As we move into the warmer and brighter months, some of us may find ourselves enjoying our gardens and outdoor spaces more. Whether you would like to encourage more spring wildlife into your garden or feel like you need an escape from the stress of everyday life, gardening might just be the answer.
We want to share with you how gardening can benefit our mental and physical health, as well as some fun activities to do in your garden, the different types of gardening and how to get started!
Why is Gardening good for us?
- Proven to significantly reduce depression and anxiety and improves social functioning.
- Helps maintain independence and may prevent cognitive decline.
- People that live near or spend time in green space are reported to have better mental health.
- When you are outdoors your skin is exposed to the sun, it prompts your body to make vitamin D.
- Growing your own food can help you eat more healthily, besides the physical benefits of tending to your garden, a productive plot can also promote a better diet by supplying fresh, healthy produce.
- Makes you happier. The act of growing can boost your mood, increase quality of life, and help with mood changes.
Grow your own!
Nothing tastes better than fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs are grown in your own garden! Not sure what to grow, or where to start? Use the RHS website which provides you with all the tips and advice you need about growing your own. You will be able to find out what fruit, veg and herbs you can grow in your Kentish garden or allotment!
Here are some of the ‘Grow Your Own’ tips when planning for the summer months:
- Care for houseplant while on holiday
- Pick courgettes before they become marrows
- Clear algae, blanket weeds and debris from ponds, and keep them topped up
- Give the lawn a quick-acting summer feed
- Don’t delay summer pruning fruits trained as restricted forms
- Deadhead flowering plants regularly
- Collect seed from garden plants
- Harvest sweetcorn and other vegetables as they become ready
- Keep ponds and water features topped up
- Feed the soil with green manures
- Pick Autumn raspberries
- Dig up remaining potatoes before slug damage spoils them
- Net ponds before leaf fall gets underway
- Keep up with watering of new plants, using rain or grey water if possible
- Start to reduce the frequency of houseplant watering
- Cover leafy vegetable crops with bird-proof netting
- Plant Spring flower bulbs
Gardening from your window!
Even if you do not have access to a garden or allotment, you are still able to grow flowers, fruit, veg and herbs outside your WINDOW!
All you will need is a window box suitable for plants and produce which has drainage holes, a sunny spot, a watering can, and some seeds. It is good when window box gardening to up-cycle old chests and crates to give more of a rustic, unique feel!
Some easy and reliable things you can grow and plant in your window box includes:
Strawberries – Keep them watered and fed to ensure a decent crop.
Spring Bulbs – For spring colour, try planting an assortment of spring bulbs such as daffodils, grape hyacinths, and hyacinths.
Herbs – A lot of herbs will grow happily in a window box including thyme, rosemary, sage, mint, parsley, and basil. You can also grow chillies annually in cooler temperatures, a window box in a sunny spot is ideal.
Salad Vegetables – Tomatoes, chards and lettuce will not only provide you will fresh food, but they will also look and smell beautiful too!
Gardening for the whole family!
Gardening can be a fun activity to enjoy as a family as well! Take in the fresh air and outdoors whilst tackling some fun and not so fun jobs as a family, from tidying the garden to gardening for wildlife, enjoy it together!
You can create bug hotels, build a pond, attract butterflies to your garden, make a hedge for wildlife, grow your own fruit, veg and so much more.
Here are some of our favourite gardening activities to do this Spring:
We hope that this spring you will take the time to care for and love your gardens whether that is a window box, an allotment, or your back garden! See how it benefits your mental and physical health and even make gardening a new hobby.
For more information on gardening, you can visit a wide list of websites, some of our favourites are the Wildlife Trust, Gardeners World and The RHS (royal horticultural society).
If you want to find out more about Wildlife Gardening, head over to our blog and read how you can encourage wildlife into your garden!
To educate yourself on what you might be encouraging into your garden this Spring, read our ‘Spring has sprung’ blog all about the signs of spring and the wildlife and plants you can see!