Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

Grow Your Greens!


The warm, sunny days of spring and summer offer the perfect opportunity to get outside and exercise your green thumb. Gardening offers many physical and emotional benefits. Almost everyone’s health could benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables (which are high in fiber and antioxidants), so plant a few of your favorites or expand your horizons and try something new. Being outside helps reduce stress and anxiety, and weeding, planting and tending to your garden keeps you active. A flower garden can brighten your yard and your mood with every colorful bloom that grows.

Gardening doesn’t have to be intimidating, even for novices. Most plants don’t require a lot—just plenty of sunshine, decent soil and regular watering. Tomatoes, basil, squash and greens are great plants for gardening newbies to start with. If you don’t have space in your yard for a traditional garden, tomato plants and herbs like basil, cilantro and rosemary can be grown in containers in a sunny corner of your porch. Just make sure they are convenient to a hose or another water source to make watering easy.

Studies have shown that physical activity decreases your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and protects cognitive function. Gardening keeps you active—tilling the soil, spreading mulch, weeding, planting, watering—every little bit of movement helps. Make a plan to visit your local garden store today!

Having a Garden is Easier Than You Think!

Man at Urban vegetable garden

There is nothing quite like savoring a salad made with fresh vegetables that you grew by hand, in your own garden. What’s that you say? You don’t have a garden? Good news–you don’t have to have a “green thumb” to grow your own produce, you just need to know a few tricks!

The good news is that plants don’t really require much—plenty of sunlight and water as well as decent soil. You can use pots, a raised bed or a plot of land—just make the location convenient so that you can easily water your plants during dry spells or grab a handful of fresh basil or lettuce when you need it for supper. Before planting, mix in some compost or peat moss with your soil and check the planting instructions on your seed packets for planting season, recommended planting depth, etc. If you are getting a late start, you can always pick up starter plants at your local plant store rather than using seeds. If you’re a gardening newbie, start small and pick plants like carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil, which tend to do well on their own without much interference from you. Remember carrots will need some depth, tomatoes need height, and cucumbers and squashes need space to sprawl.

Aside from the obvious advantage of having fresh vegetables on hand, gardens encourage you to be outside and active—two things most people can benefit from doing a little more of. Studies have shown that people who spend time outside in nature are happier. Now stop reading and go outside and plant something!