Developing Healthy Hobbies: How to Start Your Own Successful Garden
Nothing adds value to the experience of owning a home quite like your own self-curated and maintained garden.
The joy of gardening turned out to be something that many adults rediscovered during the Coronavirus pandemic, as unprecedented amounts of time spent staying at home forced people to get creative to combat negative thought patterns and rapidly developing mental illnesses.
With Americans spending a low estimate of 62% of their time at home in 2020, 55% of American adults turned to lawncare as a means of staying sane, with 20 million adults choosing to explore gardening for the first time.
Gardening is a uniquely healthy outdoor hobby. It teaches patience, requires a strategy to pull off successfully, and has been known to have a variety of mental health benefits for practitioners; benefits that American adults are starting to take advantage of in scores.
No Green Thumb, No Problem
However, if you’re thinking about approaching gardening for the first time, you might be wondering how to grow your garden successfully. Nothing is more discouraging than spending months putting energy and effort into a project, looking forward optimistically to the final product, only for the said product to never grow or wilt and die within a short time of springing up.
Experiences like that are actually fairly common among beginning gardeners, with some getting discouraged and throwing in the towel altogether, blaming the outcome on a lack of a green thumb instead of a lack of proper preparation.
If you’re concerned about this being the outcome of your endeavours, you’re in the right place. Gardening properly is a practice that one learns, and you’ll likely make mistakes as you try and implement the suggestions below: stay vigilant and don’t get discouraged, as if you work hard enough with the proper information, your labours will yield fruit eventually.
Follow the below steps, and you’ll start growing a beautiful garden that’s all your own in no time.
Plan, Plan, Plan
A great deal of planning must go into organizing your garden before you plant your first seeds. You’ll want to take the measure of the space you have to work with first, taking note of areas that get frequent sunlight, areas that are occasionally obscured by shade, and places where you can install comfortable outdoor furniture for get-togethers on warm summer nights.
You’ll want to seed your plants in areas that get more sunlight on average, as putting them in places that frequently get obscured by shade can be a death sentence as your plants begin to grow.
Also, research types of plants that grow well together and seed your plants far enough apart that they won’t be competing for resources. Putting your flowerbeds in an area where you are likely to see them from the house can also serve as an occasional reminder to take care of your garden when needed.
As mentioned above, take time to plan out space for vital features that will allow yourself and your guests to enjoy your garden. Comfortable outdoor furniture, fire pits, and even large-scale dwellings like gazebos can all be wonderful additions to any garden, allowing people to really relax and enjoy the space.
Institute an Infrequent Watering Schedule
It boggles all rationale, at least on its surface, but choosing to water your plants infrequently actually gives them a better chance of growing stronger and living longer than more frequent watering schedules. Instead of watering your plants shallowly every day, giving them about an inch or so of water, choose to water your plants weekly and saturate the soil with several inches of water.
Why do this instead? It turns out that watering your plants frequently and shallowly causes the development of their roots to functionally halt, as the plant becomes dependent on receiving that water every day.
If you happen to miss a day or weather conditions change and the plant is exposed to extreme heat or cold, your plant will suffer much more extensive damage. Infrequent watering allows roots to grow deep and strong, not relying on daily feedings to keep growing.
Keep an Eye Out For Pests
As you water and fertilize your garden, be on the lookout for signs that a malignant presence has entered your garden. If an infestation is allowed to occur, pests can singlehandedly wipe out your garden’s chances of growing, spreading disease among healthy varieties of some plants, and eating through the stems and roots of others.
If you notice clusters of small insects living among your plants or notice small bite-marks and the like on your existing plants, look up all-natural pest control methods. Pesticides have been known to leach into groundwater and do more harm than good: choose to use a better method of preserving your garden.
Gardening can be an intensely rewarding hobby for many, and can ease the stresses brought on by the pandemic: if, that is, you go into it with a solid plan, knowledge of best practices, and remain vigilant in caring for your garden.