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Stress-relieving horticultural activities

By: Michele Lesica, Horticulture | 04/02/2020

April is National Stress Awareness Month–and in the current situation our world is in this month couldn’t have better timing. Did you know that gardening is recognized and recommended as a form of therapy? Horticultural Therapy! The therapeutic benefits of gardens and gardening have been documented for centuries.

Not convinced? Try this out. Begin by rating your stress level on a scale of 1-5. Next, take a moment and step outside.

Pause. Take a deep breath. In. And out.

What do you observe around you? What are you hearing? What are you seeing, and smelling? Did you hear that bumble bee or beneficial wasp fly by? Pause and observe the flowers and the pollinators.

Take this time to connect with your yard or the area around your home. There is so much, vibrant life in our backyards and patios! Now take a moment to check back in with your stress level–how are you feeling? Rate your stress level again, on a scale of 1-5.

Take a chance and get dirty!
The long-term benefits of gardening are immense. New gardeners can start by growing a vegetable garden. Vegetable gardening connects you directly to the source of your food. If you have little ones at home, incorporate gardening into their weekly or even daily routine! Watering the garden is a great activity for children, especially when summer rolls around.

Help everyone around you become plant-inspired! They may even grow older and see a career pathway in horticulture. Every person has the power and skills to grow plants.

Don’t know how to launch your garden? Here are a few simple, stress-relieving horticultural activities to get you inspired:

• Observe your yard in different locations, at different times of the day. Take note of how much sun your future garden area would get. Will it get enough sun to support those vegetables you want to grow, or is it shady enough for some shade-loving perennials?

• Do a spring clean-up! Cut back your grasses and herbaceous perennials.
Make a flower bouquet and include twigs and grasses from your spring clean-up.

• Feed your vegetable garden soils with compost! Lay it on top, or dig it in 3-6 inches.

• Buy plants from Idaho Botanical Garden’s Plant Sale at the beginning of May and plant them! Tomatoes and Peppers, along with a great selection of perennials that perform well in the Treasure Valley will be available!
Seed spinach, radishes, peas, and carrots now! Harvest those babies when they look ready to eat.

Not sure if you are ready to tackle a vegetable or perennial garden? Try container gardening!

• You can grow vegetables, annuals, and perennials or a combination in pots. Just ensure that your pot is big enough for their mature size, and use the right plants for the location your containers will be in. Don’t forget to saturate the soil you will be putting the plants in before you plant them.

This spring take time to build a garden if you already don’t have one. No yard? No worries–plant container gardens! You’ll be amazed by the sheer serenity of having your hands in the dirt or even just watering plants. Check out our classes and certificate programming. Idaho Botanical Garden is here for you in this time of growth! Continue to follow us for inspiration and tips!