Ease Your Depression With Gardening

It goes without saying that in order to be healthy, you need more than just a clean bill of health at the doctor’s office. In order to be truly healthy, you have to really have a healthy spirit, mind and body. Whenever you are battling something such as anxiety or depression, it can be very hard to face each day and remain on track with your daily life. What you may not realize is that you can help to battle your depression simply by getting involved in the world of gardening.

It is a fact that gardening allows people to commune with nature while giving them an overwhelming sense of purpose and joy. When you are able to work on a garden, nurture it from start to finish and then enjoy the fruits of your labor, you really are catering to your mind, body and soul. This makes for overall health and well being and a really good way to help you work on your depression issues either with your current treatment or in place of it.

Knowing that you have the ability to complete gardening tasks to boost your happiness can be an incredible motivator. Often times, people who are suffering from depression will find that it can even be hard to get out of bed in the morning. By having a reason to get up and get moving, you are going to have a better chance at facing your depression head on. Certainly, there is no one perfect solution for everyone who is dealing with any level of depression. However, it is quite amazing that so many people have been able to benefit from something as simple and as truly rewarding as gardening.

Even if you have never grown anything before, starting your own garden can be simple. If you would like to start out small, you can gather up some small flowering plants and place them along the outside of your home. For anyone who lives in a city setting, you can think of putting together an indoor windowsill garden or even look into volunteering at one of your local parks to get involved with the planting and care. You might even find that there will be a community garden that you can visit to foster a space and grow your own fruits, vegetables, flowers or herbs.

The wonderful thing about gardening is that you are never to old to start. Better yet, if you have children or grandchildren, kids are always very excited about the process of gardening. Getting your family involved can make for a wonderful overall experience that will help you to bond while working on your depression or anxiety that you have been dealing with.

No matter what, you can always start off slow when you are trying to find ways to help loosen the burden of depression. Gardening is a lovely way to get involved in nature and work on something rewarding while soothing your mind, body and soul for an overall great experience.

Creating The Juciest Tomatoes Ever

Tomatoes are one of the most popular fruits grown in the garden. Tomatoes are used in a variety of dishes and sauces, including salsa and spaghetti sauce. If you are interested in learning more about growing organic tomatoes, continue reading.

When it comes to growing large, beautiful tomatoes, you must start early in the year with your site preparation. Finding the perfect spot for tomatoes involves finding a location with at least seven hours of sunlight.

Once you have located the optimum place for your tomatoes, it is time to begin getting the soil ready for planting season. Grab your tiller and till the area up. Run the tiller across the garden daily for the next four days to loosen the soil.

After you have loosened the soil, add a mixture of peat moss and compost to your garden soil and mix it into the soil. For every twenty five square feet of gardening soil, add one square foot of the mixture. Adding peat moss and compost to your garden helps your garden maintain its moisture content.

After your soil is ready, it is time to begin choosing your tomato plants. There are many varieties of tomatoes available. There are varieties that are better for canning than others. Additionally, some varieties have been hybridized to be resistant to certain fungi and bacteria. So it is important to carefully consider each variety when choosing.

Plan your rows carefully because tomato plants need plenty of space to grow. Each tomato plant should be planted at least two feet apart. Planting too close will result in smaller yields because tomatoes need plenty of air circulation to help avoid blossom rot.

When you are ready to plant your tomato plants, begin by drawing a straight line with your hoe. Then gently remove each plant from its growing container. After removing the plant from the container, gently rub the roots to loosen them. Then, gently place each plant into the prepared rows.

Once all of the plants are in their respective location, gently cover the plant’s roots up making sure that the plant is upright. Water each individual plant well.

To help your plant develop deep roots, you need to water deeply every couple of days. Each plant should receive at least three to five gallons of water a week to ensure your plants stay healthy. Additionally, apply two to three inches of mulch around each plant to help the soil retain moisture.

Tomato plants need to be supported to keep tomatoes off of the ground. There are many support options; however, most gardeners prefer tomato cages. These cages should be placed around the tomato plants while they are small for best results.

Finally, know the pests that are common in your area. By understanding the common pests, you can take immediate action should pests attack your plants. Be advised that chemicals should only be the last resort.

When it is harvest time, you will be rewarded with a bountiful harvest if you follow the instructions listed above.

Create A Garden Playhouse

Children love playhouses and creating one in the garden is fun and easy and the children will enjoy helping you create it. Your children will spend many happy summers playing in one of these and it will become one of their fondest childhood memories.

What You’ll Need

A nice sized section of garden area. Make sure there’s room enough for the kids to play inside.

Sunflower Seeds (various types, we like very tall ones and then smaller ones)

Various herbs (we like chamomile, lavender, mint, basil, oregano, marigolds and other similar herbs)

Carrots

Snow Peas

Decide On A Shape

Decide what shape you want your garden playhouse to be. You may wish to draw it out with string prior to planting your seeds.

Planting Your Playhouse

Plant your giant sunflower seeds as the outer “walls” of your playhouse. Space them far enough apart that children can go in between them, but close enough together that they make it appear like a secret garden.

Plant snow peas near the tallest sunflowers. They will grow and wind up the tall sunflowers. Children will enjoy nibbling on these while they’re playing so be sure to show them how delicious they are.

Intersperse the herbs throughout the sunflowers and plant smaller sunflowers in between as well. You want it to appear as if there is a quaint little garden fence along the outer “walls” of your playhouse so be creative and make the herbs appear to be a fence line or add pops of color here and there.

