Being stuck at home all day, every day has led to a resurgence in hobbying, but there is one new activity that is the clear runaway favourite: gardening. While gardening and DIY home improvements are generally popular in this time of year, the lockdowns have led to a surge in seed stockpiling.

Doctors have also been suggesting gardening as a great way to exercise at home and stay productive while social distancing. Whether you want to be more self sufficient, establish a new routine, or just like watching life slowly grow in your back yard, gardening is the perfect pandemic pastime.

Are you on the lockout for a new hobby? Read on and get ready to go green!

Space is no issue

From high rise apartments to big beautiful houses, everyone can get into gardening. While you might not be able to plant a full field of roses on a tiny apartment balcony, you can still grow plants indoors. Vertical planters also help maximise your growing space, and small moveable pots allow you to keep your plants in the sun all day long regardless of your square footage.

That said, not all plants can grow in all environments. Make sure you do some research before you head to the store and know what you can grow in the space that you have.

Quiet, peaceful, personal and productive

A huge benefit of gardening is that it is a largely solo hobby: you don’t need a large group of friends over at your house to water seeds and pull weeds! This makes it an excellent activity for social distancing, and the regular daily routine helps you feel productive and in control of your environment.

Along with this, gardening is a very quiet and peaceful hobby – something that is all too rare in a world of fearful soundbites and frightening news stories about an invisible killer virus. Having the opportunity to step back and gather your thoughts in a calming environment is very beneficial.

Self sustaining

Another big win for the green thumbs is the ability to grow your own food. If you’re nervous about making another trip to the store, or straight up can’t leave the house, growing your own food is a literal lifesaver.

Of course, food does take a long time to grow (especially from seed) so don’t start planning out meals the day you plant your first seeds. But homegrown food is a great reward for your patience and diligence, and it only gets easier.

3 easy to grow plants (even indoors)

So you’re ready to start gardening – that’s great! Here are our top 3 plants for first time growers that you can start today with bare minimum space. 

  • Tomato

Tomatoes are a delicious, nutritious and super popular food that is very simple to grow. All you need to start is a tomato from the store, some soil, and a pot to put it in. Fill your pot about 2 inches from the top, then cut an inch thick slice of your tomato and place it in the center of your pot. Add another inch of soil on top, water regularly, and wait for your lovely tomatoes to sprout.

  • Celery

Like tomatoes, celery can actually be grown from the stalk of the plant you buy in the store. When you bring your celery home, cut the stalk about 2 inches from the base. The rest of the celery you can eat or prepare as you normally do, but keep the base. This is what we will grow our celery from.

Wash the base with water, and then place it in a bowl partially filled with warm water. You want the water to be just below the top of the base. Then place your bowl in a sunny spot in your house (or move it throughout the day into sunny spots if needed) for 5-7 days.

You’ll be able to see the celery growing after just a few days – from the center of the base the stalk will start to regrow. Keep the water topped up, and once the new stalk is 2 inches tall you can transplant it into soil.

  • Avocado

Another self-sustaining fruit is avocado – you can grow a whole tree from just the stone! Carefully remove the stone without breaking the skin (use a spoon, not a knife this time) and wash it clean. 

Next, insert a few toothpicks around the circumference of the stone and place the seed half-submerged in a bowl of water. The toothpicks should keep the stone from falling to the bottom of the bowl.

Make sure you keep the water refreshed regularly and clean any fungus or mould off the stone. Over time (4-8 weeks), the stone will dry out and crack, the brown seed skin will fall off, and a small sprout will start to grow from the top.

Once the sprout gets to around 15cm tall, you can transplant it into soil leaving the top half of the seed exposed. Unfortunately this tree won’t produce actual avocado fruit, but it is still a fun plant to grow!