I have always loved making things with dirt. Mud pies have always been at the top of my list, but more recently I've been making my own little garden inside.
It's very easy and you can do it even if you live in the city. All you need is:
An Old Can (or other recycled container)
A Plant (or seeds)
We will talk about all these things as we go on. It's quite easy and very rewarding!
Step 1: Finding Your Plant
The first step of course is to find the thing you would like to grow.
There are two ways to do this. The first is to get a clipping from a plant (which isn't hard, I swear) and the second is to plant seeds.
When you get clippings from plants you want to make sure you get the base of the clipping. You also will need to start them in water. I'll walk you through this.
When you plant seeds, you first want to know what you're planting. And you want to know how long it will take from them to sprout. So you know when to throw them out and when start again.
Mustard seeds sprout in three to five days. Their greens are a great way to make a salad have a bit of spice.
If you are planting seeds you can skip ahead a few steps.
There are many plants you can take clippings from. Here I am planting some from a Spider Plant. On a Spider plant the little plants are hanging on the stalks of the plant. It doesn't hurt the plant at all to have these removed, in the wild they would break off and become their own plants anyway.
You can also take clippings from aloe plants, and many other hanging plants. Most of these kinds will take root using the same method shown here. (Some kinds of aloe should be put right onto the dirt)
The next two steps will be about clipping and rooting from the Spider plant. SKIP THESE STEPS IF YOU ARE PLANTING SEEDS.
Step 2: Clipping Your Plant
When you take clippings you want to be sure to have more then just leaves (with a few kinds of aloe being the exception). You want to have enough so the plant can send out it's roots.
Take more then one shoot, I took three here, but you could take up to seven.
Step 3: Taking Root
To have your plant clippings take root, the easiest way is to put them in water for up to two weeks.
(HINT: when the leaves of the plant start to become lighter green, it's a sure sign they need the nutrients in soil)
Step 4: Making a Pot
When it comes time to plant, you first need something to plant in. You can always buy a small plant pot at a local store, but the more earth friendly option is to make your own.
I used an old bean can. Other ideas are:
Half a Gatorade bottle
Old plastic cups
Almost anything will work.
Here are the steps to making your container plant friendly.
1. Open it up. Take off the cover, cut off the top. Whatever your container, make sure it's open. No plant wants to fight for the sun.
2. Make drainage possible. Punch holes in the bottom, and put gravel down under your dirt. This makes sure your plant's roots down drown.
You also need a small platter (in my case an old plate), to catch the water coming out of those holes you punched.
Now, fill that baby up with some good, rich dirt. and get ready to plant.
Step 5: Planting
Well done, you've gotten through the hard bit, now you just need to plant that baby (unless your using seeds, in which case, you've skipped the hard bit).
1. If you have made your own pot, then right now you should have a jar/can/bottle filled half way with gravel, and the rest of the way with good dirt.
2. Push around with your fingers in the dirt until you've made a hole about the size of the roots of your plant.
3. Put your plant in, and push some excess dirt in and around the roots, covering them completely.
4. Water. You want to soil to be moist, NOT muddy.
5. Kiss for luck, and put in strong sunlight.
Step 6: The End
Now you know how to start, you can start exploring. I know there's tons of plant instructables, so go out and start planting!!