Gardening to Help With Anxiety
I have always considered myself to have a black thumb. It always seemed like I couldn’t maintain a plant at all. They always seemed to die under my care. I don’t know if it was my enthusiasm to water them or if I gave them too much or not enough light, but it just never seemed to work outlet with me and my plants. But even knowing all this, I still wanted to start a vegetable garden. I wanted a little plot in my yard where I could grow things that we could eat and to know that I was eating something I cultivated and cared for lovingly for my family to enjoy.
So I built a little raised bed. I sprouted a sweet potato and an onion in my kitchen from scraps and when they had enough of a root system, I planted them in my bed. This was a few months back. I go outside and weed the bed. I water my little plants and add fertilizer at regular intervals. I also decided to start a composting bin because why throw out all those scraps of food when I capfuls be using them to eventually add to my soil and feed my plants? So I took a bin that was not in use, drilled holes all over and threw some dirt, yard clippings and have been feeding it my kitchen scraps and coffee grinds.
Fast forward to today and my composting bin is all full of worms feeding off my scraps and making nutrient rich soil for my plants that have grown quite large and are producing sweet potatoes and onions. I’ve already pared down my green onion stalks to use for my reipes, and it’s amazing how delicious and proud I was at the fact that one of my ingredients was home grown. I’ve also created a second bed and planted tomato’s, garlic, and a few herbs and I am also sprouting lettuce, spinach, broccoli and carrots.
What I have learned recently is that my gardening is good for me, beyond the nutritional aspects, it helps to calm me and keep me grounded. I had always heard that gardening is good for that but never understood how being out in the hot sun on your hands and knees working in your garden could be good for you. Well, it is. You see, my husband has been away on a business trip since April 3rd. He’s not due to come back until the 28tb and just this ost week the kids had been going crazy. I have been anxious and depressed. My house was a mess and my kids (particularly the 4 year old) had been uncooperative. So last week I said let’s go! We’re going to our local garden shop, we’re getting the soil I need and I ended up buying some plants on sale, seeds and a starter kit, and I also got playground sand for the kids sandbox that was missing sand. I filled in their sandbox so they could play while I worked and I worked hard in my new box. I had to dig holes, I had to carry heavy bags of soil, and then I had to plant my new plants, water everything and got the starters planted too.
While I worked the kids played. We all did our own thing, which is what we all needed. We needed to be able to do our own things together but separate to not drive each other crazy and suddenly all that time outside brought us closer together and took away all our anxiety
There will be more gardening updates to the blog because I am enjoying this little hobby. As I'm a beginner gardener, I would love tips from you if you have more experience with vegetable gardens, like how do I keep iguana's from eating the leaves off my sweet potato vine (true problem).