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By: Victoria Blackstone
If you’d love to have a garden, but you think you have no time for gardening because of your hectic work schedule, the answer may lie in designing a low-maintenance garden. By working “smarter” and not “harder,” you can discover ways to reduce the time you spend planting, weeding, and watering your garden. And with these tasks out of the way, your garden can become a greater source of enjoyment instead of an endless list of chores.
Balancing Gardening and a Job
If your job is a full-time occupation, you’ll only have part-time hours to do your gardening. Set a realistic goal of the hours each week you want to spend in the garden. Are you a gardener who enjoys working outside as much as possible, or do you prefer just growing only a few plants here and there?
The answer to the question of how to balance work and a garden begins with identifying how much time each week you want to devote to your gardening pursuits.
Time Saving Garden Tips
Even though there may be a delicate balance between trying to juggle your gardening and working life, you can tip the scale in favor of being able to do both with these simple strategies:
- Use Native Plants. Because native plants are adapted to the climate, soil, and rainfall of a specific region, they typically require less maintenance than non-natives. You may not have to amend the soil – or water as often – if you add native plants to your garden.
- Plant Container Gardens. Even if you have little to no time for gardening in the ground, you can grow annual flowers, perennials, and even vegetables in containers. Potted plants will have a tendency to dry out more quickly than in-ground plants but, otherwise, they’re a snap to maintain with no need to till the ground and/or amend the garden soil… plus minimal weeding required.
- Keep Weeds at Bay. Whether you plant in the ground or in containers, a layer of mulch helps conserve moisture and suppress the inevitable weeds that can quickly overtake a garden. This simple practice can bring your gardening and working life into a better balance by reducing the time you have to spend keeping your garden weed-free.
- Automate Your Irrigation. One necessary task that often makes balancing gardening and a job more challenging is watering your garden. But if you place soaker hoses underneath the mulch in your garden beds, you can save money and time. Soaker hoses direct water at a plant’s roots for a more efficient way of irrigating your garden than using overhead sprinklers, which lose much of the water intended for your plants to evaporation.
Knowing how to balance work and a garden with these time-saving garden tips can mean the difference between seeing your garden as all work… or as a place of enjoyment. So enjoy the fruits of your labor. Sit in your favorite chair in a shady garden nook at the end of your hectic workday and simply unwind.
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Read more about Gardening Lifestyle
The Importance Of Gardening During The Pandemic
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Gardening is a fun activity that families can indulge in together. It is something that you can cultivate and then enjoy the outcome.
People who grow their food take a lot of pride in it and will take care of the seeds and plants assiduously. With the pandemic bringing everybody home, this is a great time to invest in gardening as a family.
It has also been found out that kids who eat homegrown food tend to like vegetables and fruits better. We are indeed a generation that depends on fast food with busy routines and no time to invest in healthy living. Hence, making your garden is going to be a great way to take a step towards a healthier lifestyle.
Having said that, we will tell you about the benefits of gardening on mental health, and also discuss the physical health advantages in detail.
So, grab a cup of coffee and dive in!
Benefits Of Gardening During The Pandemic
The pandemic has changed our lifestyles to a great extent. From spending most of our time outside the house to shifting to the inner sanctums of our homes, we have witnessed a drastic change.
As the AIPH Secretary General, Tim Briercliffe, said, “These difficult times of staying at home open new opportunities. Many people will have so much more time for their gardens and will begin to appreciate the joy of gardening for the first time.” And it is very true! We can finally create beautiful gardens and enjoy them too.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), social distancing is indeed having a negative effect on the mental health of people. This has led to mental traumas for many individuals, and there is a sudden rise in cases of depression. The highest incidences that are occurring around us are related to:
A good way to deal with this is gardening, as it provides an opportunity for individuals to plant something new and watch it grow.
It’s a very engaging activity, and once you have felt the joy of nurturing plants and watching flowers bloom, you will automatically feel relaxed. It also leads to cognitive well-being and encourages happiness.
A lot of people who have turned to gardening say that they have experienced nature for the first time so closely. It has helped with fighting depression, and related issues like obesity and severe anxiety. Both of these lead to heart diseases, which can again be prevented by encouraging a better quality of life.
