Growing plants is one of the most loved hobbies across the world. There are many people who spend most of their times on a boat, but they are also a great lover of plants in general.
So, can you grow plants on a boat?
Yes, you can grow plants on a boat, but it will be difficult for beginners. In the beginning, it can be messy, and the plants can wither away in the harsh environment of the sea, but if you follow proper methods, you can grow beautiful plants on a boat.
Many sailors try to grow plants on a boat to become self-sufficient in the sea environment. If sailors have a small garden on the boat, they can get fresh herbs to season their food, and they can also get fresh leaves of lettuce and spinach to make their salad tasty and crunchy, even if they are away from the coast.
Moreover, plants can provide an eye-catching and pleasing look to the boat, which can make the sailors minds fresh, clean the surrounding air, and bring peace.
But while making a small garden on a boat, we have to face some challenges like improper sunlight, salty sea water, lack of space, lack of materials, rough motion, and many more. In this article, we will get a lot of information on how to cultivate fresh vegetables, flowers, and fruits on a boat.
Can you grow plants on a boat?
You can grow plants on a boat, but the maintenance will be quite difficult initially. Growing plants on a boat and surviving in the sea comes with several challenges, such as a harsh sea environment, improper sunlight, lack of space, lack of materials, rough motion, and many more.
But if we can take proper care, we can get a small garden with different herbs and vegetables within arm’s reach. Here we will discuss some methods of growing plants on a boat. Some methods are:
- Use of Compost and Soil: the most common process is soil or compost. If the boat is docked somewhere, the sailors can buy soil or compost from the local market of that place.
- Use of Hydroponics: One more option for growing plants on a boat is the Hydroponics system. If there is a good water supply in the boat, this will be the best option. This process is much cleaner than the use of soil, and in this process, the growth of the plants is better because we can control the nutrient level in the water.
- Sprouting Method: Sprouting method will be one more alternative, which will be great in a small space. We just need a jar or a container, water, and some dried seeds to sprout. We must keep the dried seeds in their dried state for a long period before using them for sprouting.
How to Grow Plants on a boat?
We can grow plants on a boat in several methods, like the use of compost or soil, sprouting, and we can do hydroponics as well.
Hydroponics will be the best choice if someone is a beginner in growing plants on a boat. In this method, we can grow plants using water and nutrients. This method is cleaner than soil because soil can make a mess on the boat, and the hydroponics method takes less space to make a garden.
While following the hydroponics method, we have to consider two important factors:
- Quality of the water.
- Type of boat.
First, we have to test the water because water is a key factor in this method. We have to purchase a pH or EC tester and a TDS tester to test the quality of the water. We should also do a visual inspection to make sure that the water used in this method is not polluted.
We have to ensure that the water should not be salty because salty sea water is not suitable for plants, and it can dehydrate their plants. In such a case, we can install a watermaker in the boat.
Water makers apply reverse osmosis methods to convert seawater into drinking water. Water maker makes the water clean which can be used in the cultivation process. But one drawback of this water maker is that it is a little bit costly to install and operate.
Then we have to check the type of boat we are using. We should use suitable vessels like trawlers, houseboats, motor yachts, sailboats, etc. A sufficient amount of space is available in these boats, and many modern features like water makers, water tanks, and generators are available in these boats, which are necessary for the hydroponic method.
After checking all factors, we should start planting. We have to choose those plants which can survive without soil, like lettuce and spinach. We must find a spot with good drainage, watering, and fertilizing capacities.
We can use seeds or beans to start the process. If we use seeds, we should start the process in a pot and place them in the final location.
We should follow this process because this prevents root tangles. Since the Hydroponic system requires less water and nutrients than the soil method, it leaves less carbon footprint.
Why Grow Plants on a Boat?
Growing plants on a board or having a garden on the boat provides some benefits such as:
- Self-Sufficiency: Many sailors prefer to grow plants on their boats to become self-sufficient in the sea environment. When sailors are on a long trip, they do not have sufficient fresh vegetables with them. If they can make a small garden in their boat, they can get fresh vegetables and fresh herbs even when they are away from the coast.
- Health Benefits: If sailors have a small garden in their boat, they will get fresh vegetables, which will be healthy for them and help them fight against Vitamin C deficiency. Fresh herbs have many anti-inflammatory properties, which will be beneficial for them.
- Make their meal tasty: If there is a small garden on the boats, the sailors can get many fresh herbs to season their food, making their pasta and other foods tastier. Sailors will get fresh spinach and lettuce, which will make their salad more crunchy and tasty,
- Avoid Boredom: Whenever the sailors are bored in the middle of the sea, the small garden on the boat will make their minds fresh. A lush green garden in the middle of the sea will help the sailors to avoid boredom.
- Gives the boat a fresh look: A small garden gives the boat a fresh look. Fresh greenery gives the boat an eye-catching look and creates a peaceful environment.
- Purify the surrounding air: Plants or a small garden on the boat helps to purify the surrounding air.
Which plants to Grow on a Boat?
We can grow plants or make a small garden on a boat which will help sailors get fresh vegetables in the middle of the sea and provide a pleasant look to the boat. Here we will discuss some plants which we can grow on a boat. Some plants are:
- Basil: Basil is a good choice to grow on a boat because it is a low maintenance plant. Basil does not require much space and can grow easily in water. It is a herb that can be used as a topping on food and has anti-inflammatory values.
- Crucifix Orchid: Crucifix Orchid will be a good option for the boat because it is a low maintenance plant and only requires water to survive.
- Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is a hardy plant. It can be grown well in the sun and needs a small amount of water. It acts as an antiseptic on a wound or a bug bite.
- Spider Plant: Spider plants will be great for a boat because they can grow in any weather conditions. This plant does not need a huge amount of water. This plant is beneficial in lowering systolic blood pressure. It will be helpful if someone gets sick in the sea.
- Peace Lily: Peace Lily is a tropical plant that requires sufficient water and sunlight. They can grow in water without soil, but they need enough sunlight.
- Lettuce: Lettuce can be grown easily on the boat. Lettuce can grow in water, and it is a low maintenance plant. Lettuce is used to make salad tasty and crunchy.
- Green onions: We can grow this plant easily on the boat. Green onions can be grown in water, and it requires enough sunlight.
- Celery: Celery can be grown on a boat in a container full of water. It is a low maintenance plant.
Growing plants on a boat will be quite difficult initially, but if we take proper care, we can make a small garden in the boat. If there is a small garden on the boat, the sailors will get fresh vegetables in the middle of the sea, and the garden will provide the boat with a pleasant and pleasing look. The greenery will make the sailor’s mind fresh and purify the surrounding air.