TL;DR : Gardening is an awesome activity for all ages but sometimes if you take on a project that is too difficult or time consuming you can get discouraged. Learning how to correctly estimate your resources (especially time) and capabilities will help you avoid many aggravating mistakes. There are things to think about and to plan in order to make the most of your gardening experience before even setting a foot in your backyard.
So we’ve already been over the fact that gardening is an fun activity you won’t have trouble fitting into a busy schedule because you don’t have to do everything at once. You can start at whatever pace you want, you can plan to grow big or to grow small. You can even limit yourself to balcony gardening or to square foot gardening. For those interested: square foot gardening is the practice of dividing the growing area into small square sections. This is what it looks like. It’s a fun way of gardening if you want your backyard to be neat and clean.
If you’re not really sure about your ability to garden start small and take on small projects like growing a few easy flowers or herbs until you gain some confidence. Don’t worry you’ll be a great gardener in no time if you apply yourself.
So take your time and only tackle what you are ready for. By gardening even a total of a few hours per week, you can still get a lot done and harvest some unexpected benefits. If you only want to grow a few plants in containers at first that’s no problem, you’ll soon see that you are ready to take more on.
But before starting any of this know that there are a few things you can do before setting out that will help you make the most out of your gardening experience.
How to make the most of your gardening experience
To make the most of your gardening experience, we think you should take into account the following ideas.
Don’t overdo it
One of the problems you are most likely to encounter is overestimating your motivation and the time you have available, or underestimating the time needed for the projects you are getting yourself into. Starting hundreds of seedlings might seem a pretty easy task. After all, putting a few seeds in a pot with some water isn’t very time consuming is it? Well, these seeds will grow into seedlings, that you will have to plant in larger pots (or directly in your garden). These seedlings will become plants that you will have to water, weed, prune, … So if you’re just starting, start small with a few easy plants or you might become overwhelmed.
Set your intent before you go into the garden
If you’re expecting to feeling energized after gardening you should definitely not feel all sulky about gardening. Your attitude has everything to do with how much you’ll benefit from gardening. You should definitely see gardening as a time you can relax, have fun, leave your preoccupations behind, socialize or spend quality time with your family, your friends or your spouse. If you set off thinking you’re going to have a great time you it will have a positive impact on the outcome.
Relax, get in a positive state of mind
If you want to relax think of gardening as if you were doing yoga or meditation. That is, do not accept any interruptions while you are spending a little time outside. Leave your phone and your worries inside. If you want to totally relax, actually, you might want to leave everyone in the house. Just concentrate on what you are doing.
Step into your backyard and enter a totally new world. Stand straight, stretch, take 3 deep breaths and you’re ready to go!
Remember, it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. Weeding can be a great deal of fun when you’re on all fours and you allow yourself to feel the roots being uprooted as they come out of the soil. You’ve probably already heard gardeners say they just love pulling weeds: many of us find pulling weeds very soothing and relaxing. Pulling weeds in the morning while you’re getting your bearings or in the evening after a long day’s work will do wonders to the mind. At least that’s what I’ve discovered.
Prepare your tools beforehand
Quickly think of the tools you are going to need for the task at hand and then only take the ones you really need with you. Once more, don’t get carried away (you’ll see this is repeated often, but it is only because it is so important).
Do not multitask
Rather, select one area to work on. Don’t let your mind play tricks on you and tell you that you can do a little weeding, planting, and pruning—and somehow you’ll get it all done. You might end up feeling frustrated and disheartened if you try to get too many things done in such a short period of time. Set small goals until you know exactly how much you can tackle. Try only gardening on a small part of your garden with just a few different plants until you know you can handle more. If you’re a very busy person this is very important or you might just end up abandoning your garden because it gets too time-consuming.
Concentrate on the gardening at hand
If you find your mind wandering and thinking about the ‘things you need to do’, pull it back and simply focus on what you’re doing. If you’re pulling weeds and are thinking of the errands you need to do before going to work, gently return your mind to the weeding at hand or you’ll stress yourself out. Try to make gardening as relaxing as possible, you’ll have time to think about your errands later.
Don’t forget about all that sunlight you’re getting from spending time in the garden, you might end up feeling not only great, but proud of your nice tanned and healthy skin !
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Thank you for reading!