Are you one of the many people who would love to grow a garden but haven’t started one yet. What’s stopping you? There are usually some common reasons why. It takes too much time…too difficult…cost too much money…don’t know where to begin… No more excuses. The best thing you can do is try. Start with one plant. You don’t even have to dig a garden. You can begin your first plant in a planter or cup. Let’s grow basil. It is an herb that you can grow in a pot outside or inside on the window sill.
What do you need? All you need is a packet of seeds, a planter or cup, some soil and water. You can find seeds at your local gardening center or online. You can also purchase a planter, however if you don’t want to spend the extra money, just use a plastic or styrofoam cup. If you purchase a planter, it should already have holes in the bottom or side for drainage. If you are using a plastic or styrofoam cup you will need to poke about 5 holes in the bottom of the cup. Although it is tempting to dig up a little soil outside to use for planting your seeds, it is not your best option. Seeds have a better chance in potting soil. However, if all you have is the dirt from outside, use it. Remember, no more excuses.
Now although it only takes one seed to grow one plant, I want you to plant a few seeds. Sometimes not all the seeds germinate. If this happens with your seeds, by planting a few seeds you start off with a better chance of succeeding. What to do with the extra plants? Well if you have the room you might enjoy keeping a few plants. More basil means more pesto. At least that is how I think. Besides, if you have more plants than you want, it is a perfect opportunity to share with a friend or neighbor. Encourage them to join you in your adventure of learning to garden. Growing basil in the winter can be challenging so if you live in a colder climate you might need to wait for warmer temperatures. However, since there are many seeds in a packet, I probably would still try one or two. Can you tell I have Spring fever?
Let’s begin. Fill a pot or cup (remember to poke holes in the bottom) with soil. Place a couple of seeds in the pot or cup. Add a light layer of soil on top of the seeds. Water. (You can use tap water but rain water is the best.) Place the pot or cup on a sunny windowsill that gets a good amount of sunlight – around 6-8 hours a day. Keep the soil moist, but well-drained.
As your plant grows, learn what it likes. How much water? How often to water? Low light? Bright sunshine? Your plant will let you know. Look at what it is telling you. Observe the leaves. Is the plant growing and the leaves green? This means your plant likes where it is growing and the way you are taking care of it. Are the leaves droopy or yellow? You might need to adjust the amount of water you are giving it or maybe it needs a spot that has more light. Remember you are learning. If your plant dies you didn’t fail. You just learned something that didn’t work. Make a note of it, then plant more seeds and try again. As long as you don’t give up, you will eventually succeed and this will build your confidence in gardening. Once you succeed at growing one type of plant, you will be excited to learn how to grow something else.
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