One of the most popular activities of The Great Autumn Lockdown of 2020 has been getting into the garden – playing in the soil, trimming the trees and transplanting cuttings. In this sometimes desperate time, sowing and growing can feel like you’re planting hope: as they say, ‘gardening is cheaper than therapy – and you get tomatoes’. You also save money, become more self-sufficient, need fewer trips to the shops, have less food waste, fresher veggies, a stronger immune system, huge satisfaction and a healing connection with nature (butterflies, birds and chameleons are bound to visit). All the things needed to fight a vile virus.
If you can find a sunny patch in your garden or yard (or even a pot on your balcony), a watering can and a bit of dedication, you’ll be amazed at what you can grow from kitchen scraps. Cut the leaves, uneaten bits or seeds, add water, good soil, and hey pesto (if you’re planting basil!) – they’ll regrow. Sure, it works with only certain varieties and it takes a bit of time, but read on – we’ve selected a few of the easiest you can harvest without a trip to the nursery.
Before you pick up your cutting shears, know this: your plants will need a little attention (but you’ll start to enjoy going out each day and checking on their progress); watering is essential (during the dry months); chatting to your plants is encouraged (especially if you’re in total isolation); and pulling out a few weeds is recommended. And after a few weeks you get the pudding – harvesting your homegrown produce to eat and share. You might even have leftovers for your neighbours, or plant on your verge for passers-by.
First off, take note of the gardener’s mantra: ‘feed the soil, not the plant’. It’s essential to have well-prepared, rich soil – just like a healthy gut is key for your wellness. So use lots of good compost and natural-based fertilisers. And do some research on mulching to retain moisture and control pests.
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