Whether you’re a pro with a pair of secauters or you’re just starting your pruning journey, gardening can help you connect with nature, learn new skills, escape your thoughts, relieve frustrations, gain control and just enjoy being in the outdoors.
To get you started, we caught up with our Social Media Assistant and gardening pro, Amy Sharp, to talk about the importance of gardening for your wellbeing and share her top tips and advice.
Like many others, lockdown was the start of my gardening journey! I have always been into gardening and in my last job, we sold wildflower seeds. As I was selling them, I learned a lot about them and their importance so I wanted to try it out myself. I’ve also always wanted a vegetable patch so I was determined to learn how to grow and maintain one!
Gardening and Wellbeing
My garden is right at the side of the road so whenever people walk past and see me, they stop and chat and give me helpful tips! Especially during lockdown, it was really nice to have that bit of social contact.
It’s also really relaxing. If I’ve had a stressful day, I can just go down the garden, water the plants and have a bit of me-time. Sometimes while I’m doing it, I’ll listen to an audiobook or music just to chill out and unwind.
Top Tips for Budding Gardeners
Know your weeds
I’m not going to lie, weeding is the worse part of gardening for me! At the start, I struggled with trying to figure out what is a weed and what isn’t so I ended up leaving it until they started sprouting. However, all the weeds then started to suffocate the flowers and they didn’t grow. So, my top tip would be to get to know the different types of weeds and what they look like. Plus, don’t leave weeding until the last minute!
Another great tip I learned, is to weed either after it has rained or water the beds beforehand. It makes it so much easier to do!
Start off with a few low maintenance flowers and vegetables to get into the swing of things. Tomatoes are pretty easy to do. If you grow them from seedlings they are really low maintenance. Strawberries pretty much look after themselves too. I bought a young plant to start with, planted it and it came out great!
Most wildflowers grow really easily from seed too. Cornflowers and Cosmos are great for starters as they are really low maintenance and last for ages.
Get water tight
Find out how much water your plants and vegetables need and stick to it. Over or under watering can be damaging. On particularly warm days, be sure to only water first thing in the morning or after the sun goes down. If you water midday, you will end up scorching the plants which kills them. You can also lose a lot of the water through evaporation by doing this.
Labels are your friend
It’s super easy to forget what you’ve planted and where! Take some extra time to write a plant label or use the one they came with and pop it in the ground next to your plant. Then you can make sure you’re maintaining each one as it should be.
I would also say, don’t try and work it all out yourself! Get as much help as you can by following gardening pages on social media and engaging with other like-minded gardeners. There’s also a great app called ‘Planta’ which tells you when your plants need watering and feeding so you don’t have to remember yourself!
Remember gardening is a hobby, not a chore! Experiment with new things and enjoy it. Don’t worry it if doesn’t work out the first time, you can just try again. I feel like if I can grow these things, anyone can!
Now you’ve got the advice, all you need is the tools! Check out our range of gardening tools, accessories and spares for your appliances, to get you feeling like a pro!