Now that spring is just around the corner, it's time to start getting your garden ready! Especially now, as more people are at home, why not take up a hobby that is beneficial to both you and the earth.
Regardless of if your home can support a garden or not, you can still find ways to show off your green thumb. Try finding a local community garden or even grow an herb garden or smaller plants in a window or on a balcony/patio. If your low on space, you can try a vertical garden! Seeds and baby plants are cheap, and if your garden flourishes, you will save time and money.
Why is Gardening Good for the Environment?
You may think your personal garden is not making any difference but it is. It is a collective effort to increase green space in our environment and encourage conversations about the impact of commercial food production. Research in the UK actually found the "at-home gardens make up a quarter of the plants/tree in non-forest environments". Does not matter if a garden is for food or is purely aesthetic, they both can benefit the environment.
We all know that global warming is the topic of so many conspiracy theories but here is a basic break down:
Yes, the world has natural heating and cooling cycles. The earth is naturally warming but at a much faster rate due to human activity. Greenhouse gases like CO2, that release into the atmosphere, trap heat and make it hard to escape. The ocean and trees/plants absorb CO2 and recycle it into the environment. As we continue to cut down tree and take away green spaces - there is nothing left to absorb the excess CO2. Where does gardening fit into this? WELL planting trees and plants is the first step! MORE GREEN=MORE ABSORPTION and more oxygen. Plants help to regulate this cycle and keep the earths climate stable.
Not only do plants help regulate CO2 and increase Oxygen in our atmosphere, they also support wildlife preservation by providing a habitat for wildlife. And did I mention, look pretty!
In cities, rooftop gardens are a must! Decreasing the amount of black or dark rooftops is essential to decreasing the amount of sunlight that is absorbed and trapped. Plants will absorb the light and light-colored spaces will reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it, also called albedo.
Gardening and Commercial Food Production:
Being able to grow your own food is s great way to do your part in decrease the demand of commercially grown food. The food industry has taken over most of our previously "wild" spaces and is on its way to over-cultivation. Not everyone has the means to grow their own food, but you can support local farmers by visiting farmers markets or you can use services like Imperfect Foods which will deliver "unwanted but still good" produce right to your door.
Getting your Garden Ready:
Not all gardens have to be edible. Growing food is just one way to practice your hand at gardening. Purely aesthetic reasoning is a totally viable reason to start a garden, it is still contributing to increasing green space and wildlife preservation.
If you're planting a garden for looks -- consider planting native plants, they will be more easy to manage and will benefit local wildlife.
Think about where you want to put it considering factors like sunlight, water, weather, etc. and which plants will thrive in certain conditions.
Herbs are easy! Plants like mint, basil and chives grow great in indoor and outdoor spaces. The most important thing is patience -- listen to your plant, if the soil is completely dry and it looks droopy, it probably needs to be watered. But also do your research at talk to workers at local nurseries and shops!
It's always a great feeling when you see something grow that you cared for, and even better when you get to eat it.