Recovering From Illness
Gardening promotes positivity and hope, and these are crucial factors for an individual to get better if they catch the Covid-19 virus. Promoting a healthy environment with positivity is the key to getting better. Imagine being surrounded by plants and butterflies while you sit outside in the sun. Doesn’t the very thought feel good? This is exactly the kind of feeling that a garden can bring to your life.
Also, it gives people something to do and look forward to. If you catch the virus, you will not be able to meet other people. But you can always continue gardening and look after your plant babies. They are immune to this disease and will keep you company until you feel better.
Promoting A New Hobby
Are you a creative person looking to invest in new spheres? Gardening may be exactly what fits the bill. Think of it this way you finally have the time to spend on gardening and growing your own slice of nature.
Usually, you always come home after work, or are involved in various after-job plans. Now that you are finally at home most of the time, you can invest effort in beautifying your living space with greenery.
Creating a garden will not only keep you busy but will enhance the front porch. You can make your house look so much better by growing different house plants and outdoor vines. Invest in a lawnmower and fertilizers, and you are good to go. Grow your grass well, and you can plan backyard picnics and barbeques next year.
Boosting Your Mood
There are surveys being conducted around San Francisco area hospitals where it has been found out that 79% of the patients are benefiting from spending time in the gardens. They are recovering faster and have a more positive outlook towards the coming times.
Some say that they feel more refreshed and energetic once they are among flowers and plants. These soothe them down and act as visual stimuli for the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain like serotonin and dopamine.
Physical Advantages Of Gardening
Gardening will not only help in maintaining your health but will also provide you with other physical benefits. Read on to know all about them.
Opportunity To Exercise
How would you like to begin your day in a garden with flowers and plants? While 80% of Americans live a life with no exercise and physical activity, you can finally take a healthier route and invest in this new hobby. Taking care of plants will already have you moving about, bending, and stretching you can also choose to meditate and begin the day with yoga under the sun.
You will need to keep track of the weather, get the supplies, water your plants, get to choose new vases and pots, and look for fertilizers. Creating your own fertilizer at home with household wastes is also a great way to spend time. This shift towards organic living will help you in general and is extremely beneficial for the planet too.
All of this involves exercise, and that will help you improve your mood and immune functions. It will also help fight obesity and decrease your risk of injury. And you will find yourself thinking more clearly and warding off chronic ailments.
We found a Harvard Medical School Study , which mentions that around 135 calories can be burnt just by spending half an hour in the garden. You could be simply watering your plants, taking out the weed, and that will burn calories too.
Better Air Quality
Nothing can purify the air better than plants. They are natural air purifiers that can fight pollution and reduce excess carbon dioxide in the air. Hence, the more plants you have in your house, the better the air quality.
We live most of our lives dealing with traffic jams and crowded streets, and take in a lot of polluted air. This is the time to purify our bodies and encourage better health. Today, you can finally breathe better and reduce harmful toxins from coming your way.
Growing Your Own Veggies
Investing in your own kitchen garden is something to think about. With Covid cases rising everyday, the more vegetables and fruits you can grow, the lesser you have to go to markets. It not only promotes eating healthy but also protects you from the risk of catching the virus.
Begin with easy items and check with your local nursery as to which edible will grow well. Once you have decided that, order seeds online and get it started.
Another great advantage of growing your own food is that you can reduce the strain on food supplies. With Covid 19 disrupting the economy, there have been severe shortages in food supply for local markets. If you shift to growing your own vegetables, it gives others access to what they need and reduces the strain.
Also, remember to check out the weather and keep a watch on weather patterns before planting seeds. The site called Worldwide Weather Online will help you know about the weather beforehand.
Gardening will help you save a lot of money in the long run. It will need some investment and planning in the beginning but if you can grow fruits and vegetables, imagine the amount of money you can save!
With increasing risks of low food supply and health problems, people are slowly turning to gardening as a hobby and as a way of life. If you wish to do it too, but are not very experienced in it, do not worry! There are multiple sites and videos on the internet which will help you learn.
