Perhaps you’ve read other articles I’ve written here on Hot Mess Press. If so,you may have come across one (or several) where I mention my frustration over a contaminated food supply in the United States. Seriously. We shouldn’t have to feel like we’re poisoning our families just by putting supper on the table. Incorporating easy-to-do gardening ideas in your daily life can help you improve your family’s health.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you try to become an A+ Green Thumb overnight. This is especially true if you’ve never gardened before. That used to be me. Now that I have been gardening for more than 30 years, I’ve learned to view it more as a journey or a process than a once-a-year task to tackle. One of the ways I’ve made gardening more enjoyable and less daunting is to add one specialized focus to my gardening season every year.
How to focus your gardening ideas
Creating a gardening notebook or binder is a great way to start organizing your year-to-year focus ideas. If you wince at the thought of using good old fashioned pen and paper, then create a digital notebook. (I love advanced technology as much as the next guy; however, I encourage you to give a hard copy gardening notebook a try. I think you’ll be glad you did!) You can write all sorts of notes, tips, hopes and dreams, or inventory items in your notebook. It can be as simple or complex as you like. The following list provides suggestions for the types of things you might focus on year by year:
- Adding new crops: It’s easy to fall into a habit when it comes to gardening ideas. You plant what you like to eat. However, it’s not only good for your health to try new crops, it’s good for your soil, too.
- Amending the soil: I focus on sections of my garden year by year regarding soil amendment. Each year, I pour on some composted chicken droppings and bedding, as well as other compost that I keep in a separate bin. Every year, I focus on a separate soil area, which I find easier and less stressful than trying to amend the soil in a whole garden at once.
- Beautification: One year’s focus might be to add some pretty flowers,which is also good for pollination and to keep bad pests away. You might also add some stones, a fence or other garden decor that gives your garden a unique flare.
- Pest management: Do you search for gardening ideas that do not involve using chemicals? If so, you may be interested in learning more about integrated pest management. This style of gardening is all about learning to maintain a healthy balance between the good bugs and the bad bugs in your garden.
The best gardening ideas often come from trial and error. Start small, perhaps just a few potted plants, then add to your garden every year. Keep it small if that’s how you like it and focus on a different issue or improvement with each new season. Your gardening ideas might include fruit, vegetables, flowers or herbs. Even a few garden tomatoes, peas, peppers, onions or lettuce heads are better than no home-grown food at all. There’s nothing like cooking with herbs you snipped fresh from your own plants!
Gardening ideas that reach beyond the crops
I love to pray in my garden. In fact, I find gardening to be quite symbolic of our relationship with God. A gardener plants a seed, waters it and nurtures it as it grows. A loving Father in heaven does the same for us. Just as I pull weeds to keep my plants strong and healthy, so too does God prune the “bad stuff” from my heart. Spending time working in a garden puts us in touch with our Creator. It allows us to grow food that provides nourishment to our families. Being outdoors in the bright sunshine has many healthful benefits, as well. It’s good for the soul.
Do you have gardening ideas to share? What will you focus on this year?