The second week of April is gardening week, and with the warmer temperatures and rainy afternoons, now is a great time to start getting the garden ready. Hobbies like gardening are wonderful stress reducers! Gardening stimulates our senses. It allows us to use all of our creative energy and focus on one thing, allowing us to be more mindful. Studies have shown that women suffering from bipolar disorder and depression have improved symptoms after three months of tending to their garden. Fresh air and sunshine gets the blood circulating and gardening is an excellent source of low impact exercise.
Here are some tips to get your garden growing:
- Group Plants by Their Needs: It can be much easier to group the garden together by the amount of water a plant needs and by the amount of tending each seedling needs. This year figure out which plants will benefit one another. Take in consideration grouping plants that insects love with ones they hate; this will avert the insects from devouring the garden.
- Low Maintenance: A garden should be an opportunity to enjoy the plants you love the most; but it is important not all of these are high maintenance. Hibiscus and Daylilies that require deadheading can become exhausting so make sure you also add in low maintenance plants as well to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
- Feed the Soil: Soil is probably the most important part of any garden. Soil makes the difference between healthy plants and nuisances, or insect covered plants vs. non. Call a local nursery to check the pH of ground you want to tend to. If the soil isn’t in good shape, add compost regularly and treat the soil according to recommendations.
- Define Boundaries: Gardens are much easier to manage if the garden bed is raised with set boundaries. Container gardens are simple and let you control the soil, water and exposure. Raised beds also help to keep some animals and people out. If you do choose to use a container make sure to provide good drainage.
- Family time: In the rushed and hectic world we live in it gets harder and harder to spend quality time with family. Video games and television shows hog our attention and keep us indoors. Gardening is a wonderful way to engage with the entire family and get a little extra help. Allowing children to be part of the vegetable life cycle by planting, caring and harvesting their own plants, may make exposure to different veggies easier.