These beginner-friendly tips are perfect for those looking to flex their green thumbs
There is something incredibly therapeutic about having plenty of leafy greens in your home. Not only do they score you some serious Pinterest-worthy home décor cred, they’re also a welcome slice of the outdoors, especially with all the time we’re spending at home right now. If you’ve run out of #stayhome ideas to keep yourself occupied, why not try your hand at creating your own indoor hydroponic garden?
According to Avani Pattaya Resort, whose own in-house hydroponic farm grows over 22,000 plants which it supplies to the local community, hydroponics is a great way to grow your own produce because it’s space-saving, conserves water and soil and doesn’t require pesticides. Here’s how you can start your own mini-farm indoors, as shared by the team at Avani Pattaya Resort’s Hydroponic Green Farm.
The best types of plants to grow
The best plants to grow in a hydroponic system, according to the resort, are Chinese kale, lettuce, rocket, Swiss chard and microgreens. If you’re a little nervous about growing plants that require more maintenance, they suggest opting for basic herbs that can be grown very easily. These include your kitchen staple herbs like basil, celery, chives, coriander, dill, mint, parsley, rosemary and thyme.
When choosing a spot to grow your greens, bear in mind that plants need exposure to light for at least six hours a day to grow well, but do avoid places in your home with strong and direct sunlight.
What you’ll need to get started
Good news: you won’t need to buy a dedicated hydroponics kit to get started. The resort suggests repurposing everyday household items instead. You’ll only need four items: individual containers (these can be empty coffee jars, plastic bottles or other reusable containers), a plastic or metal tray, a sheet of sponge or foam (you’ll have to pre-cut it with slots to place the seeds) and a nutrient solution (you can easily purchase ready-made ones from local online stores like City Farm).
A step-by-step guide
1) Create your own mini “greenhouse.” Begin by placing a sheet of foam on a tray and soaking it with water. Once wet, insert the seeds into the slots and transfer the seeded foam into a transparent container. Place a see-through lid on the container and leave it out in the sun. According to the resort’s Green Farm team, this will create a greenhouse-like effect.
2) Move your seedlings into a separate container. It will take between one and two weeks before you see the first shoots. After two weeks, it’s now time to move the seedlings. Cut the foam around the seedlings and move them into separate individual containers filled with nutrient solution. Ensure that your plants still have sufficient light.
3) Check on your plants regularly. Be sure to check on the roots every now and then, to ensure they are clean and clear of algae. “It will take approximately five to six weeks for the plants to be fully grown,” shares the resort team.
4) Time to harvest! Once the plants are ready, harvest the leaves. You should be able to harvest from each plant several times. According to Avani Pattaya’s team, do not wait for more than 40 days to harvest, as the greens will begin to taste bitter after that.
For apartment dwellers, hydroponics is a great way to start your own indoor home garden, especially if space isn’t a luxury you can afford. There is also something incredibly nourishing about being able to feed your family from your own backyard, even if that backyard is a tiny balcony space for us city folks. Happy farming!