You could also look for plant hire services that will convert empty spaces into a lush green environment for you to enjoy. They are affordable, and you will end up saving a lot in the long run.
But first, you need to first decide on what kind of garden you would want to set up before consulting with a company or looking up on the internet. Once you have something in mind, go ahead and make it happen.
On this note, we will take our leave. Happy gardening!
The Top 10 Gardening Facts & Stats
- Colombia has the largest number of orchid species.
- The most expensive rose in the world cost $3 million to create.
- Tulips led to the first known economic bubble three centuries ago.
- One of the original wonders of the world was a garden.
- Japanese Gardens were originally inspired by the Chinese.
- Landscape architects are needed more and more.
- Gardening sales grew by 10% in 2018.
- Americans spent $3.5 billion on gardening food in 2013.
- Urban farming produces 20% of our food.
- Almost half of all assessed plant species are threatened with extinction.
While it’s not a vegetable, it’s still pretty cool to be able to grow your own pineapple at home! See how it’s done, here.
Regrow Vegetables From Seeds
Don’t stop with just scraps! You can also retrieve your own seeds from your food scraps in order to propagate. Rinse off the slimy, seedy insides of your organic tomatoes and allow them to dry thoroughly. Plant them in a container inside until sprouted to a few inches tall, when they can then be transplanted outside. Peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins, winter squash, and microgreens can all also be re-grown by salvaging their seeds. Turn those composting scraps into new, edible treasures.
Content developed by freelance writers Judy Kneiszel and Natalie LaVolpe.
Farmers' Almanac Staff
This article was published by the staff at Farmers' Almanac. Interested in becoming a guest author? Contact us to let us know!
You do not have to suspend avacado seed over water . I have much better luck just fixing a pot of soil, water it good and push the bottom or side of the seed about half way down in the soil, leaving about half above the soil. Keep the soil moist. After a month or two, it will split open and it will grow a plant up through the split. Oh, also before planting, I take a sharp knife and whack the seed, while in my hand, a few times just to make the skin outer layer where water can get in. I enjoy seeing them grow. They will need bright light of sunny window if grown inside.
I grow my pineapple. First time from purchased pineapple. Now from the offsprings it produces.
i am currently growing a celery plant,from the end of a bunch.
I put the avacodo seed suspended by toothpicks until the roots appear then plant outside. I have had success with both Haas and Florida types. I planted a couple of ginger root in front of my house 4 years ago. Every spring I get 4 foot tall plants, with pretty flowers in an area that is about 7 feet ong.When I need ginger, I dig up a small piece. If I don’t use all of it, I put in freezer. When you “peel” ginger use a teaspoon to scrape it. The spoon does a better job than a knife. I have also had success with other scraps.
I peel the ginger and then cut pieces and store in a jar of sherry, it lasts forever. Sherry also great addition for stir frying
I just found this site its very inresting cant wait for more
Thank you Donald! Let us know if there’s a specific story/topic you’d like to see us cover!
You can grow tumeric the same way you grow ginger.
How long did it take your pineapples to bloom? My plant is about eight years old, 4′ tall , I have been waiting forever….I leave outside on my deck after spring and bring in before freezing temps began..I’m in SC. What am I doing wrong …? Thanks in advance for your help!
Thanks for the great info! A little off topic, but I learned by accident that when you pinch off the top of a basil plant and put it in water, it will root and you can make baby plants. I would pluck some from the plant in the yard and keep it handy in a little shot glass of water on the kitchen windowsill. One day I noticed it had sprouted roots. It can also be done with rosemary branches but they don’t root as quickly and easily.
I have a indoor grapefruit plant that is 6 feet tall and over 30 years old tall that I grew from a seed ,it produced pea size grapefruit a couple of years ago but they just fell off. I have moved a few times and it even survived the ice storm of 1998 when there was not much heat in the house.
I adore this article! At the moment we have a Lemon Tree, started from a non-organic lemon. Although I did lose several through trial and error, we now have got one that is about 3 feet tall. Hoping to start up a few more experiments asap. ohh and also, ty to Karen Berry, I’ll be stopping into my library too.
