Spring Gardening Tips

Spring has arrived and with it, the heightened desire to get into the garden to start planting. The warmth of the sun, the freshness in the air and seeing new growth coming up every day inspires most people to get into their gardens.

This article is going to provide you with some useful spring gardening tips that come from two angles. First of all, let’s discuss some ideas on what to plant that can benefit your health.

Edible Gardening

You may have heard the term edible gardening, more and more people are turning to their gardens as a source of fresh herbs and food. If you have the space to grow vegetables, then it makes sense. Even if you live in an apartment or have limited space, container gardening is very popular and can keep you eating fresh healthy greens all summer long.

Don’t know what to plant? Here are some quick tips to help you decide.

  • Grow what you like to eat. If you like beets, then growing these from seed is easy (remember, beet leaves are also very nutritious to eat).
  • Be sure to grow herbs or vegetables that are well-suited for this area.
  • We live near Ontario’s salad bowl, the Holland Marsh. Fresh produce (especially carrots and onions) is available from the farmers there at very affordable prices; so choose other produce to grow.
  • Get a soil pH kit from a nursery and do a little homework in order to be successful. Vegetables thrive in a variety of soils and trying to grow alkaline veggies such as endive, cucumber or leeks in acidic soil is going to set you up for failure. (This chart is a reliable source to learn what is acidic and what is alkaline.)
  • Also be sure to do some homework in regards to sunlight. Where you plan on gardening, is it full or part sun? Some veggies do not thrive in full sun – and some prefer cooler temperatures and do best in early spring or late summer (i.e., peas, some lettuces).
  • If you choose to grow in containers, remember to keep in mind that you will have to replenish nutrients often into the soil because container gardening removes nutrients at a much more rapid rate than in the ground.
  • Google companion gardening; for example, marigolds help tomatoes stay pest-free while growing.

By planting an edible garden, your body will reap the goodness of all the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and nutrients that you can’t get from store-bought produce.

So, now you have an idea about what to garden, now to start. If you have any health ailments please be sure to speak to your health professional. Getting into the garden may seem like a simple task, but if you suffer from an injury or have arthritis, then you may be facing some challenges. For example:

  • Hauling in fertile soil to start container gardening, or manure to help richen the earth with nutrients can be strenuous work. Know your limitations and when to seek help from a friend or family member. Lifting heavy weights or shoveling earth into a wheelbarrow must be done carefully. Always keep the knees slightly bent and always use your legs to lift; never use your back to lift.
  • Always try to find ways to make gardening much easier on your body; after all, gardening is physical work. If on your knees a lot, be sure to cushion your knees if you suffer from sore knee joints.
  • When container gardening, arrange your containers where you want them to be, then fill them up with earth.
  • Always be sure to play it safe; never leave your rakes or other garden implements on the ground. If you forget about them, you could end up tripping over them and hurting yourself.
  • If it is hot out, know your limitations. Drink lots of water and take breaks.
  • If you have arthritis or any other health issue, be sure to use garden tools that will help you such as long-handled tools. These will allow you to stand so you can avoid stooping over.
  • Let your stronger joints do the work whenever possible. Even when something may not be that heavy to lift, instead of using your fingers, use the flat palm of your hand or your forearms to lift. Keep the lifted items close to your body as you carry them. Stand or sit with good posture while you work; and change positions often.

There you have it! Comprehensive spring gardening tips you’ll find valuable. If you have arthritis or painful joints from an injury, and are not sure about gardening, give Chiro-Med Rehab Centre a call. Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has a walk-in clinic conveniently located at 10144 Yonge Street, just north of Major MacKenzie Drive in the heart of Richmond Hill.Call 905-918-0419 for more information.

March 10, 2014
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