Retirement is the ideal time to start thinking about how you can adapt your way of life to be more beneficial to your mental and physical health. Gardening is a great activity to start learning – not only does it encourage people to eat more fresh produce, but the act of growing and maintaining a garden is a natural stress reliever for the body. There is an irreplaceable feeling of achievement that comes with growing and consuming your own fresh produce – what better reason to give it a try?
Anyone can grow their own vegetable garden. As long as you have a good patch of soil and some plants/vegetable seeds, you’re ready to go. Vegetable plants don’t actually require too much maintenance – but neglecting them can be detrimental. Although there are plenty of fertilisers that can be purchased for growing plants, it’s best to stick to natural methods and use organic produce to encourage growth, such as compost. This helps to enhance the soil’s health, making it more fertile and enriching it with vital nutrients. Keeping soil topped up with organic produce will improve its conditions for growing seeds.
The location of your vegetable garden is vital; it should be placed so that it can receive sufficient sunlight, but also close enough to a water source. You should ensure that your vegetable plants are watered two to three times per week. It’s also important to actively take measures to protect your vegetables from too much sunlight – this can be done by planting taller succulents that can provide shade. Similarly, in particularly cold conditions, you need to consider how you’re going to protect your crops from ice and frost.
Rather than planting crops in traditional rows which wastes valuable growing space, intensive planting is a popular growing method in home vegetable patches. Being both sustainable and better for the environment, this method uses less resources and makes use of natural materials, with seeds being planted in close proximity to each other.
Keeping the harvest going continuously is an effective way to make the most of growing space. The best way to do this is to spread out the planting of seeds, rather than planting them all at once. Planting weekly will allow you to ensure that you’re using what’s in season at that time, and you’ll also be able to keep on top of each plant’s growing process more easily. It’s especially important to start slowly if you’re new to gardening, as it can become overwhelming if you’re having to nurture several plants at one time.