Unexpected Garden Therapy
Little did I know that my therapy would come from simply walking outside. Once I take that step into the great outdoors, my spirit comes alive. This heavenly place that I speak of so happens to be in the backyard. Within a multitude of living organisms and plants I found solace and myself. Every individual is unique and requires specific nutrients to flourish. I discovered my love for Gardening several years ago while coping with depression. Never in a million years did I imagine I would have my hands and nails in the dirt, but here I am loving every minute of it. Creating a space that I love and look forward to seeing each day gives me a reason to get out of bed. Taking a seed and making it grow into a healthy and edible or visually stimulating plant gives me a sense of accomplishment in almost a motherly fashion.
For whatever ailment you care to nourish, I would strongly recommend starting a garden. It would be wise to check with your local garden store as to what plants or crops are best to plant during that particular season. You can also grow your plants according to your zone. Check what growing zone you are in here.
How to start a garden....
- Get yourself a medium sized pot (can be found at your Local Garden Stores, Dollar Stores or places like Lowes/Home Depot).
- I recommend you start with tomato seeds or pepper seeds (these have worked well for me in the past).
- Take one of your pots and add soil up to the very top. Poke a 1-3 inch hole (depending on the type of seeds you have).
- Take a ripe tomato, cut in half and squeeze out the seeds. You can rinse and drain them if you wish but I normally don’t do this step.
- Add your fresh squeezed tomato/pepper seeds in the soil. (I would add 1/2 of the seeds of a Cherry Tomato or just a few 3-4 seeds from a pepper). Cover your seeds with soil.
- Add enough water to make the soil moist but not soaking wet.
- Place in a sunny area. This could be a window sill, table or the yard but be careful with pets as they can trample your little pot. Tomatoes LOVE sunlight so make sure to give them plenty of sun.
- In just a short time (approximately 1 week) you should see little leaves popping out of the soil.
- As the plant grows make sure to upgrade the pot to a larger size.
- When your plant reaches 8-10 inches I would begin to stake them. You can buy some at the places referenced above or you can use branches. This is my preferred method.
- To tie your tomatoes down, look for a tall branch and stick right in the soil next to your plant. Use twine or other gentle flexible material to gently and loosely tie down your plant to your stake or branch.
- Staking provides stability for your tomato vine as it gets heavier as it grows.
- Another trick I learned from Youtube growers is to pinch off the bottom leaves near the ground. This help keep pests off.
- Once you see yellow blossoms develop this means you will soon get tomatoes.
- Once the tomatoes develop and grow it will start to change in color (depending on the tomato variety).
- If you like green tomatoes you should use them before they ripen.
- To harvest tomatoes simply pinch off or use gardening clippers for minimal damage.
- Congrats! now you can say you have grown your own food. Make sure to wash, dry and enjoy your tomatoes!