Until a while ago I didn’t know or realized that #gardening has many facets. I was used to traditional ways of gardening, where soil always had to be present. I discovered that you can grow a garden without soil in a similar fashion I discovered that water is more than meets the eye. I explain the many facets and aspects of water in depth in other sections of this website!
In this section I will write about gardening covering different areas of the subject as can be practiced by anyone. It will be more inclined to how you can use gardening as a #stressreliever. And of course there are many more benefits to gardening than just relieving stress.
But first let me touch a little bit on stress and gardening showing you how that can be related. It is no denying fact that gardening is a natural stress reliever. You can beat stress with just doing gardening actively. Actively can be physically as in manual work or just being emotionally involved or by just being there enjoying the peace in the garden.
Evidence is around us that even healthcare professionals would recommend gardening as a remedy to beat stress. What gardening does to one self is many fold as a stressreliever. Apart from the physical activity either light or aggressive, you will be able to harvest fresh produce, smell the scent of life and bask in the peace, etc. The fresh produce on its own when eaten does its wonders to your health, your nerves and more…
The scenery in your garden can give you peace, say you have a flower garden, the greens, and just the sight of them can overwhelm you with peace of mind. And a peaceful mind is a relaxed mind! You don’t need a huge garden space like your backyard to enjoy all these. You can have a fully-fledged garden even by your window. And…ooh! The achievement of just having a garden can be a stress reliever just on its own – a sense of achievement!
Like I said don’t be worried that you don’t have enough room to make a garden. There are new and innovative methods available to you to also experience the joy and peace of gardening. To let the cat out of the sack you can do tower gardening, container gardening, bottle gardening if you are limited by space. Even if you have limited water…
Read on, by the time you get to the end of this section I am sure you will be eager to start you own garden. If you think you have been limited, it is time to think again!
I used to know that in order to make a garden, soil is the main startup medium you need to have. I knew that you cannot have a garden without soil. Besides, this is what we were taught at school. I made plots on the ground, on the soil, or if I would be using containers I had to dig some soil and maybe add a bit of manure or humus to it.
So my old thinking is to have a garden or at least for a crop to grow there needs to be soil, water and in certain instances manure to fertilize the soil. This was organic gardening at its basic level! This is what most of us know, and we also know that there is some work involved, like digging the ground, watering, pruning and what have you. At times these are deterrents to practicing gardening!
In this article I am going to share with you 2 or 3 more ways you can have a garden where you don’t necessarily have to have soil or a lot of space. That is, if you have been putting off the idea of gardening because of those limitations. Also how you can use gardening as a way to relieve stress or scare stress away if it has not yet engulfed you.
You can have a garden from water only or air only and if you keep fish or have an aquarium you can also have a very nutritious organic garden. I will also discuss hybrids of gardening from soil, water and air.
This is interesting, notice the three elements of nature – soil, water and air! And this reminds me of this quote – “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more.”- John Burroughs.
What Is The Best Water For Gardening
Before we go far let me digress a bit and talk about water and how it will have direct influence to your gardening efforts. Water in its intrinsic state or condition will perform wonders to your plant life. Have you ever seen how a few days after raining the ground gets covered with green? And if you are in the bush or forestry kind of environment, have you observed the behavior of birds and animals? The beautiful melodies you get from birds?
That is to tell you water in its natural state is full of life and it radiates it to other forms of life. Now I would like you to make a definite distinction here. Have you ever noticed the difference between plants that are grown using irrigation system or water from the house and plants that depend on rain water say in the fields? I want to bet the ones that depend on rain water will always display better life than the others.
I am saying this to tell you that you need to be weary of the water you use. Municipal water you use to water your plants is not the best water you can give to your plants, even if you have no access to rain water. In another section of this website I discuss at length water, and you will discover how you can improve your municipal water to be as close to rain water as much as possible.
To let the cat out of the bag just a little, not it is a secret, (is just that I want to focus on gardening here!) we have #structuredwater which can be ‘made’ from water structuring units to water your garden. We have #vortexwater which is basically the same but using a water imploding device to water your garden.
Either structured water or vortex water, this will make your garden boom with life you will think it is raining every day. So as you will be planning your garden keep this water issue at the back of your mind. You will see wonders! If you don’t have access to rain water you can have water as to close to it as possible.
Below is a video about using vortex water, though they call it fractal water, that will show you how this water can make your plants as beautiful as ever.
