Forget about spring cleaning, let’s talk about playing in the dirt. We have some bloomin’ creative garden ideas to help you grow aromatic herbs, vitamin-packed vegetables and fabulous flowers — in the comfort of your nice, warm home. A green thumb is not mandatory, just a little outside-the-garden thinking and some TLC.
Why now? It’s always a great time to plant a kitchen herb garden, but if you start veggie seeds indoors while the weather’s still blustery, your seedlings will be ready to transplant to the great outdoors when it finally warms up. (Time it right so you’ll be ready to make the move outside after the last frost date.) A few months down the road, when your friends are heading to garden centers to purchase pricey potted plants, you’ll be reaping what you sowed indoors, back in spring.
Perfect candidates for an indoor seed start or windowsill herb garden include tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, cabbage, marigold, zinnia, snapdragon, morning glory, basil, mint, chives and parsley. For some creative garden ideas with a heart for conservation, consider purchasing your seeds online at sites like Seed Savers Exchange, a nonprofit dedicated to collecting, growing and sharing America’s heirloom seeds and plants.
One of our favorite creative garden ideas starts with Artisa. No matter what you’re growing, upcycled plastic containers are the perfect little homes for your seedlings. After scraping the last spoonfuls of delectable cottage cheese from Artisa cups (we won’t judge if you lick the rims to get every drop of protein-packed deliciousness), wash the cups with hot, soapy water. Drill a few holes in the bottoms for drainage.
Seedlings grow best if the planting pots are next-level awesome. (We’ll admit, this is purely our theory, but we like creativity and it couldn’t hurt, right?) Give the cups a few quick rubs with sandpaper then personalize your planters with colorful paint. Paint the names of the plants on the cups or write the plant names on Popsicle sticks to insert in the soil. You’ll thank yourself later when you’ll be able to tell your tomatoes from your tarragon.
Paying attention to planting instructions, fill your upcycled planters with soil, seeds, a little water and a dash of love. Choose a warm, draft-free spot and let ‘em grow. Is journaling your thing? Jot down care instructions for each plant, chart growth and watering, and other useful notes for proud plant mamas.
Weeks from now, your plate will feature the freshest food available — from your own garden or windowsill. How’s that for eating local? Snip some chives to add zip to your Thai noodle bowl. Caprese salad? Pick your juiciest tomato and grab a bunch of basil from your herb garden. Don’t forget to complete your tablescape with little vases filled with marigold flowers that were once wispy seedlings in your hand. All this freshness because when everyone else was thinking spring, you forced spring to come a little bit earlier with some creative garden ideas.