The familiar signs are here that spring has arrived and now is the perfect time for home gardeners to get their hands dirty!
Spring is the ideal time to resume or start your love of gardening. Not only do the warmer days make it more appealing to venture outdoors, but it’s also the time of rapid growth in nature, moving out of winter.
It’s the time of joyful colour returning to the garden as flowers burst into bloom and plants and edibles thrive with their lush green foliage. The microclimates in spring can be tailored to suit rapid growth – soils hold moisture from winter, and the warmth of the sun supports growth.
It’s also an important time to establish plants before more extreme weathers in summer arrive.
Aside from the beauty of what’s grown, gardening has a number of key physical and mental wellbeing benefits, from cultivating a more positive mindset to helping with strength and cardiovascular health.
Whether maintaining an established garden, a smaller terrace, or tending to a few pots, growing plants and caring for flowers and edibles help to connect us with nature, develop acceptance, and enhance our mindfulness. It can also help with mental stimulation through the continual planning, care and maintenance required. And a growing passion then encourages reading and learning.
It encourages physical activity and non-repetitive movements in moving around a garden area, reaching higher or lower, safely moving objects or digging in soils. These movement patterns can help with strength, flexibility, endurance and even dexterity.
As gardening is usually outdoors, it is a wonderful way to get fresh air into the lungs and enjoy being in nature, even if you only have a few pots. It all helps to build more positive physical and mental health.
There are so many wonderful reasons to make spring your time to fall in love with gardening and growing your own plants and vegetables no matter where you live.
Here are 7 tips to help resume your gardening routine or to start a new one this spring:
Start with a cleanup
- Start fresh: Clear old potted plants that are struggling and remove tired, wilted plants from the garden to prepare for a fresh start. Don’t keep plants that are past their prime or that no longer bring joy, as it’s easy to spend more on trying to restore than starting again. Prepare to replace drab plants with colourful flowers in season like impatiens, petunias and azaleas.
- Prepare your soils: Preparing the soil and planting area are essential once your area is cleared and before planting. This step can include topping up garden beds with good quality soil or re-potting with the best quality potting mix available and then adding compost and mulch to these areas to improve soil conditions. A specialist like a local garden centre assistant can help with soil types and conditions for the area to help with this step.
Plan your planting
- Know the limitations: The size available for planting, from garden beds to pots, weather conditions like harsh coastal winds or humidity, and the time and effort to maintain a garden will all influence what’s best to plant. Make a list of these elements to help with planning.
- Ask for help and others’ expertise: There’s a lot of trial and error in gardening. Learning from others can save time and money. Find a local garden centre with a good reputation and talk with them first before planting. If a neighbour is growing successfully, ask them for tips on what works well in the neighbourhood. These conversations are great ways to share knowledge, meet new people and develop a passion project.
- Start small: It might be tempting to snap up all the favourites from the local garden centre, but it’s recommended to start small and enjoy learning from successes before embarking on larger projects. Pick a few flowers to focus on, or plant just a couple of herbs first and enjoy from there.
Manage your growing
- Stagger planting: Planting all at once means that flowers bloom together, vegetables are ready for harvest simultaneously and likewise with herbs. It can mean there’s an abundance at one time rather than enjoying it over a longer time. Instead, stagger planting according to the planting season to get more enjoyment over a longer time.
- Mulch and water regularly to keep plants healthy: What is done in spring can prepare gardens for hotter months ahead in summer. When plants are settled and healthy, remember to keep up watering at appropriate levels for the area and soil, and to put a nice thick layer of mulch on garden beds and pots before the summer months arrive. Preparing plants with care will help alleviate potential stress that can be experienced when the season changes.
It’s important to stay safe while gardening. Such measures include:
- wear sunscreen, gloves and a hat
- avoid lifting or carrying heavy items
- dispose safely of outdated or old pesticides in the back of the shed
- have a relative, neighbour or carer climb ladders to reach higher places
- only use safe, trusted tools that are easy to handle
- have water always on hand and enjoy plenty of rest breaks.
You can apply these tips no matter where you live or your garden setting. Gardeners are constantly learning, and spring is the ideal time to dig in!
An in-home carer will enjoy helping you establish and maintain a thriving garden. Your Pearl carer can assist either with maintaining or setting up a manageable garden outside or indoors.
Contact your nearest Pearl outlet today to discuss options for how you or your loved one can age comfortably at home, surrounded by your own familiar garden.