The Very Real Therapeutic Benefits of Gardening
Here we are in the middle of a pandemic talking about gardening therapy. It’s funny to think that sentence isn’t the start to some bizarre SNL skit but is, in fact, our current reality. As a family business that has been part of the Salt Lake valley for over 130 years, one of the things we are constantly evaluating is what we can do to help our community. We are all working very hard to be safe and stay healthy during this unprecedented time in our collective history. As gardeners, the thing we keep coming back to is the very real therapeutic benefit of gardening.
The phrase “Garden Therapy” is one that’s been used for decades for a variety of reasons. Often it was a bit tongue-in-cheek when we bought a few more perennials than we told our spouse we would. However, this year has brought the THERAPY of gardening to the forefront. There are untold benefits from gardening. From digging in the dirt, caring for plants, watching them grow, harvesting our own food or maybe even creating beautiful bouquets to enjoy around the house.
Entire programs have been built around the physical and psychological benefits of working in a garden. There are some truly interesting studies being done in the field of horticultural therapy. This article from Psychology today hits the nail on the head.
Though we are not trained therapists, we are trained gardening experts. Within the overall theme of “gardening therapy” are dozens upon dozens of reasons that we’ve found create a sense of peace and wellbeing. We did a poll recently in our Glover Gardening Group on Facebook to see what people found to be the most beneficial aspects of gardening. Here are the top 4 answers from you our gardening community.
1. Gardening is Your Personal Oasis
Be it English style or traditional Japanese Zen, your garden reflects your own tastes and preferences. This makes it much more enjoyable to spend time in your yard. If you’re new to gardening, we highly recommend working with a landscape designer to give some expert guidance and avoid costly mistakes.
2. Gardening Is Beautiful
From early spring blooms like Crocus or Pansies to late fall blooms like Coneflower or Mums, there is something that will bring color and texture to your garden all season long. Flowers bring a sense of joy with their blossoming. There are other benefits to be had as well – tinctures, cooking, aromatic satchels, or just a bright bouquet on the dining table.
3. Gardening Allows You to Grow Your Own Food
During a regular year it is nice to pick your own tomato or gift a neighbor with some of the extra zucchini you’ve grown by hand. But during a year like this, there is something deeply comforting in growing your own veggies, herbs and fruits. It’s a fun experience, but also a deeply satisfying one. When your first harvest is ready and you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor (pun intended) you will not regret the time spent in your garden. Check this link to see what veggies and herbs are available and ready to plant now at Glover Nursery.
4. Gardening is a Good Workout
Gyms are closed, parks restricted, it can be tricky to find a way to be active while we wait for things to normalize. Being in the garden, digging, pulling weeds, and planting all are great forms of exercise. You'll be working different muscle groups and burning some calories. No, it’s not the same as a Crossfit session, but it’s better than nothing!
If gardening is something that appeals to you we are here to help,. No matter your experience level, whether you are a novice who has no idea where to get started or an expert that would love something new to bring to your experience, there's the perfect gardening task for you.
Keep updated with our onsite and online business practices here. We want to make sure you know what we are doing to keep our team and you and your family safe during this crisis.
We look forward to seeing or speaking with you soon. Happy Therapy!
4 Steps to a Bountiful Harvest with Your Victory Garden
While we are all going through this time of recalibration together, yet “socially distanced” from each other, one of the things we notice trending again are Victory Gardens. Though we are not at war, the effect of this pandemic certainly feels like it at times.
Gardening has become one of the few activities we are allowed to do and, in fact, are encouraged to do. Victory Gardens will allow you to exercise both your mental and physical well-being.
Our homes and gardens are our safe havens right now and as a result we are seeing a growth in….well, in growth. As far as the timing goes, it couldn’t be a more appropriate. Spring is upon us and it is time to plant.
As we do not know how this crisis will affect us long term, a number of people have started growing their own food source – some are doing it for recreation, and some as a genuine way to ensure fresh food for their families throughout the season.
If a Victory Garden is something that appeals to you, we are here to help.
Step 1 – Where to Plant Your Victory Garden?
- Decide what area you have that you can convert to growing veggies, herbs and fruits.
- For a family of 4, a 3-by-6 foot area can meet much of a family’s needs if it is laid out properly.
- Window boxes, container gardens, even rooftops can all be utilized for growing.
- Alternatively, you can grow your edibles in areas around your existing trees, shrubs and flowers.
- Wherever you decide to plant, it is important that the area get plenty of sunlight.
Step 2 – What to Grow in Your Victory Garden?
- Do you love fresh salads? Roasted potatoes? Making your own salsa or tomato sauce? Make a list of favorite foods and start with growing those.
- It is always fun to experiment with new ingredients, but if you just do not like rhubarb, probably best not to grow any.
- Keep in mind, some types of edibles do not bear a harvest in the first year. A short term goal of food production for this season vs. long term for years to come will have different strategies.
- Veggies and herbs, for the most part, will be prolific in their harvest this season. See our full list of available fruits, veggies, and herbs here.
