Gardens benefit all: steps to start your spring garden now

Jacki Petrow, Layout Editor

Traceable back to the beginning of settled human societies, gardening has been refined in the modern era to fit the needs and resources of a diverse population. According to an article from the University of North Carolina Health Care Website, gardening has a plethora of positive effects, including reducing anxiety and depression as well as increasing levels of happiness. So for those with the time and resources, taking up this hobby is a wonderful experience. 

Step 1: Find a Space

Before planting a garden, it is necessary to establish an available location which satisfies all of a garden’s demands. Some fundamental requirements might include a large enough space, adequate lighting, and soil. For those that don’t have easy access to land that works, businesses and local institutions with free land may be willing to let someone plant a garden on their property. Or another option would be to get involved with a group like Ecology club or Green Bellevue, as both groups maintain gardens in the community.

Step 2: Gather Materials

Like many hobbies, gardening requires access to materials necessary for its implementation and care. Seeds, a hose or watering can, soil, and shovels and other tools are all appropriate for a beginning gardener. With these requirements fulfilled, a garden can be created.

Step 3: Start Sprouts

The next step is to start your sprouts. This consists of planting the seeds in soil, often indoors, and caring for them until it’s time to plant outdoors. \This can be done multiple ways, and it’s possible to start some seeds outdoors (depending on the plant). Some people may skip this step entirely if they buy the plants young instead of starting them from seed. Any specific instructions for each plant should be on the back of the seed package, and, of course, there are additional tips available on the internet. 

Step 4: Planting and Care

Once the sprouts are old enough to be brought outside, they can be planted in the designated space. Taking care to lower them to an appropriate depth into the ground, plant and water the seedlings. Regular care of the garden after planting is essential for a successful product. Whether someone is growing flowers, food, or just natural grasses and plants, watering the appropriate amount–especially during dry spells–is key. It’s also important to weed any invasive growth and just generally keep an eye on the health of the plants.

Step 5: Harvest

The last and most rewarding part of caring for a garden is the harvest. Now this may only apply to fruit or vegetable gardens, unless someone picks the flowers from their flower garden, but for those that have the honor of picking fresh food, the experience is phenomenal. In addition to the wonderful taste of fresh food, it can be surprisingly satisfying to get a usable product from a great deal of work.

Overall, gardening is absolutely an investment of time and energy, but well worth the effort for all of the positive benefits to a person’s life. Good luck to any that choose to undertake this project this spring, and happy planting!