Why is gardening a good hobby? Does this question pop in your head too? Well here is the answer. Because we live in a fast-paced society where people need time to fun and relax. In the words of Francis Bacon “God almighty first planted a garden and indeed it is the purest of human pleasures.”
If an activity can bring a lot of mental and physical benefits then why not? It does not just look pleasing to the eye but it is also a free therapy.
It aids in improving mood. A recent Dutch study took two groups of people one group was asked to read indoors and the other was advised to the garden.
After 30 minutes of activity, it was as clear as water that the gardening group was in a better mood and had low cholesterol level than the reading one.
People are turning towards gardening as it is not only good for the physical and mental well being of a person but also supplies low cost, nutrients rich healthy diet.
- 1 Things to consider before taking gardening as a hobby
Psychological and Physical Health Benefits
As you all know mental and physical health are very closely connected. A psychological person can only maintain physical health.
It includes improved mood, strengthened attention span. It not only relieves stress but also boosts self-esteem. Horticulture therapy is a well known practice done to enhance mental well being. It improves memory, supports recovery and helps in socializing.
Besides improving overall physical fitness it also decreases dementia risk by 36%.It also aids in tonning muscles, burning calories and improving your strength and dexterity.
Gardening is often referred to as a moderate-intensity exercise to help burn a lot of calories. As per the Stockholm study, regular gardening reduces the risk of heart attack by 30% in people over 60.it also improves hand-eye coordination and finger flexion.
Things to consider before taking gardening as a hobby
The only way to learn gardening is to go out and do it. It might seem daunting at first but one gets the hang of it soon. As one advance in gardening, the wheels begin to turn. In this guide, we have provided significant accurate information to get the first time gardener going. Following things are to be considered while taking on gardening
Choosing the right spot for your garden
When selecting the site for your garden, keep in mind the environmental conditions, an area where there is enough sunlight to grow.
Good airflow encourages optimum growing conditions and keeps the fungal diseases at bay. But not all plants need sunlight to grow. Some plants grow well in the shady area. Every plant should be exposed to the sunlight as per the need.
Availability of water
Plants need plenty of water to grow. There should also be a rainwater collection system to preserve rainwater, to be used in the times of drought. Plants usually need water every day or every third day depending on weather condition. When the soil feels dry, it needs to be watered. During Dry Weathers, the plant needs excess water.
Soil is the starting point of every food chain but It is often the most overlooked aspect when comes to gardening. Often little attention is paid to the fact that good soil is essential for plant growth and nutrition.
For a good harvest, nutrient-rich soil would really be the key. Soil should have enough moisture to serve plant needs. Soil should be tested if it fits the requirements for gardening. Soil can be replenished with soil amendments like compost, leaf mould, manure, sand, lime and peat moss etc.
Choosing the plants
If you are planning on having a vegetable garden, plant veggies you like or the one that you cannot easily get from the farmers market. You can grow tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, Parsley, Spinach and radish etc.
Plants can be used to make different kinds of herbal remedies. Herbs like Fennel, Rosemary, Lemon Balm, French Tarragon, Californian Poppy, Feverfew, Garlic, Hyssop, Peppermint can be grown for healing purposes for minor ailments.
if you are gardening for colour and fragrance choose the flower that blooms most of the year.Easy to grow flowers for beginners would be Sunflower, Sweat Peas, Nigella, Aquilegia, Nasturtium, Marigold, Fuchsia and Pansy.
Fertilizing plants require three ingredients nitrogen phosphorus and potassium. Fertilizing the plant promotes growth, dark green colour and enhances the flavour.
Plants should be fertilized in the early growing season. Early fertilizing enhances growth and strength. Organic fertilizers can also be used to boost growth to the maximum. Organic indoor fertilizers comprise of compost and manure.
Garden pests affect a plant’s growth by a large stretch. There are some beneficial insects for the plant growth like lady bugs, bees, moths, butterflies, wasps, beetles which transfer pollen from one plant to another.
Pests like Asparagus beetle, Armyworm, Aphid, Bean Beetle, Cabbage looper, Corn earworm are the “bad guys” for plants. Pests that hinder plant growth should be eradicated before the damage is done. Destructive pests can be eradicated by spraying insecticidal soap on them. Not only the pest, but weed also needs to be cut before they get big.
Basic tools and equipment
Some basic tools and equipment are used to cut, clean, drill and stir the soil. These equipment include a trowel, hoe, secateurs, electric sprayers, hand fork, rake, spade, weeding hoe, dandelion removal tool, garden – “fork, dibbers, shovel, spray bottle and watering can.
Trowel and Secateurs are used to clean and cut. Hoe and hand fork remove weeds and turning the soil to provide moisture and nutrients to the plant.
As the gardeners attest, you cannot possibly compare the taste of a homegrown veggie to the one in the farmer’s market.
It is a rewarding leisure activity aims at providing fresher, healthier food while giving a pleasant outlook. Gardening is a simple way to improve the quality of life and to add diversity to daily meals. It doesn’t just focus on physical fitness but also relaxes the mind. For a fresh change try Gardening!
Usman is an aspiring writer and Agronomist from Pakistan. He certified with Masters in Planting and growth behaviour. His research on vegetable growth and fertilizer supply is published in many research papers.