AVANT GARDEN

House & Home

COVID-19 caught us all by surprise, but at least it’s given us a chance to take this time to learn a new skill or two at home. With so much time on our hands, gardening has grown in popularity. Some people have even begun to grow food in their own backyards. And others have found peace in the simple act of keeping their gardens or small plants (for those living the apartment life) beautifully cared for.

Gardening provides numerous benefits, particularly during this time. Not only does gardening provide a means of physical activity while being quarantined in your own home, but it also provides a learning experience, a family activity, a science lesson for the little ones, and best of all, pretty things and/or healthy food. Shopping at grocery stores is essential, of course, because not everything grows on trees. But with time and patience, gardening can help reduce the number of trips to the store for smaller items and can also help you save money.

If you’re thinking about starting your own quarantine garden, begin with a realistic goal. Figure out the first step you can accomplish this week—maybe it’s picking a location for a raised bed or surfing through Walmart’s Garden Centre to order soil and fertilizer or choosing which seeds you want to plant. Even in a small space, there’s plenty of garden faves that can be grown in containers, including peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and herbs.

Regardless of where you plant your garden, it’s prime planting time, and seeds are sprouting in no time! Beans, cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumbers, okra, squash, and zucchini can all be planted by seed outdoors between now and mid-June. Eggplant and pepper transplants also do well when planted during the same time frame.

Gardening is an ongoing experiment. Get comfortable with it and figure out what works in your home. You’ll have lots of moments of trial and error, but that’s the best way to learn. Even if you doubt that something will sprout, plant it anyways; it could still be a huge success!

Don’t forget to enjoy the process and keep growing good vibes . . .  that’s what it’s all about!

~ Pankaj

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