Allotment Diary

How gardening will help get us through the Corona virus

dot dot dot – In my opinion.

Everywhere I look, it feels like the race (to an unknown finish line) is on because of the corona virus outbreak… And with uncertainty behind each corner, there’s one constant that’s getting me through. Gardening.

Why turn to gardening

I’m not afraid to admit it – but I’m feeling the pressure exerted by the media coverage of COVID 19. I’m monitoring proceedings where/when I can and I can only describe the coverage as bombardment.

I don’t want to take away or undermine the effects of this seemingly unknown viral outbreak, but I do feel that current recovery rate is disproportionately under-reported and as a result has lead to mass panic.

There’s nothing more scary than a steeping, red line on a graph.

At the end of each day, I’m left asking myself questions like, “have we got enough food?””is it true we’ll need all this toilet paper?” and/or “what happens if we can’t leave our home?”

All of this upheaval can leave one feeling a little bit wound up, highly strung, down in the dumps or whatever metaphor you wish to use.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to do at least one gardening related activity a day – anything from cleaning pots to digging over a patch of ground – to help improve ones wellbeing.

So far, I’m finding it’s paying dividends – not only is it slowing things down a bit, but it’s taking my mind away from the panic, acting as a sort of recovery time if you will… It’s also giving me time to think and make my own judgements, and hopefully think a bit more rationally whilst the rest of the world falls apart (probably).

If you’re facing self-isolation, I would definitely recommend looking into gardening in some sort of capacity, be it reading a book, or even recycling containers and resources around you to get that window box up and running.

Gardening during self isolation

You don’t need a lot of space to do any gardening – a windowsil or a porch will do.

You also don’t need that much equipment either. I would probably say to get started you need a container of some sort – anything that can hold water or soil, (for example an empty tin, fruit punnet, mushroom container, empty greek yoghurt pot, even toilet rolls), seeds or a cutting and water.

You also don’t need much in the way of technical expertise either… soil goes into pot, seeds go onto top of soil – soil covers seeds, water and repeat. That’s all that’s really involved.

A bit of sunlight here, a bit of heat there and within 5-7 days (which is half the isolation period) you’ll start seeing some movement.

If you have a garden or an allotment, those efforts are probably amplified ten fold, which will for sure show results in no time.

I’ve been taking a little and often approach to my gardening activities, and I’ve literally been conducting activities with clear goals in mind and goals that are no bother to achieve.

For instance, this week I was face with a cumbersome quandary over what to do with with some pallet bases and how I could use them. In the end, I ended up cutting them in half and used them to create a new longer bed.

Gardening and growing your own is not only great for your own well being, but it will also show some long term benefits – in the fact that it will relieve pressure on the shops and available resources.

Matt from Grow Like Grandad – is urging those who can to start digging up their lawn, and #GrowYourOwnaForCorona in his latest article, and I agree with his sentiments. He’s detailed a quick run down on easy things to grow and when to get you started, so check it out. H

This is all re-enforcing my belief that, I think there’s an opportunity to be had here. Those who like the idea of gardening, but have never tried it should take this opportunity by the horns and look into where they can start growing their own food and where.

I think the time is now and we should Get Growing. Would love to know your thoughts in the comments below.

4 replies on “How gardening will help get us through the Corona virus”

Your allotment is looking good Adam! I found myself outside in the garden today building a new compost bin, preparing a new bed, sowing seeds. Just being outside and focussed on the new growing season is a really helpful distraction right now, and to be able to grow some fruit and veg and be even a little bit more self reliant makes it seem far more fulfilling. It’s something to put energy into, something to get excited about, and I’m finding that really helpful just now. Thank you for this post!

Ah thank you! It’s lacking a few plants here and there and this is soon to change in the next 24 hours. Being surrounded by gardening and visiting the allotment, is acting like a rest bite from it all. I’m glad to hear you’re getting out growing stuff I’d love to know what you’re growing 🙂 I really do people should think about growing their own, even if it’s just a pot or two – everything can help.

I ended up sowing peppers, tomatoes, basil, onions and garlic chives. Plus comfrey, and also planted some wild garlic bulbs that I’d bought in a pot (I hear they like to spread…). Also sowed some seeds specifically for wildflowers for the bees, I’m really looking forward to seeing more wildlife in the garden as well. It’s also really nice to see the new green shoots on the fruit trees and perennial plants too, like the raspberries (similar to your photos above). I do hope you continue to be able to get down to your allotment!

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