Is your green thumb itchy? Want to raise some green and leafy roommates to liven up the place while bringing many breaths of fresh air to your home? Looking for a way to improve your diet while knowing exactly where your food came from? Then read on to discover several unusual ways to garden at home. We hope to inspire you to raise a small crop of healthy goodies, whether in your own backyard, terrace, or home office.
Tires are tiring. There, we said it. Unsightly, not great for the environment, and destined to do nothing but slowly—very slowly—disintegrate by the side of the road or in some landfill, tires work hard for about six years before losing all purpose. That is, unless, you save and repurpose them for gardening. With a thorough cleanup, a coat of paint, and some practical positioning in the front or backyard, that gross old tire can become a charming planter. Stacked together, several tires can become a raised bed, brimming with life. While it’s not advised that you grow anything edible in them, tires can be quite lovely in retirement.
If you’re feeling reluctant about gardening, you should know that there are several ways to raise plants indoors, and you can do so all year round. Hydroponics lets you grow multiple plants inside or outside. It’s environmentally conscious, requiring little water—it’s mixed with nutrients that circulate and recirculate through the garden. You also won’t need soil because the plants grow in mediums like coconut fibers, clay, perlite, gravel, and other materials. A basic set-up won’t cost you more than a hundred dollars or so, but if you choose to get serious about hydroponics, you can invest in other growing equipment. Farm fresh produce in the middle of winter? It’s possible!
Keyhole gardens are an idea from the source of so much life—Africa. First developed in the 1990s, keyhole gardens make growing plants easier in places with poor soil and little water. Shaped like the skeleton keyholes of the past, these circular gardens don’t take up much space and are easy to tend to via the notch “cut” through the side. Compost is added to a cage at the center and watered, spreading nutrients through the surrounding soil. It’s charming and functional.
Soil Bag Gardening
Speaking of unusual ways to garden at home, here’s one for folks lacking actual land. Visit your local gardening store and pick up several bags of fresh soil. Take them home, set them up in a sunny spot, and then cut out a rectangular shape on top. Next, plant the seeds. That’s it! A method best used with short-rooted plants, soil bag gardening eliminates the need to dig a bed and all but ensures a lack of weeds. And if you’re worried about appearances, you can always build a little frame around the bag.