Have you been spending more time outdoors as the weather gets nicer?

We might have had a bit of a wet Bank Holiday weekend this time around but, as they say, it was lovely weather for plants!

This month is Mental Health Awareness month and, as the theme of 2021 is ‘Nature’, we’re getting out and about in our very own back gardens to appreciate what the great outdoors has to offer.

Did you know 80% of those in a recent study reported better mental health as a result of taking part in a therapeutic gardening session, with 93% reporting a boost to their confident and motivation too?

It’s true! Another poll of 144 gardeners saw mental health benefits ranking as the second biggest reason to get green-fingered, just behind recreation.

If you’re new to gardening, keep reading for the best advice on how to get started with cultivating new life outside…

Gimme space!

When you’re starting your brand-new gardening venture, it might be tempting to get as many seeds and sprouts planted as possible for maximum benefit – but you might risk having a small jungle on your hands not too long after!

Give your new plants plenty of room to breath and grow. You can always add to your collection down the line if an area looks like it needs bulking out, or you have a bald patch to cover, but it’d be heart-breaking to have to chop back or remove perfectly healthy plants because you were a bit too overzealous in the first instance!

Fail to plan = plan to fail

For first time gardeners, it can be hard to visualise what your bulbs and small plant-lings are going to look like once they’re flourished into full bloom.

Why not sketch out a design of what you’d like the finished product to look like before you start digging? Or perhaps just place your bulbs and young plants on the surface of the soil before you break ground to get an idea of what it might look like in the months to come.

You can’t over-label!

When you’re starting a new garden venture, you might think all the work to be done is of the green fingered kind. Not necessarily! It’s so easy to forget what you’ve planted and where – and with the differing requirements of each type of plant to consider, it’s a good idea to keep a track!

Most garden centre plants will come with labels for your seedings and such which can be a big help down the line! Alternatively, you can pick up blank labels and permanent markets pretty cheaply at most places that sell plants.

 

This blog post is the first in a series in support of Mental Health Awareness month this May.

If you’re struggling with mental ill health, don’t suffer in silence.

Call Samaritans 116 123
Text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258 or ‘YM’ if you’re under 19

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