Starting your own green leafy garden at home is a fun and healthy task, growers nowadays tend to grow their own garden on a limited space using recycled containers or via hydroponics. In this blog, I will show you some tips and tricks on how to start your own green leafy garden.
Step 1 : Looking for well ventilated and well lit area
Choose an area where it receives minimum 6 hours of direct sun per day (ideally 7am - 1pm), this will trigger photosynthesis where plant will convert nutrients from soil to food, choosing an area with insufficient sun will make plants "leggy" or too long to support itself as they are forcing themselves to reach for the sun.
Step 2 : Preparing Container
In choosing a container for green leafy vegetables, minimum is ~1Liter, being ideal is the use of recycled P.E.T bottles as a self watering containers.
Step 3 : Preparing The Potting Mix
Green leafy vegetables such as petchay, lettuce, mustasa, kangkong, etc.. requires a well-draining light "fluffy" potting mix with a lot of organic nutrients, this can be achieved by having a ratio 3 parts soil, 2 parts vermicast or decomposted animal manure, 1 part cocopeat or rice hulls and 1 part CRH. or you can also buy this Ready to use potting mix.
Step 4 : Seedling Management
Sow Seeds on a seedbed or a seedling tray about ~1cm deep and keep the potting mix moist (but not too wet) all of the time, place on a direct sun or under Growlights after it begins sprouting (sprouting / germination begins around 2-7 days for green leafy vegetables) to aclimate it.
Step 5 : Final Transplanting
After 2 weeks or when the true leaves appeared (4th leaf), it is a sign that we need to do a transplanting to a final pot so roots can adjust on a much bigger space, getting more nutrients they need.
Common Mistakes of Beginners
Insufficient Sun : one of the most common mistake of beginners is that they under estimate what the benefit of sun is to plants, I've seen some gardeners putting some "Umbrella" to a seedling as they claim they can't handle the sunlight as humans. I can't strech this enough but sunlight is the key in growing green leafy vegetables as this is their way of "cooking" their food to feed themselves a.k.a Photosyntesis, shade net or UV film can be put under "extreme" sun but not an object that projects total shadow, i.e umbrella.
Too much love will kill plants, a.k.a over watering & over fertilization : Less is more, do not water plant when the soil is still moist, only apply fertilizer 1-2x a week and not everyday.