What to do during quarantine? Grow a plant, any plant!On April 11, 2020 by Vlad5 min read
The COVID-19 outbreak got most of us isolated at home. If you’re also stuck inside, wondering what do to while the quarantine is over, I challenge you to grow a plant during this time. If you love gardening this activity is right up your alley, but if you never tried to sprout a seed in your life, you’re in for an exciting ride.
Make the most of the time spent in quarantine
Being stuck at home affects us in different ways. While homesteaders like us get to work from home and have more time for gardening activities, others are stuck inside small apartments with all access to their normal activities taken away from them. We’ve been self isolating for over 3 weeks now, but our lifestyle didn’t change that much.
But things haven’t been going that good for our friends who live in the city. We’ve talked a lot with them and they all feel trapped inside and want more then ever to go outside, walk through nature or have some sort of activity to do. Some might be able to watch Netflix forever, but those who can’t are desperately looking for activities to do during the quarantine.
A good way to look at this situation is to make the most of the time you have on your hands. Think of all the I-don’t-have-time-for-this-right-now kind of things you postponed over the years and take care of those. Start working out, reading some books, taking an online course, practice guitar and the list goes on. There’s always something you never had the time to do, well now, you have it!
Tackle long term projects to beat the isolation
One thing you need to understand is that this quarantine is not going to end in a few days. It will most likely be weeks or months until this is over. So picking up long-term projects now, will keep you occupied for longer. This is also a good opportunity to practice patience as this will inevitably last for a while.
Growing a plant happens to fit most of the criteria for a good activity to do while you’re stuck at home. It’s something you never found the time to do, it requires patience and a lot of free time, and it brings nature in your house when you can’t go there yourself. If this is your first time growing something get ready for the beautiful feeling of seeing (maybe eating) something that grew from a tiny seed on your windowsill.
What seeds can I plant during the quarantine?
Depending on where you live you might not be able to get your hands on any type of seed you want to try to grow right now. So I’ve put together a list of seeds that you might have around the house and that you can try to grow indoors right now. You might also want to look up seed catalogs online if you want to get really fancy.
- Cilantro – I know. You either love or hate this one. But if you’re a fan, it’s worth know that cilantro is also known as coriander, and coriander seeds are a common spice. Check you cupboards to see if you have any laying around. This one is also on our top 5 easiest herbs to grow indoors.
- Mustard – Again, check your spice cabinet for any mustard seeds you might have. If you have a lot, try sprouting a few and adding them to a salad as mustard greens. Or, if you have the space you can grow a nice mustard bush and hope for some more mustard seeds at the end of the season.
- Lemon – If you can get a lemon, you can get lemon seeds. Try filling a ceramic mug almost to the top with soil, then place about 30 lemon seeds on top and cover slightly with some fine gravel/sand or more rocks. The lemon shoots that will come out look beautiful and have a really nice flagrance. If planted in a separate big pot, these seeds can become fruit bearing lemon trees, but it will take a few years.
- Beans or peas – Dried beans, peas and even lentil or chickpeas might still be viable for sprouting. Throw a bunch of them between two damp paper towels and keep them in a warm place for a few days. If the seeds sprout you can just pop them into a pot of soil and let them grow.
- Pepper or tomato – If it was not obvious, the seeds inside the pepper and the tomatoes you eat can be planted. There is no guarantee however on the quality of the fruits you’ll get from the plant, but it’s still a fun experiment. Also the tomato plants have a really unique pleasant smell you might enjoy, and we know from our own experience that you can grow tomatoes on your balcony.
- Onions or garlic – Every onion bulb and garlic clove can turn into green onions/garlic if you just plop it into some moist soil. Although not as exciting to watch grow, they will taste amazing and they grow really fast.
- Potatoes, ginger, horseradish, yammers – Any tuber for that matter will be able to grow a new plant if placed under a few inches of soil. You might want to consider the size of the full grown plant before trying those and don’t hope for any harvests if you’re growing them indoors. But if you just want a potato plant you can talk to while you wait for the quarantine to end, you can do it!
- Avocado – Yes, you can grow avocado from seeds by poking it with sticks and half drowning it. It seems surreal, but it’s something you need to try at least once!
That’s all I could come up with, but I’m sure there are plenty of more seeds that some cooks might have around the house and that might sprout. But, just in case you can’t find any seeds anywhere, you can also go outside and kidnap a weed to grow in a pot at home. Anyone, anywhere can do it, so I challenge anyone reading this to grow a plant while we wait for the quarantine to end.
Hello and welcome!
We (Vlad & Greti) are building a home on a homestead in a rural area of Romania in Western Europe and sharing our story as two passionate gardeners who ditched the city for a simpler, better life.