Over the summer, I tried my hand at gardening which was made so much easier with my Quantum power wheelchair with iLevel® technology. It turns out, it’s outrageously nice to have a power chair when transporting heavy pots of dirt, using a full watering can, or holding a bowl to collect all the veggies I pick. I am by no means the world’s best gardener. I thought I was growing jalapenos and you can imagine my surprise when green beans came out. For a while, I thought I was just watering a weed and it turned out to be a tomato plant. Still, my herb garden was fairly successful! My basil, cilantro, mint, rosemary, and lemon balm positively thrived. Unfortunately, they all died out when the weather started getting colder in Minnesota. So, over the past few weeks, I’ve been cultivating an indoor garden! Here are some tips for starting your own indoor garden.
How to Pick Seeds
To start an indoor herb garden of your own, one of the first things to consider is the type of seeds you get. It’s important to get seeds that are slow to bolt. When an herb bolts, they experience a vertical growth spurt to produce seed for the next generation before the vegetables are ready for harvest. The result of this nuisance is inedible, bitter-tasting leaves or poor quality herbs that can’t be salvaged. You can tell when a plant has bolted as it’ll flower. That’s a bit more reliable than having to taste test the bitter leaves. Certain varieties of seeds have been modified to slow bolting as much as possible. That way you still get a great healthy (an edible) plant, without racing the clock. And when it’s time to plant the seeds, my Quantum power wheelchair is great for helping me transport heavy pots of dirt.
My Quantum Power Wheelchair Helps with Watering
Watering plants can be a challenge if you use a wheelchair. Depending on how high your plants are, you may need help holding or tilting the watering can. My Quantum power wheelchair definitely came in handy when it was time to water.
You can also invest in self-watering pots. There are a few options available online that have a water basin underneath, and a piece of absorbent string that acts as a wick. It pulls the moisture from the basin below and keeps the soil wet. This reduces maintenance, so you can leave your herbs to grow for a longer amount of time. I found that when herbs initially seed, the stems and plant is so weak that too much water quickly can knock the weak stems over and kill the sprout.
Hacks for Strengthening Your Plants
I’ve found a few great adds for quick nutrient boosts. Epsom salt is fantastic plant food that adds additional nutrients to your soil to make your indoor herbs stronger and healthier. I also found that tonic water is a great add. Research shows that tonic water acts as a bio stimulant and makes plants more resistant to fungi and insect. It also improves photosynthesis. If you have any lying around, it’s a great add!
The last thing that has helped improve my herb garden is leaving water out for 48 hours prior to watering. The city water we receive is loaded with chlorine, which can damage plants. Leaving tap water out at room temperature prior to watering my plants allows chlorine gas to evaporate naturally. This results in healthier plants that don’t brown at the tip.
After all this, I can have fresh herbs all year long, even in Minnesota!
About Jill Moore White: Jill is an inclusive play specialist, bringing accessible playgrounds to local communities. She volunteers with disability organizations, including the Disability EmpowHER Network. Jill enjoys music, sketching and playing video games. Click here to learn more about Jill.
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