By Buddy Blouin
Having a garden is a great addition to any home. You can’t beat fresh produce or herbs that can both save you money in the long run and provide the freshest bursts of flavor to your home-cooked meals. But as great as a garden may be, for many reasons, military personnel living on base will often find themselves unable to grow one. A window garden is an easy hack that can help you still grow some of your own food without having to deal with being reprimanded.

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Here Are 5 Tips for Starting Your Window Garden

Chow halls can become repetitive, and eating out is expensive. You could get a microwavable meal from the freezer section, but there’s something about a home-cooked meal that can’t be replicated. It’s a comforting and delicious way to end your day and bring people together. Having a home garden can take any meal to the next level thanks to the variety of fresh ingredients you can grow and harvest right at home. Troops have many rules to follow, and these regulations extend to what you can and cannot do with your on-base housing. Chances are, you aren’t allowed to have a full-fledged garden. Depending on where you're stationed, a traditional garden can also be incredibly difficult to grow anything from in the first place. A window garden is a great compromise, and it's a relatively low-maintenance option that'll gift you plenty of delicious ingredients. Whether you were born with two green thumbs or are just looking to get started in gardening, we’ve compiled a list of some helpful hints to get your window garden started.

1. Choose Your Plants Wisely

An indoor garden can provide you with more options than you think. There are several plants to avoid, however. You won’t have the space to grow fields of corn, but smaller root vegetables or a window herb garden are both great options. Alliums, such as green onions or garlic, are also wonderful additions to any home garden. Additionally, many window gardens feature produce; however, growing a garden for improved indoor air quality or simply as decor are also great options. Succulents and flowers can provide a pop of freshness to any indoor space.

2. Find Windows With Adequate Sunlight

Not all windows are created equal, and you’ll want to determine which windows in your home work the best. You’ll also want to consider the type of plant you are growing. Some plants thrive with 5 or 6 hours of sunlight, whereas others thrive with less exposure to sunlight. Be sure to check the type of plant you're growing and use the gardener’s guide to sun exposure as a great way to assess the necessary amount of sunlight for your garden.

3. Take Space and Access Into Consideration

Having a kitchen window garden is a great idea, especially if it’s going to grow things you’ll need in the kitchen, but do you have enough room for the potting that's required? You’ll also want to consider if your kitchen window gardens are in a place that'll keep animals and children at bay so as to not damage the plants. If your plants are getting enough sunlight, it really doesn’t matter where you place your window garden, but you’re going to need to be sure that there’s enough space and protection to grow everything optimally.

4. Plants Require Ongoing Maintenance, So Pay Attention

Once you’ve decided on the right plants and found the perfect spot, you’re going to want to continue researching and monitoring your plants. No two window gardens are the same. Window gardens for kitchen use will likely feature different plants, such as herbs, than window gardens that are growing other things, like succulents. Basil plants require pruning to continue growing new leaves; there are also different watering needs to consider, etc. Though window gardens are much easier than traditional options, gardening in and of itself is a process, and taking the time to learn the needs of your plants will yield the best results.

5. Consider Composting

Using compost to enhance the soil of your plants can help your window garden flourish. It’s a great way to reduce waste, recycle, and enjoy better crops. Here are some common composting items for indoor plants to get you started, and no, you won’t have to worry about locating any manure.

Start Your On-Base Gardening Window Today

Getting into gardening can be intimidating. The early steps are likely to have some trial and error, as any new endeavor is prone to have. But just getting started is key, and soon you'll be enjoying a variety of new culinary possibilities as well as a new, fun way to add decor to your home. Having a window garden on base is a great solution to avoid dealing with any regulations while still enjoying fresh plants as a part of your household.

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