This week is national growing for well-being week so what better time to share with you our best tips and tricks for growing your own produce at home, and how gardening can benefit your well-being. Getting out in the garden is great for boosting your happiness levels! Gardening outdoors has been proven to boost your vitamin D levels, reduce stress, burn calories, boost self-esteem, and once your crop has flourished, helping you eat healthier too. It’s an activity all the family can join in on and you can watch your crops grow together.
Here are our top tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your garden...
Find your planting space
No matter if you have a garden, yard, balcony or window ledge you can grow a number plants. Find a space that gets regular sunlight where you can place your pots with some space either side. Make sure you research which plants are best indoors and outdoors, and how much sunlight they will need before picking an appropriate spot.
Plan your plant space
Whether you want to grow crops, flowers or plants, planning your space will ensure you know how many plants or seeds to buy and how much space you will need once they are flourishing.
Label your plants
Don’t rely on memory to know what you’re growing, especially if you’re new to gardening or are growing a wider range of crops. Each plant needs different care so it’s best to know which plant is which. You can get some handy garden markers from your local garden centre to help you keep.
Regrow food from your kitchen scraps
Lots of the vegetables you eat at home can be regrown from the scraps, which is a great way to reduce waste and ensure a constant supply of your favourites are on hand. Here are some of our favourites.
Romaine lettuce and bok choy- plant the base in soil, water, and watch the leaves regrow.
Garlic- bury the cloves under an inch of soil, water and wait for it to start to go yellow.
Spring onions- plant the bulbs in soil in a pot, leaving the top of the stalk poking out.
Avocado- pierce the stone with 3 picks and place in a cup of water in sunlight. In days roots will start to grow and the stone can then be planted.
Protect your crop
Insects and bugs are one of the easiest ways to kill your crop pretty quickly. As well as making your plants look a bit worse for wear, bugs and insects can transport viruses, spreading them from one plant to the next. You can protect your plants with special tunnels, insect netting, or bell cloches which allow sun and nutrients in but keeps pesky bugs at bay.
Work with the seasons
Most seeds prefer different growing seasons, so check that they are suitable for the time of year before planting. However, seeds such as salad leaves can be grown all year round.