I think the classic is the avocado! but to get them to fruit you must have a male and a female. Problem is, I don’t know how to tell the difference, lol!
Also have grown radishes, plus much of what has been mentioned.
The avocado is usually grafted to inducing fruiting. The plant barely can self germinate, the male & female flowers open at different times during the day. It’s a pretty plant tho!
I have a head of green as well as a head of red cabbage that I started by accident. After cutting the root stalk end off for Cole slaw for a party I just lightly wrapped the store plastic bag around them and placed off to the side as I made the slaw. The bag got partially covered and forgotten. When guests had finally left about 3 days later, I picked up the bag to toss it but felt something in it. I unwrapped to make sure it was”garbage” and not a toy and found the cut cabbage end had a few roots just from the moisture of being in the bag. I placed in a bowl of water to just keep the roots covered and place in my east window. Kept close eye to keep roots covered with water. When leaves showed and roots were 3″ +/- long I planted in potting soil in a 6″ pot. Watered well and returned to east window until it was the size of my fist. By then was warm enough to plant outside. Fed and watered through summer about ready to make slaw again Fromm free cabbage.
I too started a pineapple plant from the top of a store fruit. According to my research on them they need to end up in at least a 16w”x16″deep pot and with luck after 18-24months I might get a blossom to develop. Ha. My plant being precocious sent up a flower stalk about 9 months after I started it. It was still in an 8″ self watering flower pot and nowhere near the 2’x2′ plant size mentioned in my reading. It is still in the small pot, afraid to transplant while it was producing a flower stalk, and I have a fist sized pineapple at the top of the stalk. Still sitting on my south window sill where it has been since I started it. Second plant is behaving itself and I have quickly potted it in a large pot. It is double the size of my pineapple growing one, but I took it outside when the temperatures started hitting +90℉ and higher. Watered as I did as a house plant. Will bring in as temperatures drop. Outside. Oh yes I keep my home at 68℉-70℉ year around due to health requirements for me. I tried planting garlic it all rotted bought some fresh ginger at the store and planted the section with two eyes on it. I now have 3″ High leaves from each of the eyes. Will bring in before cold weather and continue care. Looks like my end table space under all the table lamps will be taken up with plants again this year. Those that do not have window sill space to the south. Really getting a kick out of this kitchen gardening.
I also planted blackeyed peas from a store bought bag of dried beans in the dried bean section. I hadnt ever grown them before. I had the BEST blackeyed peas ever. Tons of them. I had plenty to share, too.
The Anasazi beans were found in a clay pot in a cliff dwelling. Now they have been grown ,saved, and grown enough that you can buy them at the grocery store. Since we eat the bean seed itself you are right saying the grocery. Store is a cheaper seed source. My husband showed me that 3o years ago. He loved to garden. Keep at your gardening. I recommend it for several reasons: great marriage counselor by time you meet your spouse in the middle of garden after squashing bugs and yanking weeds you both are calm enough to did cuss the issue as adults, you get exercise, fresh air, time with spouse and kids and a boost to the grocery budget
I placed a pineapple top in shallow water and it wasn’t long before it rooted. I then put it outside in moist soil & it continues to grow. I can’t wait to see what happens through the warm months!
Where are you located? Pineapples do not like freezing weather. Have read that they do well in Arizona (with irrigation) making a nice hedge that keeps out wandering animals.once your pineapple once your pineapple blooms and produces its pineapple, do not give up on the mother plant. I waited and watered mine and she rewarded me with 3 babies (think chicks for Hens and chicks plants). These can be slipped off, allowed to air dry before planting in time you will get another pineapple … In about 18 to 24 months from each of them. Unfortunately ,from my reading, each plant only produces 1 pineapple fruit but does give the patient grower several new plants for further fruit in the future. Have a plant producing a flower stalk right now. Hope the fruit will be bigger as the plant is almost 4 times the size of the one that produced last year. I figure it is due to a summer outside in the Colorado heat and Sun last year.(I had to water no rain fell. I also moved the plant into the house when winds got up to 55 to 75 mph. A dolly is handy for moving large potted plants. I wish you a tasty pineapple just wait until golden for the most unbelievable sweet pineapple.
