My wife often wonders how I’m so calm and relaxed, especially in crazy times, like the ones we are experiencing at the moment and I put it down to the mindfulness I experience when I’ve got my hands in the dirt. I’m certainly not a doctor and I don’t want to sound all woo woo but gardening is good for the mind and soul.
With many of us doing the right thing and self isolating and social distancing at the moment, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, there is no better time to get into the garden. With prolonged periods inside just getting out and sitting in our outdoor spaces, no matter how big or small, will give us positive mental benefits, it will refresh your mood and give you some much needed Vitamin D from the Autumn sun.
The one thing I have learnt over the years is the garden is never ever finished, there will always be something to do and even if you’ve ticked all the jobs off the list, plants will grow and you’ll have to do it all over again – that’s why we love it, it’s an ever changing canvas. Due to this you should take your time when gardening and try not to rush it, enjoy what you are doing, be in the moment and focus on the job in hand – the rest of the stuff in your head will disappear and you’ll feel better for it, that way you enjoy the process over the end result and what can seem like a chore becomes a joy.
A quick look on the internet sent me to the plant life balance website who have conducted some amazing research that shows the following interesting stats and made me wonder – why doesn’t everybody garden!
66% of people feel a sense of satisfaction when gardening
61% feel a sense of accomplishment when gardening
58% of people experience improved mood when gardening
53% feel more connected to nature
34% of people experience an increase in creativity when gardening
32% of people feel a desire to start new gardening projects
17% experience improved concentration
11% of people feel more connected to their community when gardening
With some extra time at home and a lot less travel, I’ve been able to spend more time in my happy place and I have got a few additional jobs started. I re-planted the vegetable garden, removing all the old Summer vegetables such as tomatoes making way for the winter vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, silver beet and lots of leafy greens. Replanting the entire space was a great feeling as it feels like a new start, I’ve improved the soil with Richgro compost and spread ample amounts of Richgro organic fertiliser over the top to really boost the growth before things slow down in Winter.
As an addition to the Richgro compost I emptied my own compost pile and used some home-made compost too, which was fantastic as it emptied my heap. A fresh start has allowed me to replace the tin I used to contain the compost. I’m reusing the various pallets I’ve picked up along my travels and by using pallets over solid tin I’ll be improving the airflow in the heap and spreading up the process of composting. Making a compost pile is simple and a great way to reduce your kitchen waste and it creates a product your garden will love. Most people fail as they make a heap that is too high in green content such as grass clippings, food waste and spent flowers and they don’t have enough brown elements such as dead twigs, brown leaves and shredded newspaper. A heap high in green waste will sour quickly so use 75% brown material and 25% green waste for the perfect mix.
A couple of other projects I need to get done are servicing all my tools, cleaning and sharpening all the blades and potting up some rosemary cuttings I took a few weeks ago, and there’s also the mountain of weeds that are growing (I might use a bit of Richgro Natural Beat-A-Weed to get on top of those) – but there is plenty of time for that and the world won’t end before I get to them.
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