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Gardening will uplift your mood and lower your stress levels

Thursday May 7 2020

health

The fulfilment of watching your plant grow can also act as a welcome distraction from outside stressors. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ANITA MURAGE
By ANITA MURAGE
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“Your green patch can thrive in all sizes and forms, whether in a recycled yoghurt cup or a section of your backyard, however small.

Growing a green thumb is a painful but rewarding process. The Covid-19 pandemic has opened doors for a variety of new activities, either to suppress anxiety over these uncertain times or to improve the quality of your life through new hobbies or exploits.

Caring for plants is rewarding in both instances, and also ensures a steady supply of food in light of a looming shortage brought about either by the pandemic or the locust invasion sweeping trough the country.

More than a precautionary measure, time spent gardening is beneficial to your mental health, says a 2017 report by the American Public Health Association.

Tending to plants allows you to reap the benefits of sunshine and fresh air while improving your mood and effectively lowering your stress levels.

The fulfilment of watching your plant grow can also act as a welcome distraction from outside stressors.

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Such gardens can thrive in all sizes and forms, whether in a recycled yoghurt cup or a section of your backyard, however small.

Here are a few ideas to guarantee that your home garden complements your style and enhances the aesthetic value of your home.

Start small
Investing in indoor plants is all the rave right now, with various pages on social media providing solutions for people who would like to care for a plant of their own and elevate the visual appeal of their homes.

Pots don’t need to look drab; you can place your new plant in a kiondo for a modern twist to average house plant décor.

Plants like the Monstera deliciosa and snake plants are increasingly becoming popular; therefore, get one.

Rectangular troughs
This trough can serve as an ornamental piece on your dining table, incorporating your new hobby as a representation of your personal style around your home.

Larger rectangular troughs can also act as a border in your garden or on your balcony, adding a unique and modern allure to your home. Try aloe vera and succulents for a start.

Raised flower beds
The benefits of using a raised bed for your garden are many. For instance, you can control the blend of soil you’d like to use, if the one that’s immediately available would not be suitable for your plants.

It’s easier to control pests; you have better garden placement and of course, you get to reap a bigger harvest using less space.

Depending on the amount of space you would ideally use, you can build a planter in whatever size you need, compose the soil required for your plants, and finally plant foods you like to eat for a start.

Companion planting

It’s a fine line to walk, but one that could benefit you and your harvest in turn.

On one other hand, planting certain herbs, fruits and vegetables in the same space as your flowers attracts more pollinators and guarantees a more bountiful yield.

Be sure to research keenly on what plants would benefit each other the most in terms of pest control and which ones can co-exist without hogging the necessary nutrients from others, inhibiting their growth.

Vertical planter
If you’re looking to save on space and still get the most out of your garden, vertical planters will provide just the solution you need.

Placing the pots in this style will create more space on your balcony as they occupy less surface area than several pots on the floor would, in addition to being aesthetically appealing and even providing a fencing solution to keep away prying eyes.

Strawberries and tomatoes would thrive the most using this method, but be sure to localise your choice of plant by paying attention to the climate of the area you live in to reap the most out of your vertical garden.

The science of espalier

You may have seen these trained trees before, but probably never referred to them using the word ‘espalier’.

Espalier is a French word that refers to the horticultural science of training wooden fruit trees to grow against a frame or wall, often because the wall retains heat from the sun in more temperate regions.

This method allows the plant to absorb maximum sunlight, and gives fruit trees more time to mature.

Fast growing trees that you can plant to employ this method around your home include magnolia and rose of Sharon. While at it, instal a wire support system and prune them as the seasons go by.

Learning the art of espalier could be time consuming, but the ornamental benefits to your home will make the process worth it.

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