- Fruit trees and some fruit bearing shrubs will take a couple of years to establish before you see a significant yield.
Step 3 – When to Grow?
- Every plant has a different timing for when it is ideal to start from seed vs. starts. Both methods are effective, it depends on what you prefer and your patience with seeding.
- Seeding isn’t difficult, but it does take a bit of extra work and the timing of when to seed takes some planning. Learn more here.
- Veggie starts are ready to pop into the ground, you can start planting now. We've got a great variety of starts available to pick up now. See our full list here.
- Pay attention to the weather as any unexpected freezes need to be guarded against.
- Wall-o-Waters are a great resource to help protect your starts from unexpected cold in the earlier part of the growing season.
Step 4 – When to Harvest Your Victory Garden?
- Every type of produce has a different growing season. There are 3 categories to consider when you are planning so by the time you get to the harvesting, you have crops available on a rolling basis
- Short-season go from seedling to harvest in around 40 days and include: arugula, lettuce, radishes, salad mix, spinach, turnips
- These should be replanted again after the heat of summer passes for another crop later in the year.
- Mid-season go from seedling to harvest between 40-80 days and include: beans (bush and pole), basil, beets, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cilantro, collards, corn, cucumber, dill, eggplant, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, okra, parsley, peas, peppers, potatoes, scallions, summer squash, swiss chard, tomatillos, tomatoes.
- These make up the bulk of a garden to harvest in the summer, it is best to balance them with early and late harvests.
- Late-season go from seedling to harvest between 80-120 days and include: asparagus, beans (dry), Brussels sprouts, celery, dill seed, edamame, garlic, leeks, melons, onions, parsnips, peppers, pumpkins, shallots, sweet potatoes, winter squash.
- Though they take longer, they are well worth the time and effort.
It’s a lot of information, we know. If you haven’t grown your own food before, it can feel overwhelming. But, that is why we are here.
You can view what is currently available to start getting ideas for what you may want to plant in your own garden. If you're looking to start anything from Strawberries to Onions to Cole Crops we've got what you're looking for in our Veggies, Fruits, and Herbs page.
We have the plants and expertise to help you start your own garden with everything needed for success. Now, that is a Victory indeed.
Find details on how we are safely conducting business under the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” directive on our website, link here.
We are open from 8am-5:45pm Monday through Saturday at 9275 South 1300 West.
See ya soon.
Ahh, Spring. We can feel it coming though it is still a few weeks away. But, we are eager to be back in the garden! So, in anticipation of the season, here are a few things you can do to prep your yard for a great start to growing in 2020:
- Prep your tools! It is much much much easier to get all our gardening chores done with sharp and clean tools. Sharp blades and spades give cleaner cuts that will allow for faster healing around any needed trims. And, you definitely will want to disinfect anything that might have residue of disease or fungus from last year – cleaning your tools will prevent spreading the disease again this season.
- Clean up the leftovers. We all do our best to get the leaves and spent perennials up and off the lawn and garden beds before the snow fell, but sometimes the snow catches us and those items stay frozen under the snow all winter. While the ground is frozen, it isn’t a big deal, but once the thaws have started (which, they have), it is important to get that debris off the ground. Reasons for this are all those decomposing leaves create spots where fungus and mold can thrive. It’s easier to clean them up now than to spend the months ahead combating the effects.
- Trim your trees, shrubs and roses before they start to bud. While you should NOT trim any flowering trees this time of year (it can impact the blooms) anything else should get pruned in advance of the coming buds. Trim out any injured areas and go ahead with any shaping that is required – either for aesthetic or structural reasons. As for trimming your roses, now is a great time but be sure to watch this video by our resident rose expert, Cassandra.
- Seeds, glorious seeds! Part of the fun we have this time of year is starting our seeds for the season. Vegetables, flowers, herbs….a plethora of options and such a fun project while we wait for the last of the winter doldrums to fade away. Read our blog on seeding advice, and come pick up those fabulous little seed packets today. We are fully stocked and ready to help you get that garden growing.
- Systemics are key. As the ground thaws, those roots will start reaching out to absorb nutrients in the soil to send up to the branches. As such, it is an incredible time to put down any systemic products (things you pour into the soil) so those roots can grab onto the product and shoot it up the plant. 3 of our favorites to use this time of year:
- Monterey Once a Year Insect Control; can be applied as long as the ground is not frozen, or overly saturated, at the time of application. This product controls a wide range of insects including several types of borers. It offers control over an entire season.
- Monterey Garden Phos; can be applied as a soil drench, foliar spray or basal bark drench. Covers a large number of diseases including Fireblight, Verticillium Wilt and Root Rots. Can be applied several times a year.
- Bioadvanced All-in-One Rose & Flower Care; contains fertilizer, systemic insecticide and systemic fungicide. Apply in March at the first sign of bud growth and every 6 weeks after for 3-4 applications a year. This product can be used on flowers and shrubs as well as roses.
And, as always, we are here for you. Stop by or give us a call, we look forward to seeing you soon.