Gardening can heal your soul, gives you something good to eat, and for a short break from studies to go nourish and water my plants. As young college students, you may not have a yard to garden, but even a small herb or potted plants can be fun. Tomatoes, basil, chives, and lavender are easy to grow in pots.
Starting a garden begins with good soil. Research what type of soil plants you want grows to thrive in. For example, what Ph do they enjoy (acidic, neutral), what nutrients are needed such as more Nitrogen, Calcium, or Phosphorus, and what about the bugs they tend to attract? Tomatoes, for example, need Calcium to prevent bottom end rot. Blueberries love acidic soil. In fact, most plants like the soil slightly acidic. Gardens sometimes have trouble with plants not growing well because the soil is too acidic. It is a delicate balance. There are more than I can count of books extensively covering these topics, so I will not bore you with details.
I don’t want to forget the garden concept yielding my title which is the idea that certain plants grow better next to each other. In this way, I like to think of plants a little like people. We are attracted and nourished better by some people more than others in our lives. For plants, the commonly known pairing is carrots love tomatoes. Carrots also like radishes because you can harvest radishes earlier so it allows space for carrots to grow. Corn and lettuce grow well together. If you garden for more than one year, it is good to rotate your plants. If gardening in pots, using new soil and cleaning pots with diluted bleach solutions at the end of the growing season prevents diseases. Rotating plants reduces the attraction of common bugs and the same nutrients from being depleted in the soil. Basil is a good plant because almost everything loves to grow where basil has grown in the past year. Learn plant families and do not plant the same family in the same area each year. Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant are part of the nightshade family. The cabbage family does not like being grown in the same place it was the previous year. Move your cabbage, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Squash plants are good to rotate to reduce the attraction of squash bugs. Gardening for me can be science to research that can feed your body and soul.