The Benefits of Gardening…

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Just less than two weeks ago this area, minus the one planted lemon tree, was covered with weeds, car parts and a riding lawnmower!  My daughter weeded and I did all the raking to level it out and today added the surfboard which is on borrow.  I love to watch surfing!  My son did dig the hole for the orange tree this evening so tomorrow will plant it.

Just one example how the Corona virus is getting my gardens in shape.

Obviously today’s topic is gardening.  here is the blog I wrote last night and succeeded on most of my garden mission today.

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Gardening!

Ah I love that word as the satisfaction that gardening can result is beyond powerful.  I often think that if I had discovered gardening before believing in God I might never had found God.  But it is in nature that I see God so I wonder if He would have spoken to me through the plants (not out loud ha ha).

To take a weed ridden piece of land or containers if you don’t have a yard and have some flowers or vegetables or even herbs and take care of them and watch them grow as you care for them is extremely rewarding.

I remember when I used to have the stamina and desire to garden all day long and then at night looking outside in the dark and shining a light on all my hard work and the beautiful plants I had planted and the lack of weeds.  Savoring the moment and getting up the next day and doing it again throughout the season.

I have several areas in my yards that need attention right now.  But the weather has been weird this year… hoping to get out there for a bit tomorrow with my daughter.  She is my awesome weeder.  I am lucky in this way.  Wait I don’t believe in luck actually.  I am fortunate to have her help anyway.   She weeds and I make everything else happen.

Here is the basic process in case you haven’t gardened before~

Weed and clean out all rocks

Break up the soil several feet deep if possible

Add amendment to the soil

Rake it in to mix with the soil

Plant away and water according to weather and the specific plants.

Add stepping stones and yard art to your liking.  I just got a metal peacock  (see pic above) with vibrant colors at the local nursery, my favorite place lately.

I have so much to do!!!!!  But got lots of time on my hands so tomorrow I’m getting dirty.

The way I know I can usually get myself out there before it gets windy or too hot or cold is to get dressed in my gardening pants, top doesn’t matter.  That sets the tone for the day.  I also say to myself, today is a gardening day on a day that I’m not going anywhere.  Tomorrow will be a gardening day!

The duties will be to finish weeding under the bench in the side garden (where my peacock resides), replace the stepping stones in a pattern I created, fertilize the lemon tree and move a bunch of green waste that my husband loaded up in the wheelbarrow, from the back to the trash can out front.

If I do more it will be to weed out front the rose garden (I have 6 rose bushes) and cut myself a rose because I lost a pound this week on WW and it is my reward.  Used to buy a bouquet but with these times… just cut one, either yellow, red or white with pink tint to it.  They smell so wonderful.  (ended up picking one of each colorJ)

I also hope my son digs the hole for the Valencia orange tree I just got which will go on the same side as the lemon tree which has produced one lemon in 2-3 years.  Finally realized I need to be fertilizing it.

Mistakes happen in gardening and much of it is trial and error according to your climate and zone, soil etc. But nature has a way of fixing things and the local nursery can be of great help to figure things out.  But expect some plants to die or not produce at all.  It happens.  Not all plants make it or thrive and others will do really well.

I happen to plant from transplants at a non-profit farm that benefits the mentally disordered in our area.  They do all the planting and gardening and sell the plants for next to nothing.  It is literally 3 long blocks form my home!  Only open on Thursdays and Saturdays though so my goal this week before Saturday is for my daughter to finish the weeding on the side garden so I can start planting some late season vegetables.

Notice a theme here.  Gardening is easier with help!!!  But I have not always had help.  I used to do all the weeding when my daughter was away for college.  Now I just wait for her.  I have some hip issues also so have to be careful with not squatting or kneeling too long.  I have a cushioned kneeling pad I picked up at the dollar store that has carried us through many seasons.  Saves the knees and pants.

Have I convinced you to start a garden yet albeit small and manageable?

Hope so!

Digging in the earth is especially rewarding even with gloves which I always wear now.  Rich soil, combined with regular watering and compost tea is my secret to happy plants.  You can make compost tea with a large bucket of water, some nylons or thin socks filled with compost in the water and let it make your rich compost tea in a week.  Let it set in a sunny area.  I need to make some.  Apply to the base of all your plants!  No miracle grow needed.  Apply tea as often as you like depending on the size of your bucket or container.

Gardening is methodical.  I take great care with all plants.  I love all life!

Of course the internet can give you way more tips than this.

The hardest part for me in gardening despite pulling weeds is getting out there so I tell myself I’m going to do it for ten minutes and see how I feel.  I usually keep going at least a half an hour but if it’s only the ten minutes that’s ok too.  The satisfaction is endless as is the work but worth it in the end.  (today was an hour!)

Pax

Victoria

p.s. Next topic in this May series is the benefits of walking!

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