Planting in a garden burns calories in 45 minutes, weeding burns calories in the same amount of time. Just five minutes of gardening exercise in the great outdoors can noticeably improve mood and self-esteem. Gardening can support physical rehabilitation by retraining muscles and improving strength and coordination, according to the American Horticultural Therapy Association. High-quality landscaping can speed the sale of a home by an estimated six weeks.
Even a small garden can increase the appeal and value of your home to prove lucrative in the future. Here are some other lawn care service tips.
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Similarly, the health benefits of gardening and landscaping abound. For many people, gardening provides the opportunity to burn calories, connect with nature, and relieve stress—all without the hassle or cost of a gym membership. When cultivating a vegetable garden, the fruits of your labors can improve your health in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables, straight to your table. Gardening with eco-friendly goals in mind can greatly benefit the environment.
Currently, there are more than 40 million acres of lawns throughout the US.
It can take gallons of fresh water per person per day to keep our lawns lush and green. Gardening can also help to cut down on household waste with the use of a compost bin, instead of sending coffee grounds, eggshells, and vegetable scraps to a landfill. Turning food scraps into compost is a cornerstone of organic gardening. Mulch is another organic gardening technique. This blanket buries and protects seeds and can also be spread around larger plants. This gives the plants a huge advantage and also protects the soil microbes around them that form the vital basis of the ecosystem. A healthy soil food web creates the best conditions for soil and plant health and is better for the environment.
But how much do you remember about this process integral to plant life? In the process of photosynthesis, plants capture energy from the sun and convert it to chemical energy. This conversion takes place as a plant uses water and carbon dioxide from the air, along with sunlight and chlorophyll, to produce water, oxygen, and glucose.
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Within the photosynthesis cycle, plants produce carbohydrates for our nourishment and oxygen for our survival. This process illustrates how humans and plants are dependent on each other for life. Plants use photosynthesis to provide us with the oxygen we need to breathe. We humans exhale carbon dioxide required by plants to start the process all over again. Save for a small amount of energy derived from nuclear sources, all energy on earth comes from the sun and plants through photosynthesis.
The process of photosynthesis is further explored in the study of horticulture. Horticulture focuses on plant production and cultivation, for both functionality and aesthetics. Horticulture includes fruits, vegetables, turf grass, and ornamental plants grown in garden centers, golf courses, parks, and fields. A horticulturist may use their knowledge of plant life to improve plant cultivation regarding quality, growth, yield, nutrition, and insect and disease resistance.
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A horticulturist may work as a scientist, advisor, therapist, grower, designer, gardener, or landscaper. A basic knowledge of horticulture can support your love of gardening. As you get more advanced in your hobby, you can further study horticulture in a number of applications—the use of plants for food and medicine, the cultivation of ornamental plants and trees, the process of landscape restoration and plant conservation, and much more.
Gardens come in all shapes and sizes, like:. Container Garden A simplified version of a beginner garden; plants can be cultivated in planters, wheelbarrows, cinderblocks, or barrels in small backyards or urban areas. Family Garden A multipurpose, backyard play area designed for families with children; the perfect place to unwind or play on the weekend.
Flower Garden Cultivated for the purpose of pleasure and beauty; compared to a vegetable garden, a flower garden requires much more care and maintenance. Herb Garden An ideal garden style for an avid gardener or cook; can be used to cultivate perennial and annual cooking herbs in a backyard garden or window box. Japanese Garden Primarily cultivated for the purpose of art, scenery, and beauty; traditional Japanese gardens contain miniature, abstract gardens modeled after gardens found in Buddhist temples.
Organic Garden Cultivated strictly without pesticides or other inorganic materials; an organic garden thrives on compost to reduce waste. Raised Garden Plants or flowers can be cultivated in raised flower boxes in areas with poor soil; raised garden boxes can also be used for aesthetic appeal in any garden. Roof Gardens Ideal for cultivation in an urban area with limited space; roof gardens are primarily decorative and can provide benefits in sustainability, temperature control, and recreation.
Vegetable Garden Considered the most common type of garden; the average food garden size in the US is ft.
Water Garden Combines the best of both worlds in gardening and landscaping; modern water gardens cut costs with DIY landscaping additions like preformed pools and flexible liners to cultivate water plants. The beauty of gardening is that you can make each concept unique. You can also combine several primary garden styles to create a new landscape, like an organic rooftop herb and vegetable garden. Decide between annuals and perennials.
Select specialty plants wisely. Depending on where you live, you may need to hand-pick plants that will survive in your area. Examples include drought-resistant, deer- resistant, or salt-tolerant plants. Choose the right season Flowers are best planted in a garden on or after the last predicted spring frost date; some bulbs can survive a frost if they are planted in the fall.
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Vegetable planting will also depend on season, unless you plant a year-round vegetable like beets, celery, fennel, onions, spinach, or potatoes. Consider light conditions. Consider full growth dimensions. Get to know your soil. Soil can be fertilized with compost; specific plant types require specific soil environments.
Landscaping and gardening have a long list of benefits
Start slowly and plant more year after year. Last year, my 4-year-old daughter and I spent some time learning about what plants need to grow. Our conclusion? Soil, water, sun, care, and time. If this is your first year gardening, you have a few options available to you.
You can purchase and add top soil, compost, peat moss, and other amendments straight into your new containers or garden beds. This is an easy solution, and will leave you with light and workable soil. The main downside of this approach is the cost. The other cheaper option is to dig straight into the ground. To go this route, you will want to:. Over-watering leads to plants with shallow, immature root systems, incapable of reaching down deeply to find water of their own.
It also creates more work for you, as your plants will come to depend on regular watering. Be sure to keep your watering only to mornings and evenings. Watering that is done in the afternoon will quickly evaporate before the plants have a chance to get what they need. Try to water before 10am and after 4 or 5pm, or even later. The ideal garden location will offer your plants a good hours of direct sunlight.
When selecting a spot for your new garden, this is one of the most important factors to keep in mind. However, some plants are more shade-tolerant and others are more sun-loving.
Even gardeners without a full sun location can grow a very respectable and varied amount of food! Yes, this is the part where I tell you that you need to weed your garden. You knew it was coming, right? Best bets are homemade compost, or composted manure from a trusted source like a local, ecological farmer.
When to fertilize? Some key times are building up the soil before planting, and during important stages of development, like once your plants are a few inches tall before they really take off, or when they first start to set out flowers or fruits.
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Learn how long each plant needs to grow to maturity, what time of year it should be planted early spring or summer, or even fall , and when to begin your seedlings. Knowing these details is the difference between a successful and unsuccessful garden. Make it easier by creating a garden binder or notebook, where you record these kinds of details.
You can sketch it out by hand, or use free gardening software.