10 Reason why gardening is awesome!

Last week, National Gardening Weekย just passed us by.

What better excuse than to sit back and reflect on why I love gardening and why we should all be doing it in some sort of capacity, whether it’s tending to indoor plants, a window box or a garden.

Here’ are my 10 reasons why gardening is awesome!

Gardening is exerciseย 

I’ve always said that my allotment is the best gym in the world. It’s actually cheaper than a gym too. So last year I was part of a gym and I can honestly say I seldom broke that much of sweat, compared to the sweat that I build up at the allotment. The health benefits are well documented from aerobic exercise to improving circulation and lowing blood pressure.

Gardening The Wonderdrug - Physical Health Benefits of Gardening

You get to be creativeย 

Gardening is great way to use plants to brighten up spaces of all different shapes and sizes. You can mix different plants to achieve different colours, heights and shapes. Instagram is great place to aggregate different ideas for your space. There’s also a lot more videos online showing you how to make quirky planters and grow in the smallest of spaces. Get creative! ๐Ÿ™‚

Help the bees

It’s no secret that our bees need a helping hand. The decline in bees over the years is thanks to climate change and industrial farming methods. I’ve always grown up believing that if there are no bees in the world then human kind will cease to exist (or something like that…). It’s only now that big business is starting to think along those lines, with the decline in bees putting global business at risk. I’m hoping to plant some more pollinators at my allotment to help.

Help the environment

The world needs more green spaces and every little helps. Plants release oxygen – everything needs oxygen to survive, therefore plants are good for the environment, it really is that simple. Whether you tend to plants indoors or outdoors, you increasing the quality of your space infinitely by growing plants. They’re also a bit of a focal point in that particular space.

You compost

Composting is easier than ever and you can you compost a lot more than you could. Hot composting and no dig gardens are all the rage and they both involve using biodegradable material straight from the source. Composting reduces the amount going to landfill and you improve the growing conditions of wherever you plan to grow your plants.ย  Compost helps promote good soil nutrients and water retention.

Compost bin

Assists with stress relief

I’m a firm believer that gardening is a great friend if you’re stressed out or if you’ve had a tough time recently. Everything naturally moves at a slower pace which gives you time to think. In my opinion, plants have a very calming effect and that is a good thing. I recently read this fantastic article by the Bohemian Raspberry about how gardening has helped her through some trying times. Check it out here.

You learn about plants

OK, so gardening brings out my geeky side – I’m fascinated by the history of different varieties of plants and vegetables. When it comes to vegetables I’m eager to learn how different varieties work best for different dishes – for instance, Desiree potatoes are meant to make awesome chips and Maris Piper make fantastic roast potatoes.

You learn about the weather and the climate

I’m constantly watching the weather, purely because I’m a fair weather gardener at heart. To go as so far as to say I was fussy wouldn’t be too far from the the truth as well – I like it not too hot or not too cold. Watching of the weather often helps me to make decisions when it comes to planting things, cutting things and sowing things. The conditions have to be just right. For instance, this year I held off from sowing any seeds – and it’s paying off.

If you grow your own – you get food

Going from plot to plate… Is there anything more satisfying or delicious? I follow a simple mantra when it comes to food that’s been passed down to me – it’s not about quantity it’s about quality.ย  Fresh food from your plot really is a treat and you really do taste the difference. You can also educate your pallet and soon find out what’s good and what’s bad. Check out my recipe page to see what I do in the kitchen with my produce.

It’s relatively inexpensive

Gardening really isn’t an expensive hobby. It all starts with one pot, one bag of compost, some seeds and away you go. I love looking at my plants and seeing how they grow – a bit like a hobbit. You can also recycle a lot of your household items which makes gardening even more satisfyingly cheap!

So there we have it! If you garden let me know the reasons why you love it so much in the comments below. If you’re thinking about taking up a new hobby – I hope I’ve convinced you to take the first steps ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Gardening is awesome!

10 Favourite Gardening Buzzfeed videos #4

10 Favourite Gardening Buzzfeed videos #4

Welcome to part 4 of my favourite gardening Buzzfeed videos. I hope they don’t stop making gardening ones!

Gardening Buzzfeed videos are brilliant! Nifty videos cover arts and crafts and Tasty videos cover food and recipes. I’m often watching gardening and outdoor related Buzzfeed Nifty videosย or Buzzfeed Tasty videos via YouTube or Facebook. I think they’re really cool and quick to digest.ย  When it comes to the gardening, the guys at Buzzfeed have produced some fantastic content that involve recycling, creativity and true out of the box thinking.

I’ve started to compile my favourite Buzzfeed videos that I hope you can enjoy. In fact if you’ve tried any of the below – I’d love to see what you’ve been getting up to and what you think of these projects in the comments below.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

DIY Garden bug spray

5 DIY Projects that will help you be more eco-friendly

How to regrow fruit from your kitchen

Easiest vegetables to grow in a small space

Garden crafts you will love to watch grow

Up-cycled colander flower pot

7 Unique ways to spruce up your yard

Built-in cooler patio table

3-in-1 Garden seat

Portable tripod stool

10 Favourite Gardening Buzzfeed videos #3

10 Favourite Gardening Buzzfeed videos #3

It’s part three of my favourite gardening Buzzfeed videos – it’s officially a trilogy. A true embarrassment of riches!

Gardening Buzzfeed videos are brilliant! Nifty videos cover arts and crafts and Tasty videos cover food and recipes. I’m often watching gardening and outdoor related Buzzfeed Nifty videosย or Buzzfeed Tasty videos via YouTube or Facebook. I think they’re really cool and quick to digest.ย  When it comes to the gardening, the guys at Buzzfeed have produced some fantastic content that involve recycling, creativity and true out of the box thinking.

