Ever felt the need for green fingers? While gardening might not seem like the coolest hobby, a surprising amount of young people are turning to gardening as a means of growing their own vegetables. In a survey by the Royal Horticultural Society, 89% of 16-24 year olds have a garden or grow plants.
Gardening is actually ideal for students, as it saves money, doesn’t take too much of your time and has been proven to help reduce stress. Tending a few plants is a nice way to unwind after staying up all night revising, and a good way to refocus after a night of partying, too.
The University of Exeter was first to the trend, with a team of students launching an initiative to turn a patch of land on campus into a community garden that would produce low-carbon, organic food. Now, many have followed suit and lots of universities offer communal gardening opportunities.
- Gardening reduces stress and improves mental wellbeing.
- Aside from the starting costs, it’s free food.
- The food you grow is the freshest available, helping increase your intake of healthy food to remedy poor food choices on nights out.
- Gives you something to care for and grow yourself, instilling a sense of pride.
Growing your own
If you’d like to grow your own plants, flowers or fruit and vegetables, you can always try growing in a communal allotment. However, not all universities offer this kind of space. Instead, you can make a start by growing indoor houseplants. Here are ten of the easiest ones to care for — grab your seeds from Suttons Seeds and get growing:
- Heartleaf Philodendron
- Dragon tree
- Jade Plant
- Ponytail Palm
- Snake Plant
- ZZ plant
- Spider Plant
- Wandering Jew
These plants can be placed in pots, planters and hanging baskets. Judge the watering level by sight – watering only when soil becomes dry and leaf growth slows. Avoid over-watering!
Vegetables and herbs
Growing vegetables is slightly harder but can be done without much space. There are specialist products available from the likes of Stacks of Flavour. These crates are designed to save space and allow you to build an indoor garden.
If you’d rather go it alone, you can grow smaller veg indoors by ensuring they get adequate light and watering. The easiest indoor projects come from herbs and carrots. A windowsill herb garden is easy enough to start – just buy baby plants, pot them in organic nutrient-rich soil and avoid overwatering.