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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Planting that can be done on your boat

While we spend a lot of time discussing what to add to your home garden, or the types of plants you should be aiming towards growing for each season, we wanted to veer off just a bit. We feel that a common area that can be turned into a whole new space with the help of a few plants, is the cabin area on a boat.

In general these cabin areas are under deck and a bit small. On top of this, there is usually very minimal natural light coming into this area, so you must choose your plants very carefully. While we personally love seeing lush green vines growing against a dark wood finish, these plants below fall on the smaller side.

 the 3 plants the will be discussed today, each of these plants require very little upkeep, and will not completely take over the cabin area on your boat. The added bonus is that a few of the plants below actually have some very handy uses while out at sea.

The Christmas Cactus:
This plant is a bit different than a normal cactus in that, it actually blooms some very beautiful pink flowers. Since this plant is classified as a cactus, a very nice thing is that not a ton of water is required to keep this plant going.

The Christmas Cactus does require a bit more sunlight to keep growing, so a covered area above deck would be a great location for this plant. This plant can still function below deck, as long as it is near the main natural light source down there (the biggest window).

Being a cactus, this plant is a little prickly at certain points, but not nearly as prickly as a normal cactus one would find in the desert. However you should find a way to keep this potted plant in place, as you should with all your plants on board, but especially with this plant. The last thing you want is for a Christmas cactus to come flying at you in the middle of the night when a large wave hits the side of your boat.

Aloe:
This plant is incredibly resilient to the elements. Salt water does not affect this plant nearly as much as it does to others, aloe plants need very little water to survive, and it really thrives in areas with a lot of sun. While aloe can grow well in sun, a lack of sun does not completely kill this plant off.

An added bonus to having an aloe plant on board, is that you can break off a piece of the plant at anytime to rub onto a bug bite. Although it could be used on a bug bite, aloe will most likely be used for dealing with any sunburn that may occur when out on the water.

While many boating enthusiasts do take the necessary precautions when protecting their skin from the UV rays, aloe is a nice thing to have on hand. If for some reason you missed rubbing sunscreen on a part of your arm, or you didn't have anyone get the back of your neck; aloe can really help cool off the pain of sunburn quickly.

Mint:
Last but not least is the Mint plant. While there are various versions of mint plants out there, these plants are also a bit harder than the other two listed above when trying to grow it on a boat. A mint plant needs plenty of sunlight, and moist soil, so place right next to the main window below deck would probably be best.

One of the great benefits to this plant is the aroma it brings with it. This mint plant can act as an instant air freshener  for below deck. No harmful sprays or overly pungent car fresheners required for your boat anymore.  This mint aroma instantly makes your boat feel a bit more like a home away from home.

For even bigger boats, another nice thing with having a mint plant on board is its multiple uses in cooking. If your boat has a kitchen, or at least a small burner, the mint can be added to any meal for that little extra zest, and can even be added to a nice cup of hot tea for a refreshing kick. Mint plants grow very fast, so they are the perfect companion to have on board.

So take the next step and liven up your boat area. You can buy colourful new boat cushions, repaint the cabin below, or make a minor tweak to an area just by adding a new plant. Do not forget the added bonuses of some of these plants. Break off a mint leaf and chew on it for instant fresh breath. Use the aloe plant to soothe any burns out at sea. Most of all, relax and enjoy your time out at sea!


DG

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