I have a really small section of dirt that I throw all my peelings in. So far this year I have 2 pumpkin plants coming up and some potatoes and onions. It will be interesting to see what will grow there this year.
This would be a fun cool project to do with the kidsdo.
Do plants only need water once a week?
No. A 1-inch single event, whether a storm or a forgotten sprinkler, will not quite do the job. Well-established plants will do well with three “waterings” of 1/3-inch each. New transplants, young seedlings or newly-seeded beds will initially need water up to twice a day to keep the soil from crusting over and to allow the roots time to grow. Gradually work toward that 3 times per week schedule. Always factor in the rain. Skip the irrigation if you get 1/3-inch of rain.
Nix Back Pain With These Helpful Gardening Seats
These gardening kneelers, seats and stools could help ease some of the strain when planting, weeding and trimming in the garden.
Gardening can be relaxing and therapeutic, but it can be limiting for those with chronic back pain or limited mobility. Gardening seats are a great solution for those who love spending time in their garden but don't have the physical ability to get soil, plant or water their garden for hours on end. Browse our list of top-selling garden kneelers and seats and gardening stools that you can buy online.
Vertex Garden Rocker
You can take some of the strain off your back by using tools such as this ergonomically-designed rocker seat. It has a curved back, contoured seat and the height can be adjusted.
Deep-Seat Garden Kneeler
This padded kneeler is extra wide in response to customers' desires for a larger set. It's deeper than a standard kneeler to provide more support and comfort.
Folding Garden Stool
This folding stool is both durable and comfortable. It folds away easily, and you can even use it as an outdoor seat or ottoman when you're not gardening.
Rolling Garden Work Seat
This tractor-style garden scooter is a customer favorite. The steel frame can carry up to 300 pounds, and it includes a utility basket so you can haul your gardening tools easily.
Gardener's Tool Seat
This gardener's tool seat is a complete package of portable seating and tool storage. The stool, made of steel and nylon, can be used with the tool bag underneath, or you can separate the bag for portability. Plus, it comes with five metal garden tools.
Ceramic Garden Stool
You may use this stool as an accent piece just as much as you use it for gardening. This top-selling stool is corrosion- and stain-resistant so it will last you for years to come.
Rolling Scoot-N-Do Garden Seat
Scoot on over to your gardening beds with this ready-to-work yard vehicle. The Scoot-N-Do Caddy has a swiveling tractor seat and a steering knob to help you turn and reach plants. The metal mesh tray below the seat and a separate basket hold tools and other items.
Strongway Deluxe Rolling Garden Seat
A padded seat is just one of the extra features in the Strongway deluxe rolling garden seat. The seat also swivels and can be adjusted, and you can steer when seated by using the turn bar (one of two that come with the seat). You can store items in the wire basket, tray and fabric pouches around the seat.
Japanese Teak Stool
This teak stool can serve as a stylish and multifunctional gardening seat. You can use it when gardening, then offer it as extra seating for guests.
Ironton Rolling Garden Seat
This rolling garden seat has a farm look with its tractor-style seat and red hue. You can avoid stopping or squatting when gardening by using a seat, and this one is adjustable and swivels. Use the turn bar to steer the front wheel and maneuver around the yard.
Feeling overwhelmed from your wall-to-wall schedule? It’s time to set clear boundaries:
- Learn to say “no” – You don’t need to participate in every extra-curricular or take on every project to be a successful student or worker. Sometimes it’s okay to step back and say no when things pile up.
- Ask for help – Your coworkers and peers would much prefer to help you out than let you flounder and fail—especially when it affects them, too. Remember, you’re juggling a lot!
- Schedule “me time” – Carve out some school-and-work-free time and make it sacred. That means no work emails, no thinking about upcoming assignments or the latest quiz results, and no flipping through your Chem textbook during your self-care bubble bath. Incorporate rest and relaxation into your schedule so you’re able to approach work and school feeling rejuvenated.