January in the Garden
Welcome to this month’s newsletter. Now is a great time to think about your goals and plan this year’s garden. I’ve redesigned my kitchen garden for optimum production, created a plant list of species that will provide multi-functional benefits including biodiversity and have started implementing my plan.
This month, I share tips and resources to help you with your goals; gardening guides to make it easy; ways to garden in just five minutes; keep garden records; moon planting and what to do in your garden in subtropical Queensland. Plus I announce the winner of my Live Chat Garden Consultation. Dig in!
Garden Goals for 2021
We are living in very uncertain times with many suffering from stress and health issues. One of the simplest ways we can empower ourselves is to grow food and medicine in our own well-designed garden. I urge you to consider prioritising your garden this year. If it’s been low on your radar, maybe NOW is the time to take positive action rather than procrastinate. Consider how you can make space for spending time IN your garden to expand its value.
In 2020, there was huge pressure on seed and garden supplies, food shortages in supermarkets and farmers trying to navigate new regulations to transport their produce. I believe food security begins at home – in our garden and pantry. Taking responsibility for what we eat and producing at least some of our own needs is vital to living more sustainably.
If the stresses of life or health issues are weighing you down, spending time gardening is a scientifically researched* way to improve these outcomes. A review of many studies* has found our diets improve through healthier eating; connection to nature** helps relieve mental fatigue; while physical exercise and psychological health improve, amongst other benefits.
Plant Life Balance ambassador and researcher Dr Dominique Hes says “Being able to see plants or be surrounded by them can be an effective mechanism of dealing with stress. Experts say tending to plants can be one of the most accessible and simplest ways to engage in mindfulness.”
* Soga, Masashi, Gaston, Kevin J., Yamaura, Yuichi, Gardening is beneﬁcial for health: A meta-analysis, Preventive Medicine Reports (2016)
** Kaplan, S., 1995. The restorative benefits of nature: toward an integrative framework. J. Environ. Psychol. 15, 169–182.
Gardening Guides to Get you Growing
Healthcare can be expensive so doesn’t it make sense to learn how to save money and improve health by growing and eating nutrient-dense food and herbs? These are some tools to help you.
- Follow my Easy Food Gardening Guide for Beginners if you’re just getting started.
- Dig into my detailed ‘how-to’ Guide to Using Kitchen Herbs for Health if you want to optimise growing a herb garden for both the kitchen and healing medicinal purposes.
- Keen to try growing baby leaf herbs and vegetables indoors? The Microgreens Growing Guide Chart has 28 varieties to get you started.
- Discover 3 Tips for Planning this Year’s Garden.
- Not sure what herbs and medicinal plants to add to your garden? The Herb and Medicinal Growing Guide provides a fantastic summary of 72 plants to grow.
- Been gardening a while but sick of ‘hit and miss’ results? Try adjusting the timing of your planting activities by following a Moon Calendar. You’ll wish you’d done it sooner!