Indoor Gardening

By Greta Paget

Taking care of an indoor plant is not only a productive hobby (and a delightfully healthy method of procrastination) – indoor plants can act as air filters, supply produce for cooking, and brighten up a room.

For adequate drainage indoors, you may want to consider using a self-watering pot or hanging pot.

Tomatoes are easy to grow and are good survivors. They can be grown from the seeds of supermarket tomatoes, so are good option in our current situation – no nursery visits required!

The seeds can be planted in about two cups of damp potting mix – fill a pot with most of the soil (save a couple of tablespoons) then plant the seeds about half a centimetre apart. Cover the seeds with the remaining soil, and place the pot in a sunny place. Once seedlings have sprouted and grown, the strongest few seedlings can be moved to a 5L pot filled with soil (potting mix with slow- release fertiliser should work well).

If you’re growing the tomatoes in a self-watering pot, arrange a stake so that the seedlings have something to lean on as they grow. In a hanging pot, the plants can be draped over the side of the pot as they grow – just make sure the stem and roots are strong enough before you allow this so that the weight of the hanging plant doesn’t cause the stem to break.

Nasturtiums are edible plants and good survivors – the leaves have a similar peppery taste to rocket and can be used in salads, and the flowers can be used as an edible garnish. Nasturtiums are usually found in nurseries – check out last week’s blog post for a guide on how and where to buy plants online.

Nasturtiums and tomatoes are companion plants, meaning they benefit each other when grown in proximity, so a pot containing both should grow very happily. Make sure the tomatoes have strong roots and stems before planting the nasturtiums, and ensure your pot has adequate space for both plants (10L or so should allow room).

Note that nasturtiums only need four to six hours of sunlight a day, whereas tomatoes require six to eight. Try to place a pot containing both in a place which receives six to eight hours of full sun, with the nasturtiums in the more shaded region.

I’ve had a strong focus on just two cooperative indoor plants, but there are plenty more options! Herbs are simple to grow and work well indoors, ferns act as air filters and can be grown in shady indoor areas.

If you’re unable to leave your house to find seeds and seedlings in the current (lockdown) climate, check out this link for a guide on regrowing vegetable scraps. 


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