The 3 Best Gardening Tips You Can Learn From IKEA

You might have heard the phrase 'happiness blooms in the garden,' but if you ever assumed you'd need a huge outdoor space to achieve such botanical bliss, IKEA is here to prove you otherwise. In reality, there are plenty of ideas that suit even the smallest of gardens; some don't even require you to purchase anything extra. Instead, you can use or repurpose one of the many items you have lying around the house. 

Turning the outside into a florescent space to entertain, grow veggies, or simply kick back does not have to strain your wallet at all. Plus, with IKEA's impressive array of hackable furniture and accessories, making a garden look good is as easy as can be. So, whether you have a small balcony or acres of flowerbeds, all you need is a bit of creativity, really. Here are three tips for gardening you can learn from IKEA.

Make a Kokedama Ball

Add a dose of green to your outdoor space with this hanging moss accent, a ball of soil used to grow decorative house plants. A traditional Japanese art form, according to Missouri Botanical Garden, kokedama used to be referred to as 'poor man's bonsai.' The reason it is called that is that bonsai used to be quite expensive back in the day, and a kokedama ball was a way of making your own bonsai using any plant you had available. This meditative technique not only looks super cute but also creates a nature connection through the soil and moss combination.

The tools you'll need to make a kokedama ball are a jug of water, a mug, two types of cotton (a thin one and a thicker one to wrap your ball in), scissors, a mister, and a mud bowl. As for the natural materials, you will need peat moss, sphagnum moss, some akadama soil, and a plant with a nice stem.

Then you'll need to prepare the ball. Combining akadama soil with peat moss in a 1:11 mix helps keep the ball moist, so you won't need to water it as often. You can combine the two with your hands, moisten the mix with water, and make a hole for your plant's roots. Once you've got the hole, slip the roots of your plant gently into the hole and pack the ball around them. Lastly, wrap your ball in sphagnum sheet moss, and you're good to go!

Create a Mini Home Terrarium

An aquarium but for plants, a mini terrarium can be made with just about any type of glass container. Making it yourself is super easy too. You're going to need a clear glass container (any type of jar, bowl, or shallow dish will do), rocks, activated charcoal, sterilized potting soil, as well as small plants of different colors or textures. Additionally, you can add optional moss, decorative moss, and fun decor like tiny ceramic animals, shells, or pine cones.

Start off by putting a layer of rocks at the bottom of your container. These will help the soil drainage, so the roots of your plants won't get water-logged (via NASA Climate Kids). Then add a thick layer of charcoal, fill up half the container with potting soil, and plant the plants. Ideally, you'd have your terrarium placed in indirect light and occasionally water it.

Grow Microgreens

No matter how big or small your space is, you can still create a mini-farm in it. Growing microgreens is a great way to utilize your garden for nutrition because they offer even more nutrients than fully grown veggies (up to 9 times the amount), and they can be harvested weekly (via IKEA). Grab any container that is safe to use with food, add a cotton cloth for bedding, dampen it a bit, and add seeds of your choice. These seeds can be anything from rhubarb chard and mung beans to carrots and lettuce. Sprinkle a little water and close it for at least two days. When you see them sprouting, uncover the seeds and move them closer to sunlight. In terms of harvesting, you might need to wait from one week to up to twenty days, depending on the seed you choose.

Microgreens are a great addition to your diet. Having them close by is especially handy since there is no need to add them to your shopping list. Just visit your garden and harvest these goodies and add them right to your meal.