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Gardening for Health and Mental Wellness: Tips to Get You Started

07 May 2022

There are many benefits to gardening, both for your physical and mental health. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips to get you started with gardening, even if you have no prior experience!
Gardening is a great way to improve your mental wellness by promoting mindfulness and meditation. It can also be a great way to get exercise, fresh air and vitamin D. Being out in nature, whether it’s in a lush garden or on a sunny balcony, can reduce stress, improve your mood and refresh your mindset. If you are looking for a way to improve your health and wellbeing, gardening may be the solution for you!
Here are ten simple tips for gardening beginners:

#1 Choose your garden location

Outdoor space is often at a premium. However, gardening can be enjoyed by everyone - no matter how much outside space you have access to.
You don’t need to have access to a large grassy space to enjoy gardening. A concrete yard can be turned into a beautiful garden space with some simple planters. If you live in an apartment, a balcony or even a sunny windowsill with a few containers will work well. And houseplants are great ways to bring the outside in. If you really get into your gardening, you could think about renting (or sharing!) an allotment.

#2 Pick a design

Do some research on garden design (Pinterest, Instagram and a simple Google search will help you here) and collect together the ideas that you like best.

Think about the big purpose behind your garden space. Do you want a social outdoor space for gatherings and barbecues? Are you looking to create a simply, easy-to-maintain space for relaxation? Do you want a thrifty and productive vegetable patch? Are you imagining a beautifully-overgrown space full of colours and enticing fragrances?

Do your research and think about your long-term garden plans.

#3 Start small

Now that your garden plans are formed in your mind, it’s time to start working towards them becoming a reality!

Start small - especially if you have limited gardening experience. A windowsill herb garden, a few pots with pretty flowers, or a low maintenance houseplant are great ways to test out your gardening prowess without committing too much time, money and effort.

When you are first starting, choose plants that are easy to care for. Succulents and cacti are a great option, as they require very little maintenance. Carefully read the information tags on new plants as they often contain useful advice to help your plant thrive.

#4 Swot up

Before you embark on a large garden project, get informed about the basic gardening techniques which you will need for success. Get a gardening book or subscribe to a gardening blog for expert tips and advice. Learning about plant care and which plants will do well in your climate will ensure your success.

Ask for help - if you know someone who is an experienced gardener, don't hesitate to ask for advice! They can help you get started and offer tips on plant care.

#5 Scale up your gardening

Now that you are full of gardening wisdom and have had a successful run with your tester plants, it’s time to scale up your gardening. Select plants that are appropriate for the space, climate and sunlight available. Consider height and depth as you begin planting to create an aesthetically-pleasing outdoor space.

#6  Create a space to enjoy your garden

Identify a sunny or sheltered spot in your garden or backyard and put in a little effort to make it an enjoyable place from which to admire your garden. Invest in some comfortable garden seating (or create an upcycled outdoor sofa from wooden pallets and large cushions!). Perhaps even get some outdoor lighting to help you enjoy warm dusky evenings outside.

#7 Maintenance

Now that you are on a roll, let’s think about regular garden maintenance. Make sure to water your plants regularly, especially during hot weather. Keep an eye out for pests and diseases, and take action to prevent them from damaging your plants. Fertilise your plants according to the advice on their information tags. Regularly tackle those weeds.

#8 Spread the joy

Share your newfound passion for gardening - and the related health benefits - far and wide. Invite friends and family around to admire your green handy work. Enjoy eating outside amongst your plants. Cook with ingredients from your vegetable patch and share your produce with friends and neighbours. Spread your knowledge and share helpful tips on social media - or even create your own gardening blog!

With these tips, you will be well on your way to starting your healthy garden! Gardening is a great way to improve your health, both physically and mentally. If you are looking for a way to reduce stress, increase mindfulness, and get some exercise, gardening is the perfect activity for you!