to its actual surroundings may take a while for certain plants. Additionally, how well you provide for their optimal growth proves pivotal part of the story. All in all, being patient with your plants is important.
As they say, it’s not about the destination but the journey you make to reach there. Gardening is no less than a journey in itself, albeit a fulfilling one.
Good things take time, you must keep at it.
As we go ahead we shall be covering more and more topics and aspects of gardening in detail, keep watching this space for more such articles.
We would encourage you to comment and share your thoughts on the articles we include here. Let us know of your opinions and future topics that may be of interest to you. We shall be happy to cover as many as possible.