23 November, 2016
Gardening provides solace and peace to people of all ages. It helps develop mindfulness and keeps us connected to ourselves. It also gives us an activity to pursue consistently, and maybe can even help put food on the table. Other benefits such as a serene space to unwind in, watching the flowers bloom and butterflies visit, are just added bonuses!
Yet, so few of us these days seem to know, or remember, how to maintain a garden. In fact, this activity was second nature to our ancestors, but rapid development and shrinking spaces can be blamed, we seem to not know how to keep a plant alive.
Turns out, gardening can be a very simple exercise after all, if only we’re tuned into the needs of these living creatures that provide us with so much joy. Organic gardening is all the rage these days and with good reason. The use of chemical sprays, fertilizers and insecticides is doing nothing for our health, while also harming the planet in irreparable ways. Indeed, what did people do in the days when chemicals hadn’t been invented yet? Using this age-old wisdom, we can keep our gardens thriving with just a bit of extra attention.
For flowering plants, the routine is rather straightforward- always choosing plants that have a natural tendency to grow in a certain climate. Such plants can easily thrive. Then, for fertilizers, you can use compost from your own home, thus recycling your waste as well as giving plants an excellent dose of nutrition. With the advent of composting bins, you don’t really have to worry about the smell either.
Keeping aphids and other pests at bay can be done either by using neem oil or a mixture of chilies and garlic sprayed onto the plants.
For vegetable plants, the process is slightly longer, especially if you’re growing your garden in pots. Choosing the right pots, planting the right vegetable in season and extra care during harvesting can help your plant produce two crops at most. After this, you need to practice crop rotation and enrich the soil periodically.
If you’re feeling like this is too much, you can start with developing a kitchen garden with herbs- they are often sturdy and easy to grow. As you feel confident, you can begin to try out flowers and then vegetables.
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