We have made sure to keep ourselves quarantined at our homes in due consideration of the COVID 19 pandemic. It has stopped us from pursuing outdoor activities for months now, but on the other hand, it has helped us inculcate constructive and fun hobbies like baking, cooking, art and craft, maintaining a fitness regime, and the very therapeutic recreational activity of gardening.
While stepping out to meet our friends and family seems like a distant dream, people have found solace in cultivating their personal gardens. Taking on the responsibility of maintaining your garden can be highly restorative.
for the person. As the saying goes, the healing touch of nature has proven to be reparative for the cognitive functioning, emotional well-being, and other dimensions of mental health of human beings. Just a stroll in a local garden amidst a long, tiresome day can release the mounting tension and stress we accumulate on a daily basis. Since going to a local park or community garden can be a debatable choice right now to avoid any kind of social interaction, people have decided to make their own home grounds just as nurturing!
Ever since the COVID 19 outbreak, it has been a distressing time for the world population, living in the constant fear of contracting the deadly disease. Gardening as a regular hobby has proven to be a very healthy coping mechanism that fends for our mental well being in such progressively stressful times. Where people have been complaining about settling into an unhealthy lifestyle of binge eating and surfing Netflix as their reaction to this sudden change in their routine, some are taking charge of their mental health from deteriorating. The very act of planting a seed, scooping up the soil for aeration, and watering the plant every day has proven to boost serotonin and dopamine levels in our body, increasing a sense of positivity and happiness in us. It is one of the best ways to trigger our natural production of happy chemicals that keeps depression at bay. These two important chemicals that boost our immune system are key to a healthier body to fight against not only coronavirus germs but also several other diseases we are often exposed to. Gardening requires us to be attentive and is an engrossing process where we spend a few stress-free and tranquil hours. Various therapy experts and organisations have taken to and advised horticultural therapy for people who may be struggling. In a CNN Health article, Tony Wright, a retired human-resources manager expresses the benefits of gardening he has witnessed for himself.
22 million people are suddenly out of work in 2020, stranded at home with loads of free time. People new to the field, amateurs as well as regular gardeners are seen busy with their hands covered in soil. Many are working on improving their victory garden by growing food items like tomatoes and peas. Many are setting up a herb garden, because who doesn't like the fresh aroma of chopped coriander to top their curry? For those who have limited outdoor space, are setting up a container garden to enjoy planting a single flower or vegetable seed. Longtime gardeners have noticed more novices this year picking their brains for indulging in native plants, vegetable seeds, growing techniques for varying species of flowering plants, shrubs and herbs. An Arkansas based seed seller and owner of The Seed Guy, Linda Look, said that she can barely keep up with the rising sales demands, particularly this year. "Spring, of course, is a seed company's busiest time of year, true, but this year has been unique because of COVID-19," she explains.
With so many households undertaking gardening, especially for growing food, it is important to beware of the threatening pests and insects that could harm the growth of your plants. Farmers and streamlined gardeners are usually acquainted with the best pesticides needed to prevent these intruders from infesting their yield, but an amateur gardener is compelled to learn and be familiarised with such necessities. As easy as taking up gardening sounds, it can be a task to keep up with the prerequisites for it. Proper planning is required to keep your garden out of the reach of such menace. Where most pests are believed to damage plants, only about a tenth of them are destructive. All others count as beneficial insects that actually help foster the growth of your garden. Beneficial insects fall into three main categories - Pollinators (bees, butterflies, flies), Predators (ladybugs, praying mantises, green lacewing larvae) and Parasitizers (parasitic wasps).
While people have already gotten into the hobby quite extensively, here are some beginner tips for gardening for the newbies that want to give it a shot!
- Make and Use Compost : Handy alternatives like piling shredded leaves and kitchen scraps like coffee grounds and orange peels that can be spread around plants to ward off disease and a bit can be put in your potting mix to add slow-release micronutrients. This will help restore life to soil that's exhausted from years of chemical abuse.
- Wide, raised bed to plant seeds: Keeping the crops grouped as tightly as possible in wide and raised beds that are not trodden upon, cuts down on weeding, conserves water, allows the compost to be concentrated where it will do the best and also improves soil structure.
- Don't ignore the mulch: Any organic matter used as mulch carpets the soil as a protective barrier that moderates temperature, conserves water, helps keep soil-borne diseases from splashing up and ruining your crop, and helps keep the soil itself from splashing up.
- Feed the soil: Plant health depends on healthy roots that depend on healthy soil for air, water, sunlight and nutrients (compost) delivered in forms plants can use.
- Choose your plants appropriately: Select those plants that match your garden's growing conditions to allow them to thrive to their utmost capacity in their environment. Pick native plants from your home region to allow their substantial growth.
- Maintain your responsibility : Gardening requires you to maintain your responsibility of caring and nurturing your plants. Being available to cater to the health of your plants is an integral part of gardening. Regularity will provide the most rewarding outcomes.
Gardening is not only a stimulating activity, but also a great method of beautifying your home. Passionate individuals combine nature and culture to decorate backyards in an innovative manner called Landscape designing. Today, landscape design is a creative profession that bridges the gap between interior design and garden design. Picking gardening as a hobby in 2020 is one of the best decisions people have made, that contributes to developing and maintaining nature in a world where time to care for it was just never available.