Plant the carrots along the inside “wall” of the tallest sunflowers. These make great snacks for hungry children while they’re in the playhouse.

Water

Help your children water their playhouse every day. Talk to them about how some plants grow faster than other plants. Talk about how some plants have edible seeds (sunflowers) and some have edible roots (carrots) while some have edible flowers and delicious leaves.

Furnishing Your Playhouse

Depending upon the age of your children, you may wish to put some lawn furniture inside the playhouse area. We have a hammock we like in ours.

You could make the inside like a sand castle as well and have a sand bucket or some “earth moving” tools like toy dump trucks etc. Get creative and make this playhouse as personal as you can for your children.

Winding Down The Season

As the season winds down and the sunflowers begin to tip over teach your children about how to dry sunflowers. Remove the heads of the flowers and air dry your seeds. Then toast them with some sea salt and enjoy eating them.

Uproot the remainder of the sunflower stalks and put them in a compost pile. Save the herbs and dry them for eating with dinner in the winter months. Remind the children how the herbs grew in their own playhouse.

Oregano, lavender, chamomile and marigolds will come back year after year so there is no need to remove these. Basil will need to be replanted each year.

Enjoy playing in the playhouse.

Composting For Beginners

Composting is one of the most important gardening tasks you need to learn if you want to become a successful gardener. It will help you grow healthy plants. In addition, composting is a very earth-friendly way of caring for your garden.

Contrary to what some people might think, there is really nothing complicated about composting. Even a new gardener who has no experience can do it. All you have to do is take organic waste from your house and garden and put it back into the earth. Eventually, the waste will decay and become part of the soil, making it richer and better fit for growing different kinds of plants.

Technically, any organic matter can become compost, but the best ones to use are those that can decay quickly and become fertilizer faster. Some of the usual compost materials used by gardeners are dry leaves and cut grass from the garden, manure, fruit peelings, and vegetable cuttings.

Composting is done on a large scale in farms and commercial plantations, but you can also do it on a smaller scale in your own backyard. You can begin by digging a small pit in a corner of your yard where you are going to throw in your organic waste. Try to find a place in the garden that is easily accessible for you but not for small children who might fall in or pets that might take out what you put in.

Once you have filled up your compost pit with organic waste, cover it loosely with soil. The idea is to create a environment that is conducive for bacterial and fungal growth because these organisms are what will cause the organic waste to break down. Over time, the organic matter will decay and turn into a blackish, crumbly material with an earthy but not unpleasant odor, which is exactly what you want your compost to look like.

If you want to speed up the decomposition process, try combining greens with dry leaves and adding a layer of garden soil in between every few inches of other organic matter. Also, make sure that there is room for air to circulate and that the area is always kept slightly moist or humid.

As you can see, you don’t need to have special skills or buy expensive equipment to build your own compost pit. Everything you need to put into the pit, you already have in your garden and kitchen. You simply need to remember to throw these things into the compost pit and not into the trash bin.

Once your compost fertilizer is ready, all you have to do is mix it in with the garden soil and see what happens. With all the nutrients contained in your new environment-friendly fertilizer, your plants will grow healthier and bigger than ever.

Don’t worry if you are not able to produce the perfect compost fertilizer right away. In time, you will be able to improve your techniques and come up with better results.

Choosing The Best Tools For Your Garden

Gardening can be a fun and rewarding experience. Although it does require hard work, the payoff is a beautiful yard and garden that you can enjoy all summer long. One of the keys to gardening success is choosing the right tools for the job. Whether you are caring for your lawn, growing your own vegetables or planting a flower bed, the right tools can reduce the work load and improve your results. Here are few tips to help you select the best tools for your yard and garden.

One of the first things you should consider is the size of your outdoor space. For instance, if your yard is several acres, a riding lawn mower is a sensible investment. However, if your yard is only a few thousand square feet, a gas-powered push mower is probably a better choice.

The same concept applies to your garden. If you are planting a huge vegetable garden, you might want to invest money in power tools such as a gas-powered rototiller to take some of the backbreaking work out of the process. For smaller gardens, you can probably get by with hand tools. Keep in mind, also, that you can rent tillers are other large equipment if they currently don’t fit in your budget.

If you are beginning gardener, you should invest in some basic tools to help you get started. Some of the most essential tools that every gardener should have on hand include a shovel, hoe, rake, trowel, garden cart, pitchfork, lawnmower, weed trimmer, gardening gloves and pruning shears. These basic tools can cover just about any gardening project you wish to undertake.

More advanced gardeners can look for additional specialized tools. Some handy tools to add to your arsenal include dandelion diggers, kneeling boards, garden shoes, wood chippers, aerators and cultivators. As you work in your garden, make a list of any tasks that are particularly time-consuming or hard to do. Then, spend some time searching to see if there is a tool that could help make the job easier. For instance, if you spend hours pulling weeds in your garden, you may want to consider investing a specialized weeding tool.

Home improvement stores and garden centers carry a wide range of tools. You can also find specialized tools at most commercial nurseries. If you are on a limited budget, consider checking your local thrift store for gently used tools. You can often find tools that are still in excellent shape for a fraction of their full retail price. Garage sales are another excellent source for affordable garden tools. Just be sure to go early in the day so someone else doesn’t have a chance to snap up all the good stuff before you arrive.

Whether you are beginning gardener or have been at it for years, the right tools can take the hard work out of gardening. Not only that, but they can help you garden grow and thrive, improving your overall results. For a healthy, flourishing garden, taking the time to choose the best tools for the job can make all the difference.