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Monday, 24 February 2014

Gardening For a Healthier Lifestyle

I was thinking a little while back of a hobby I could start that could take up a part of my day as I have found I was becoming less productive due to only working Part-Time. I settled on gardening because as far as I know there is no other hobby that has so many benefits. Not only does it get you out in the fresh air and sunshine, give you a great feeling of accomplishment watching your plants grow and mature, is good for reducing stress as it is a low intensity activity; fresh veges, fruit and herbs are incomparably more delicious and contain no added chemicals like shop bought produce usually does.

In the next few paragraphs I would like to give you some information on how to start growing plants.

You will need:  
  • Somewhere to plant which will be either pots, a garden bed or a seedling tray 
  • Seedlings if you do not want to grow from seed or seeds
  • Fertiliser (I prefer liquid and i put in to a watering can, but granular is also available) 
  • gardenate.com (seasonal information about vegetables and herbs in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, UK and the USA) 
  • watering can and access to water
  • seedling mix for seeds, potting mix for pots, or you may need soil for garden beds
  • trowel
Optional:
  •   Sticks and string if you want to grow vine plants such as beans
  •  Soil thermometer to check the temperature of the soil
  •  pH metre to ensure the soil is the right pH level 
Before you buy your plants and/or seeds you must see what plants can grow in your climate at the time of planting. I use gardenate.com for vegetables and herbs as it tells you everything you need to know about planting your chosen seed or seedling.  It informs you on how to sow (as a general rule sow seeds at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed), what temperature soil it can live in, how far to space the plants out, when to harvest and what other plants it is compatible with and what plants to avoid planting in close proximity. It also has a comments section which is invaluable in finding other hints and tips on how to grow and cook your produce.
For instructions on how to transplant seedlings if you decide to grow them in a seedling tray and need to give them a home where they can grow bigger follow these instructions How to transplant seelings.

I think the most important and fun part of the process is trial and error, you will get better with it as you get out and garden more, also if you are unsure of anything there is usually a youtube instructional video. Also I would love to get some feedback on this article so please let me know if I should edit or add anything to make it even more helpful. Hope you have a great week and may your garden flourish!







2 comments:

  1. Hi Ben, great article. One of the best ways to have a bumper crop is to prepare soil before planting. Have all the area or pots ready before planting, I used cow manure or horse manure broken up into the soil. Keep watering and a few weeks later it is ready for planting. Never fertilise tomatoe plants until fruit starts to appear because the plant needs to be 'hungry' to produce fruit. I love planting herbs and marigolds in between my vegie plants to help keep bugs away. Have fun, it is a great feeling when you can go and collect a basket of vegies to use. Jo

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    1. Thanks for the feedback and tips Jo. I have heard of companion planting before and its sounds like a good natural way of keeping pests away from vulnerable plants. I will post some pictures of my plants and produce that I have been toiling away to produce in a later post so be sure to come back regularly. Happy Gardening.

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