Transforming the negative view of life during lockdown into a healthy and sustainable new hobby.
Text: Kelly Kristensen
Over the past year, many people in Denmark have spent more time in their homes than ever before. Living in multiple lockdown periods has had its challenges, but it has also encouraged many people to find more creative and self-sufficient ways of doing tasks that are normal parts of their everyday lives.
If you travel to any country farm, small town or coastal village in Denmark, you will see quaint homes decorated in the front with lovely flower gardens. However, did you know that the Danes are just as talented in growing lush gardens of fruits and vegetables in their backyards as well?
Denmark's climate is fantastic for plants, so it is no wonder why so many people choose to grow their own food. Harvesting foods grown at home can be a gratifying task for any year, but after spending much time in lockdown, creating your own vegetable garden could be just the excitement you are looking for to give your time at home more purpose this year.
Starting your vegetable garden Indoors
March is a great month to start preparing seeds indoors. Since the weather can still be somewhat unpredictable, it is best to start growing your plants in your frost-free home or greenhouse. You will need to visit a hardware store or plant store to get your potting soil, seeds and seedbox. It is essential to moisten the soil before adding it to the seedbox. Then, you will add your seeds. The directions for when and how deep to plant the seeds is often on the seed packages, so check there for specific details. Be sure you place your seedbox in an area where it will get lots of light, and check it daily to ensure that the soil doesn't dry out.
Moving your vegetable garden outdoors
Once your seeds have grown and the weather has turned warmer, you are ready to transplant your vegetable plants outside. Vegetable gardens can take up a lot of space, so it is a good idea to use raised garden beds to designate a focused area for your garden. You can buy these at the garden stores or easily make them yourself with very few materials. Also, raised beds are a great way to keep your vegetables separate from your flowers and bushes and high up from any small creature looking for a snack. Garden beds can be placed on grass and stone yards, as well. Just be sure to fill them with good potting soil and pick a place that gets enough sunlight.
For some people, planting vegetables outside is not an option because they live in apartments. This is not a problem since many vegetables grow quite well in pots on patios or in rooms with lots of sunlight. Also, if you wait a few weeks into the spring, you can buy seedlings of many different plants that grow well in a pot indoors. Some of these include herbs like basil, dill and oregano. Other plants will continue to give you a good harvest throughout the summer, like tomatoes, peppers and peas. You can also grow strawberries in a pot, and the nice thing about these plants is that they will continue to grow every year.
Regrowing vegetables from scraps
If you would like to get a bit more creative with your gardening at any point in the year, you can use scraps to create new plants. This is probably the most sustainable and cost-effective way of gardening because you can regenerate a plant from the plant's parts that you usually don't eat. By placing the bottom 2 inches of celery or Romain lettuce in a dish of water, you can get new leaves to form in the plant's centre. When the leaves start to show, transfer the plant to a pot with potting soil. Voila! You have a new plant. You can also regrow many other fruits and vegetables like onions, leeks and pineapple.