I’ve started to compile my favourite Buzzfeed videos that I hope you can enjoy. In fact if you’ve tried any of the below – I’d love to see what you’ve been getting up to and what you think of these projects in the comments below.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Hanging party hat planters

Magic faucet fountain

In the UK – we call these taps…

15 Ideas for Terra-Cotta Pots

9 Planting projects to brighten up your house

8 Things you can upcycle into planters

11 Ways to reuse items for your garden

How to regrow everything

What’s killing your plants?

6 Ways to protect plants in the winter

7 Easy ways to make flowers last longer

10 ways to reduce plastic consumption in the garden

10 ways to reduce plastic consumption in the garden

Reduce plastic consumption in the garden is an idea that may be getting overlooked.

About two years ago I wrote an article with some ideas on how you can recycle some regular household items at your allotment or in your garden. Fast forward two years and that message has changed from recycle plastic to don’t use plastic in the first place.

Using less plastic is the buzz-phrase of 2018 and I couldn’t agree more. We’ve had the stone age, the bronze age and now we’re in the plastic age. It’s everywhere and there’s no getting rid of it. So it’s understandable why this message has changed.

Speaking from experience, I often hold myself in a high regard environmentally and believe that I’m doing my bit by having an allotment, and I suppose I’m doing more good than bad – but in reality I’m not without plastic sin, like so many others.

I’m in the midst of trying to reduce my plastic consumption in my everyday life and then it got me thinking about the plastic that we use in our gardens and I came to the realisation that the garden is a place whereby we can drastically reduce our plastic consumption the easiest.

So here’s my top 10 suggestions for reducing plastic in the garden or at the allotment.

Ditch plastic labels – replace with wood

Wooden-labels-345x300

I’ll confess, I’ll place a plastic label in the ground identifying plants and crops and I’ll forget about it and find it a year later.

Instead of plastic, we can use wooden labels which in my opinion, look nicer and are biodegradable. As you can see hereย they’re quite reasonably priced. I think eating my weight in Magnums might be more fun than ordering off of Amazon though.

One suggestion would be to sand off the writing and re-use if you’d still like to save yourself a penny or two.

Ditch plastic pots replace with with terracotta

Gosh, whatever happened to the use of terracotta pots. I’ve got dozens of plastic pots at my allotment and hardly any terracotta pots. I’m yet to look or elaborate on the benefits of terracotta over plastic, but the most obvious benefit is the material one. Terracotta smashes, yes, but it eventually breaks down. I think you also get a lot more variety with terracotta posts in terms of design.

Ditch plastic seed trays replace with homemade seed starters

There’s loads online about making you’re own seed starters, which can make for a great alternative to a plastic seed starter tray. The most common and trusted method used by the gardening community is the use of the toilet rolls. Richard from Sharpen Your Spades has also published this easy to follow tutorial about creating using toilet rolls as your seed starters. Check it out here.

Make your own potting compost (or order in bulk)

This tip focuses on eradicating the use of plastic bags at the allotment. There are two ways you can do this. You can make your own potting compost – if you’re not sure on how to do this, then check out Anne’s method from her blog The Micro Gardener. The second method is to order your potting compost in bulk from your local builders merchants or garden centre. It’s a more of a dent to the wallet, but it will last longer than you think. In some cases, you can return the jumbo bag at the builders merchants for re-use.

Avoid polyethylene or Polypropylene based netting

This is a tough nut to crack. Most netting on the market are made from polyethylene. Now polyethylene will biodegrade eventually when put under certain conditions. I’ve done some research online and jute netting can make for a natural alternative, but generally is unlikely to keep the butterflies at bay. So If you can get hold of netting made of cotton like this, then you’re onto a winner.

Use a metal watering can (can plastic watering cans be recycled?)

Yep, this is a pretty obvious one. Metal watering cans will last a lifetime – where as plastic cans can go brittle and eventually shatter.

Replace plastic water butts with metal tanks or drums

Old household water tanks make for great water butts – I never know where you get hold of them other than knowing someone who’s getting a new boiler installed or a local plumber who’s getting rid of one. It might be worth calling your local gas man or plumber to see if they can help out. If you don’t know you local gas man, then look to Ebay or Amazon – you have to love Amazon, because you can buy empty metal oil drums here.

Use a pallet compost bin rather than a plastic one

So plastic compost bins aren’t as bad you think. Most of them are made from recycled plastics – you may even find the plastic recycling code on it too if this is the case. Earth 911 has information about recycling codes if you’re interested. However, there’s no getting away from the fact that they’re plastic. A Pallet compost bin is great and easy alternative to a plastic compost bin.

Ditch the cable tie

As useful as they are and easy to use (and I’m just as guilty as the next person) these little plastic ties are up there with the straw, micro-beads and glitter. You use them once and then throw them away, which is a terrible thing for the environment. I’m not even sure if these are recyclable? Anyway, biodegradable twine or jute will do just the same job as a cable tie.

Make your own bug repellents

This tip is all about using less plastic bottles and sprays. I know what you’re thinking… I’d be buying 4 bottles of something else to make one bottle of repellent. Well it’s not actually the case as the homemade bug sprays can be made out of things you’d probably buy anyway (probably). Anyway, here’s a really good video showing you how to make your own natural bug repellents. Enjoy.

So there we have it – top tips for reducing plastic consumption in the garden.

Do you have any top tips for reducing plastic in the garden? If so, I’d love to hear what they are in the comments below.ย 

Featured Image by Mary Greene on Pexels.