This Gardening Day – Lettuce Turnip the Beet!
Did you think that the old lady rummaging about in her backyard with a sprinkler and a can of worms was just doing it because she was sick of watching TV and had nothing else to do? Well, we’re here to let you know that there’s a lot more to gardening than just passing time outside. Turns out she was not only helping her patio look pretty but was also looking after her mind, body, and soul. Since June 6th, is celebrated as “Gardening Exercise Day”, let’s see how and why if you’ve not started gardening yet, maybe you should give it a thought.
Top 5 benefits of gardening:
- Some Avo-Cardio?
Tasks like raking and bagging leaves, pushing the wheelbarrow, squatting to weed the flower beds and pruning or even shoveling require a lot of energy expenditure. It’s a great workout regime for the abdominals, arms, back, and thighs. Some studies suggest that 3 hours of moderate gardening equals 1 hour of gym exercises. Thus, not only is gardening fun but it also contributes to burning calories. Also, when was the last time a treadmill bore fruits and vegetables, right?
- Can’t Stress Enough:
The entire process of sowing seeds, nurturing the sapling, and watching it grow is shown to be a great stress busting activity for people of all ages and genders. It is therapeutic after a long week of high pressure work at your typical 9-5 job.
- Immunity Booster:
Spending all that time under the sun with your hands in the soil can really help boost your immunity levels and make you less vulnerable to infections overall. Being in natural greenery can also help prevent certain allergies and decrease the severity of a reaction.
- “Root”ing For A Healthy Diet:
Studying, planting, and looking after fruits, vegetables, and grains encourages you to get more of these nutrients on your plate and motivates you to ditch the fast food lifestyle of eating. Thus, it’s a win-win situation for your backyard as well as for your body.
- Brain Gain:
Gardening includes many activities that make use of cognitive skills, social interaction, and memory jogging. Researching the plants and their requirements helps keep the brain active. This is especially helpful for older people but can be fun for people of all ages. A study revealed that gardening helps reduce the risk of dementia by a significant amount.
Now that we know that gardening is not only a fun activity but it also has an array of additional benefits, let’s look at some things to keep in mind while starting your gardening project.
Gardening tips for beginners:
- Right soil & right drainage:
Whether you’re looking to beautify your backyard with colorful flowers or looking to grow some nutritious produce, knowing & using the right type of soil is important. They say, “A gardener with no compost is no gardener at all.” Compost can be easily made from waste material at home. Coffee filter, egg shells, food scraps, and tea leaves are some examples. It not only provides valuable nutrients & moisture to the soil but also helps in reduction of chemical fertilizer usage.
- Location, location, location:
There are plants that require sunlight whereas there are others that grow very well in shade. Hence, it’s better to know your plants in & out before you start the process of gardening. Most edible plants, including many vegetables, herbs, and fruits, need at least 6 hours of sun in order to thrive. Using portable containers to grow your plants is also a good option. Also, some plants like melons and pumpkins require ample elbow room.
- Know your climatic zone:
As the zone number increases, the climate gets warmer. So for example, if your plant grows in Zone 4, it may or may not survive in a colder zone like Zone 2 or Zone 1. For this reason, it’s better to check the climatic zone that you are in for clarity on favorable climatic conditions and in order to not accidently damage plants prematurely. Many online resources help with zone understanding.
- Start easy:
Early success is inspiring and motivates an amateur gardener. Vegetables may not be as tough to grow as some other plants. Some examples include tomatoes, peppers, beets, and carrots. It’s important to keep in mind the right type of soil, correct amount & frequency of water, and time for harvest. Use high quality seeds.
- Plan well & plan organic!
Whether it’s a holiday or a gardening project, planning is key. Make a rough drawing on a notepad portraying exactly how you want your plot of land to look. Jot down the things that you’ll need to buy and make sure to keep in mind things that could go wrong due to unforeseen circumstances. Organic gardening is now the best option for a healthy life ahead. Ditch the chemical fertilizers and cruel pesticides. Go for organic options while choosing seeds, soil, manure, compost and mulch.
This “Gardening Exercise Day,” Plant Smiles, Grow Laughter, & Harvest Love.