In my discussion I am going to add an interesting twist to the whole mix, I will show you how you can gravitate more towards nature, more primitive, or more organic into your gardening. I am hopeful you will learn more things you were not aware of about what you thought you already knew. So let’s dig in;
I am going to talk about traditional organic gardening as we know it, hydroponic gardening, aquaponic gardening, aeroponic gardening and tower gardening. You will notice that the most common element among these different gardening concepts is water!
This is the area of gardening where you use water as the main source of nutrients and a transporting medium in the absence of soil. However, the roots do not dangle in the water as we might imagine but rather an inert medium is used to hold the roots and provide support as soil would with the exception of proving the plant with nutrients.
Here is a great resource about Hydroponics Gardening – at Home and for Beginners!
Aquaponic gardening is a hybrid of hydroponics and aquaculture. Above we mentioned that water is the sole provider of nutrients to the plants, so your question might be where does the water get the nutrients. Water on its own does not have all the necessary nutrients to support plant life.
So if you are a rearer of fish, snails or water animals, in aquaponics gardening you use their waste to ‘nutritionize’ the water. This is a form of organic gardening that you can practice right in your house.
If you like fish and keeping it or you have been thinking of keeping you will have a combination because you can do both.
Aeroponics is a form of gardening that crops are grown without soil or any root and plant supporting medium like in its counterparts. The roots of the plant are suspended in air but enclosed in a covering or semi-covering environment, call it an aeroponic chamber.
The roots and the lower stem of the plant dangle in air and the plant itself is supported by a plant support structure, such that the leaves and the upper stem are exposed to the outer environment to breathe and take in sunlight.
The roots of the plant are sprayed with a mist of water enriched with nutrients. This is slightly different from hydroponics, water is used in a mist form. As the plant grows it is often supported by a trellis structure to carry the weight of the fruit or vegetable so that it may not break at the stem. This form of gardening is unique and less common and you can imagine the joy of starting one and see it booming with live.
Further reading – How to Make a Simple Aeroponics System
Like aquaponics gardening, tower gardening is a hybrid of aeroponics gardening and hydroponics gardening. We are used to planting crops across on a flat surface along the ground but, with tower gardening the crops are made to grow vertically on top of each other.
They make a tower going on top of each other. In short instead of planting crops horizontally on the ground they are set to grow in a vertical space to form a tower.
Tower gardening employs both methods of hydroponics and aeroponics to save on space. If you face a no-space problem, solve it with tower gardening! You will still enjoy the benefits of gardening as you would any other type of gardening. It works well as a stress reliever.
Soil Based Gardening
For lack of a better name, here I want to refer to the form of gardening where soil is used. Soil based gardening is a way of gardening that we were taught at school, agricultural farming is dominated by this way of planting plants – in the soil.
So with this way of gardening you will have many options of how to plant your crops. You can use plots where you dig on the ground or make a pile of soil on the ground and cultivate the soil for better planting and aeration. You can also use pots or containers filled with soil to plant your seeds. Below are a few ways you can garden where soil is the main medium of nutrient supply;
Raised Bed Gardening
Raised bed gardening is growing crops inside simple garden boxes that are raised above the ground level. The way the plots are raised would make it easy for a person with physical challenges like bending, back pain to tend to the garden without much pain.
Raised bed gardening is an excellent stress reliever because it has some amount of physical activity yet it can be performed with minimal physical activity. You can tend to your crops sitting down instead of bending because the plots are raised. What is important you raise them to a level that you know will be beneficial to you.
If you love gardening but do not have ample space to do it think container gardening. If you have a patio or space where you can put a few containers around the house you definitely have a container garden. You will be able to plant crops in containers and tend to as you would in any form gardening.
With container gardening you are still exposed to the stress relieving activities like watering, getting rid of pests, pruning, cultivating and so on. And at the end of the day enjoy a beautiful sight of your creation, the rewards of your labor.
Bottle gardening is another form of gardening that is fairly new but gaining speed. It is more of a decorative gardening method which can also be a major reliever. You can imagine a sight of beauty inside your house and it has everything to do with. Stress should leave you like it or not. From now and again you can marvel at your own creation.
Using bottles to make your garden means you can make use of any little space you have. You don’t necessarily need to have all the bottles piled in one area you can have them around the house. You can put one here the other there and around the house at different locations. Another thing you can get ideas online.
Greenhouse gardening is the form of gardening where the plants are housed in a transparent structure or shed. The structure will have walls and a roof that are prominently transparent to allow sunlight inside. The structure would normally be warmer inside than the outside because it tends to trap the heat inside.
