Gardening brings peace and tranquillity, but beyond that, it also offers numerous physical and well-being benefits. For example, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (or CDC) have listed gardening as a moderate-intensity level activity and just 2.5 hours a week can reduce the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, heart disease, and depression amongst other things. With all these benefits; gyms closing their doors temporarily; and self-isolation being a thing, there’s even more reason to take up gardening.

Haven’t gardened before? Perhaps it’s been a while since you have, after all we’re just getting into Spring.

Here are some ways to get back into gardening without hurting afterwards.

  • Ease into it. Even if you have spent the winter doing exercises or other chores, it is likely you’ve been using different muscles. Pace yourself at the beginning so you don’t overdo it. Take breaks to stretch, rehydrate (yourself) and the plants, and then get back to your project.
  • Raised beds. Save your knees and back by using raised garden beds or planter boxes along with a chair or bench. While the height can vary, a good rule of thumb is to keep the width at an arm’s length so you have easy access to all plants. Better yet, place your planters on a table and work from a seated or standing position.
  • Go vertical. Another option to the raised beds is to grow vertical plants using trellises, fences or outside walls. This way you can work standing up, just make sure they don’t reach past your arm’s length and are great space savers as well.
  • Plant native. Native species offer a wide range of benefits, from attracting pollinators and beneficial insects to being drought resistant, but they also require a lot less upkeep. Cultivating plants that are native to your area means you can enjoy all the benefits of a garden without working overtime to keep it looking pristine.

No backyard? No problem.

There are still many options available to keep you moving, boost your mood, and enjoying the fruits of your labour.

  • Indoor plants. Keeping flowers, plants, and even herbs indoors offer great benefits. From having fresh herbs at your fingertips to cleaning the air inside your home and reducing stress, keeping an indoor garden is a great way to keep your thumb green.
  • Container gardens. Many, many things can grow in planters and planter boxes, be it on a front porch or balcony. Use containers to grow herbs, tomatoes, and native species that will attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators. With some forethought and planning, you can have beautiful blooms and bounty throughout the entire growing season. Just be sure to pay attention to how much sun or shade your plants will receive and how big they can grow.

We hope we’ve planted the seed of interest in picking up gardening! And on that note, we’d like to end with this quote.

We might think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it’s our garden that is really nurturing us.

–Jenny Uglow

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