At this point, my plants have been with me for a while and it has been trial and error. On the brighter side though, I have learned some things along the way:
Location is everything
In business, they tell you that location is everything, and I noticed that the same principle applies to pot planting. When I started out, I placed the plants in my kitchen which doesn’t get too much light (which is also why I don’t take selfies there) and it is quite chilly because it is inward-facing. This wasn’t doing my new plants any favors, so after having a chat with Tanya Visser at the Builders’ event, I learned that if I feel uncomfortable in one location, chances are my plants will too. Strive to put them in a balanced space. One where there is sunlight, adequate shade when it gets too hot, a slight breeze.
At this point, I opted to put my plants on the balcony, and I am pleased to say it’s going quite well.
Give it lots of water and mind your business
I’d read that overwatering plants can sort of kill them, so when I started out, I watered them once every 4-ish days. If they looked dry, I’d swoop in with a glass of water and that would be it.
There was little to no visible growth, the surface looked rock hard and the soil was drier than your mouth after doing the cinnamon challenge. Once again, at the Builders warehouse event I learned that in addition to taking the time to ‘read’ your plants, there are different ways to ensure that your plants get the appropriate amount of water they need when they need it. For my particular set up, I water my plants every second day. This ensures that the soil is always damp-ish and cool enough to keep them going through the intense sun and wind that my balcony gets during the day.
Bugs are your best friend
While we were within chats, Sharne (Green Vegan Chick) said, “if there are no bugs on your plants, then they are not a part of the ecosystem.” Because I live in a flat that has netting on the roof of the courtyard so that birds don’t come in and glass on the perimeter to prevent leaves from the outside flying in, I grew a little concerned because it appeared that there was little to no space for my plants to interact with the rest of nature.
But then, on week 5 of my plants starting to bud (because my watering methods had become better), I found a small handful of ants and the tiniest of bugs crawling in and around the pot. According to Get Busy, ants aerate the soil. That means as they galavant, they are digging tunnels that carry water, oxygen, and nutrients to plant roots. They also speed up the decomposition of organic material, such as leaves and dead insects, which contributes to fertilizing your plants.
If you are doing it right, your plants will make their own way into nature.
Don’t be fussy
When they tell you that all a plant needs to grow is sunlight, water, and love, believe it.
Get into a rhythm and soon you will find that only are the plants going to bear you some organic produce, but it will soon become a source of energy rejuvenation for you. I have found that I now look forward to watering my plants and seeing its next step of progress. It’s a moment for me to relax in my peaceful little haven regardless of the fact that I am smack in the middle of the bustling and tireless city center.