Leaving the place you’ve called home for several years doesn’t mean that you have to leave behind your hobbies. The Netherlands is the ideal place for aspiring botanists to explore gardening to the fullest. With farmers like Hans Zwinkel pushing for indoor gardens across the country, it seems natural that ex-pats from around the world who come to the Netherlands would be interested in adopting indoor gardening as a hobby. Getting into indoor gardening is even easier than you might think.

Establishing Your Space

For starters, you’ll want to find space in your new living quarters for your garden to grow. The climate near Leiden is typically warm and inviting, if a little wet. You’re going to see a lot of rain, no matter what time of year it is. As such, you’ll have to adjust the humidity of your plot depending on the type of plants you want to grow.

If you’re looking to get creative in the ways you help your plants adapt to Leiden’s climate, then you have plenty of options available to you. Branch out and explore plastic bottles or window hangings as homes for your new garden. Find a spot in your home that gets the ideal amount of sunlight for the produce you want to grow, and you’ll have taken the first step towards establishing an indoor garden.

You’ll need more than light, though, if you want your produce to grow. Plants have different sets of needs that you’ll have to meet in order for them to grow successfully. Keep in mind these different elements, then, while setting up your gardening space:

  • Plant type
  • Indoor temperature
  • Transplant potential
  • Garden accessibility

Moving Away From Dirt

If you’re less interested in getting your hands dirty in the mud of Leiden’s rainier months, you might want to consider a hydroponic approach – or aquaponics, in the Netherlands - to gardening. Aquaponic gardens enable you to grow your produce not in dirt but in water, removing the need for you to get in on soil composition every few days. Not only is growing plants aquaponically simpler, but it’s been said that your plants will grow faster in water than they will in dirt.

Learning From Mistakes

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes as you integrate this hobby into your new life in Leiden. Adjusting to climate takes time when you’re just worrying about yourself. Learning how to manage gardening in an entirely new environment will naturally require some adjustment. Those mistakes that you make will help you become a better gardener in the future. When setting up and caring for your indoor garden, keep an eye out for the following potential mistakes:

  • Over-watering your plants
  • Overcrowding your plants
  • Over- or under-exposure to sunlight
  • Over- or under-fertilization

Don’t let your move to a new home overwhelm you. The Netherlands is a great place to dig into hobbies, new and old. If you’re interested in trying indoor gardening, embrace the social and environmental climate of the area and get your hands dirty.

February 13th 2019
Jennifer Flatley