it’s been a while, but with the covid-19 pandemic, i’ve been spending more time at home and therefore I decided to spend some time on my ‘garden’… Despite living in a condo, I have few balconies and half of one is dedicated to my plants, flowers and vegetables. Of course, you want to choose plants or vegetables that grow well in your area. For me, this is what is working well so far: aloe vera, snake plant, sweet potatoes, mint, and few green plants.
I started with a small plant from the shop, and let it grow. Aloe Vera does not need a lot of water so make sure you don’t water it too much. You can put some of your Aloe Vera plants inside if you want them to help clean your air. Soon you will have new plants growing (be careful if they’re out in your garden as they will end up taking a lot of space.
If you are growing them in containers, you can delicately take the new plants and put them in their own pots. When you have nice big leaves, you can cut them and get the gel for skin products or healthy drinks.
It is quite easy to extract but you’ll have to be careful of the latex that is around the gel. Just cut the leave around the plant and let the latex get out by leaving the leave straight for around 30 minutes.If you prefer you can also clean the gel. Cut the leaves and remove all green parts, just keep the translucent gel. You can keep it in the fridge for few weeks though if you want to put it in your drinks (tea, smoothies…) or eat it, it is better to use it quickly. If you prefer, you can use it as a gel on your skin (add some water to blend it to your chosen consistency). Aloe Vera is good for the skin and can help repair scars and soothe sunburns.
I only started experiencing with sweet potatoes few weeks ago but they seem easy to grow. There are many different types, the ones I have have a purple flesh. I started from a sweet potato I got from the market, put it in a recipient so half of it is in water. It’s easier if you use a sweet potato that has already started germinating. Plant will grow on the top part of the sweet potato, while root will grow on the bottom part in the water. On the picture, you can see the nice and many roots the potato has been growing. I have already cut and planted several cuttings out of this single potato but more are growing as you can see.
When you have nice plants (15-20 cms with nice leaves), you can cut it and put it in water. Let your cuttings grow roots in the water for several days. This one will be ready for planting soon.
Once you have nice roots, you can just transfer them to soil either in a big container or directly in your garden if you have one. They will need 3 to 4 months to grow and you can harvest them when the vine is started to get yellow. I’ll post my results then with hopefully a big harvest of sweet potatoes. here are the ones I planted few weeks ago:
You can grow mint directly from cuttings. I bought mine at the market and kept few for planting. There are many different type of mint you can grow.
Small cuttings with few leaves should do fine, cut the lower leaves directly at the plant and put them in the water. Make sure that the part were the leaves where growing is in the water, this is where the roots will grow. You can see the cutting I planted few weeks ago.
Once you have nice roots, you can transfer your cuttings to soil and let your mint grow. you can then harvest few leaves when needed or get some cuttings to grow more plants.
This is another type of plant that grow easily here, though don’t water them too much. New plants will grow from the same root, if you want to move some to new pots, you can cut the roots and separate the plants. Snake plant is another plant which is quite good at cleaning the air so put some in your bedroom, living room, office…
It is quite nice to plant a garden and see your plants, flowers and vegetables growing. Make sure you start with few easy to grow varieties or types. They will also attract some bees and birds which is an added benefit for our world. There’s plenty of things you can grow whether you have an outside garden, a balcony or only limited indoor space. But make sure you choose what is adapted to your situation. Please put some comments and pictures with your results and what you are growing. Plant a garden and help save the world.