We heard (and felt!) a collective sigh as recent restrictions were announced, and now we’re back to the drawing board on how to stay positive amidst this doom and gloom. Our Netflix watchlist can only keep our attention for so long! If we have learnt anything from the previous lockdown, it is that we all have some secret skills to unlock when prodded.
We feel that adding some plants to your living space ticks all the right boxes – beautify your house with some (green) roommates, and boast the pedigree of freshly grown veg before you whip them into proud meals. There is that extra gratification of getting your hands dirty and watching your green baby bear fruits. It is also much more low-maintenance than you think: your inaugural mini-garden only needs a sunny indoor windowsill and sporadical attention. You can also use your leftover tea leaves as fertiliser to boot – we would like to encourage you to go green as much as possible.
Here is how and what you need to get started.
Using tea leaves as fertiliser:
Teas can enrich your garden as much as they can nourish us if you use them judiciously for your compost piles, which we find would be the most effective method to feed your plants. When broken down, they are nitrogen-rich, which offsets the carbon-rich components of the pile and promotes leafy growth.
A caveat: you should always use loose tea leaves or remove your tea leaves from the tea bags. Most tea bags contain polypropylene and do not decompose.
Making a home for your plants:
Nestle your plant containers well to facilitate drainage before you fill them with the potting compost. Water a healthy amount on the seedlings before planting, then again after they’re planted.
What to grow:
We have curated a shortlist of greens for the uninitiated to start with, which will come in useful when you want to try one of our Bon-appe-tea recipes.
Where: A window box or small pot in a sunny spot. If growing indoors, position away from radiators and crack open the window now and then.
How: Sow seeds lightly across the surface then cover with a thin layer of soil. Water lightly and regularly.
Harvest: 2 months later. Cut as needed, leaving 5cm at the base to keep them growing back.
- Rainbow chard
Where: In large pots and planters in a sunny sheltered spot
How: Chard needs room (30cm at least), so no more than 1-2 per pot. In hot weather, water twice a day so they don’t dry out.
Harvest: After 8-10 weeks, slicing them off a few centimetres from the base as needed.
Where: In a large shallow container positioned in a sunny or partly sunny spot
How: Plant 10cm apart. Beetroots are averse to moisture, so watering every 10-14 days during a sunny season will suffice.
Harvest: From 2 months onwards, depending on the variety – when their heads reach golf ball to tennis ball size.
Do drop us a note if you’re going to get your hands dirty! We’d love to be a part of your journey.