Growing your own food and indoor plants is a joy for many gardeners. Extend that joy by sharing the bounty with others! Your excess plants can launch a new gardener, supply fresh food for a family or start a lifelong hobby.
It’s not just about food growing, don’t forget the houseplants! Here’s one of two giant Spider Plants I hang outside in the summer. By the end of the season, they have produced babies galore. I can’t just throw all those little spideys away and they need to be removed for the plant’s health. Cutting off the little plants, bagging them up, advertising them on our community website and my Facebook page found them all new homes. Thirty-two people picked them up to grow at home and make their own planters and gifts. I met some wonderful people and a few even brought me plant starts of their own!
When giving plants away, try to package the divisions and small plants in a way that will sustain them for a day or two. Use grocery bags, recycled plant pots, sandwich bags, used plastic bags or milk jugs with the tops cut off to package your giveaways. Moist paper towels or newspaper wrapped around the plant roots will help keep them fresh. If possible, label the plants and provide some written directions on their care.
Save your plastic containers, yogurt cups, toilet paper rolls and clear plastic food trays for starting seeds at home in late winter. Buy marked down, leftover seed packets at garden centers and hardware stores to save money. Don’t worry about the expiration date, they will have a high enough germination rate to produce many plants.
I just used up some five year old seeds that grew way more tomato plants than I needed! So I placed them on a chair at the end of our driveway for folks to help themselves. Turns out, because more people are gardening during this pandemic, many of our local sources for tomato seedlings were already sold out! People were thrilled to get them!
As you are planning your garden, start more seeds or buy a few additional seedlings. Plan to share with your neighbors, friends and the local food bank. Let folks know you’ll be sharing and they will gladly give their excess pots, leftover potting soil, etc. to keep it going. Homegrown fresh greens, tomatoes and potatoes are a treat! So much tastier than store bought.
It works both ways! I was delighted to receive succulent starts from a gardening friend! Plant gifts and shares are always more special than a nursery purchase.
Giving back through your indoor and outdoor gardening is very satisfying. It’s a wonderful feeling to know you helped a new gardener with your plants and knowledge or helped others put fresh food on their dinner table.
So, seed a little extra, make plant divisions and be generous. Your heart will swell from the gladness you create in others.