You don’t need a field or a garden to grow your own vegetables at home; if you want to eat healthier and join the sustainability and self-consumption movement, you can plant your own vegetables on the terrace, in the kitchen, in vertical gardens or in pots.
We’ve already told you about the great weather we enjoy in Torrevieja in this blog, so why not use it to grow your own aromatic plants, fruits and vegetables? Besides being a fun hobby, and taking much less time than it seems, it will be good for your health and for your pocket. Do you want to know how? Read on.
Where do I plant?
We start with the basics: Your plants need a place in the house, and for this a number of factors must be considered. The first, of course, is natural light; the plants need sun, the more hours the better. A terrace, a patio, or a solarium if you are lucky, will be perfect places to grow your vegetables. The kitchen gallery can also be worth it, since direct light is not necessary as long as what you plant receives enough to feed.
Another important element to consider is drainage, since water will always be left over when watering. If you’re not planting on a terrace or garden, you can use trays to collect the leftover water. Whatever you do, keep in mind that it’s an area that is going to get quite dirty.
Once you have chosen your place, you will know exactly what conditions you have for planting, and you can start planning what kind of plants you will have according to the available space, light, etc.
Types of container
When choosing a container, the most important thing is the amount of substrate that can be stored in it. There are containers of all sizes and materials; you only have to find the one that best suits the space we have designated.
You should also ask yourself if you are going to create a horizontal garden, with the containers placed next to each other, or a vertical garden, with the containers placed on different floors, perfect to save space.
A growing table can be a very interesting option, since it has different sizes and facilitates cultivation. Wooden planters and textile pots in vertical gardens are another option, although the truth is that almost anything can serve as a pot; If we want to use recycled materials, such as empty plastic bottles or old drawers, it is perfectly possible.
The substrate, that is, the “soil” that feeds our plants should have three basic characteristics: It must retain nutrients, it must be light (to avoid overloading the terrace) and it must have adequate porosity, so that the air can circulate and the water is retained.
All this can be achieved at home completely free of charge if you start composting. By composting, organic waste generated at home is recycled, and those same wastes are perfect for feeding plants.
If you can’t compost for any reason, it’s best to go to a florist or a specialized store and buy the substrate there. Also, if you need to use a pesticide, it is better that you use a natural one. There are many home remedies that you can use, such as eggshell against snails, or coriander against mites.
What can I plant?
In Torrevieja, and in general the area of Costa Blanca, we’re lucky to enjoy many hours of sunshine a year, which favours plants a lot. However, the lack of rain can be a problem, and although it seems strange, the lack of cold isn’t good for some types of plants. Wind can also be a problem for our garden, so it is better to make sure that the plants are more or less protected from it.
Tomatoes are a very simple type of crop to grow at home and are very popular among first-time gardeners. They need sun and heat, and therefore are perfect for our area. Peppers, eggplants, and even watermelons and melons if space is available are also a good idea.
As for aromatic plants, rosemary is a great choice, since it’s not only a very adaptable and useful plant for cooking, but also grows best in the Mediterranean climate. Other viable options are thyme, oregano, and mint, although be careful with the latter, as it can grow too easily and invade the other pots.
In any case, it’s best to look for a calendar of seasonal crops, and grow according to the seasons.
Is it really convenient for me to grow plants at home?
Now that you know how, where and what to plant, the big question remains … does it really suit you? The truth is that, if you have time, it only has advantages. Not only will you have the satisfaction of carrying out a personal project that bears literal fruits, but it will also help you reduce the stress of daily life by forcing you to stop for a moment, every day, and connect with nature.
In addition, the crops at home are healthier, ecological, 100% natural, and will save you some money when going to the supermarket. And they sure taste much better!