You can buy a ready-made greenhouse or buy kits to make your own. There are different sizes to choose from depending on the space you have
Options Of Gardening
Gardening can be practiced for many different reasons other than to provide food, below are some of the reasons that gardening can be practiced. However, whatever the reason may be you can always use gardening as a stress reliever. Anything else that you will be gaining from the garden like vegetables, fruits, beautiful looking home, etc can be regarded as secondary or by-products.
You can decide to have a garden for vegetables like tomatoes, onions, and leafy greens like spinach, rape, lettuce, etc. When you have a vegetable garden you will not only have a peace mind on your pocket but you will also have a chance to good eating habits.
Growing your own food is the best thing you can to your health. You will not only have a chance to relieve stress with gardening activities but also have a sense of pride and ownership. Vegetable gardening
Here is a great resource for you to start vegetable gardening on the right path – Planning Your First Vegetable Garden
Herbs can also be an excellent garden to keep. At times gardening is associated with growing edible plants mostly vegetables. However, there is also herb gardening where your garden will be full of herbs and herbs can be used in many different ways.
Herbs can be used to garnish and flavor your food, used in herbal remedies, used to repel insects, especially the annoying ones like mosquitoes, they have a scent to them to make your house smell nice and green. The smell of the herbs carries a soothing aroma that can calm your nerves and reduce stress.
Here is a great resource you can refer to for herb gardening.
Imagine watching your booming garden colorful with flowers and little flying insects with their many different colors. What a lovely sight that would be.
Butterfly gardening is more suited to the outside than indoors because butterflies will be comfortable outdoors. Butterfly gardening is a perfect stress reliever especially when you are artistic.
You can mix and match colors of the flowers to create a beautiful sight and sweet scent to the butterflies. Butterflies like beauty and the more beautiful the garden gets the more butterflies you will attract.
Rock gardening is more of a decoration type of gardening like adding a new look to your lawn. One can treat it as a blend between display of rocks and miniature gardening. With rock gardening you will not have that many edible vegetables.
The emphasis of rock gardening is on display of rocks especially to improve the look and appeal of your landscaping. Plants are used sparingly to add to the aesthetics. These are select plants that are normally associated with growing in rocking areas. This can be another fun way of doing gardening, and when you speak of fun you know there is no stress. Fun and stress do not mix, they cannot share the same space.
There are a lot of resources that you can look at to learn more about rock gardening and here are few you can start with;
Edible landscaping is doing landscaping with a twist where you will be decorating your landscape with edible plants. The idea is to choose beautiful plants and arrange them in a manner that is attractive. That is, you combine something that you can eat with an attractive way of displaying it.
Arranging vegetable plants in an ornamental way requires some artistic skill as would landscaping and the trick is to use perennial vegetables to avoid replanting and replanting year after year. So here your plants will provide you with beauty and food!
You will still perform the routine activities that gardening needs, watering, pruning, weeding, getting rid of pests, etc. These are the activities that add fun and relieve stress at the same time. You need to do some work to take away your mind from things that depress you to give you stress.
If the idea of edible landscaping intrigues you and want to start one I found an incredible resource to look at – visit Edible Landscaping.
Another resource you might want to visit is http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/gardening-techniques/edible-landscape-zmaz10onzraw.aspx
What Type Of Gardening Will Suit You
In all of the gardening discussed above you will realize that one type of gardening is more suited to be done outdoors while the other can also be done indoors. So this is to say you can have indoors and outdoors gardening.
Each have its pros and cons but the most determining factors that will influence the type of gardening to adopt are;
• Available space for gardening, do you live in an apartment or countryside?
• How much would you have to care for your garden, do you have a few hours a day?
• Do you have any physical hindrances such that you might want to use containers or plots?
• How much are you willing to spend on your garden?
• What is the purpose of the garden for the produce or hobby or mainly to relieve stress?
The above questions are the starting point to starting your garden project. There is issue of space which we discussed at length above giving you different options especially where one might think they don’t have space. Are talking about time, if you are stripped of time there are other methods of gardening that do not require that much time.
Or are hampered physically in some way you have options of raised bed gardening, using containers, practicing tower gardening, etc. You have options! There is also need to know that one way or the other you are going to have to spend money to get your garden together, no matter what mode of gardening you are going to choose. At the very least you will have to buy seeds and pay for water.
You might also want to determine and assert the motive behind your gardening. Gardening touches our many aspects of life from relieving stress to relieving our pocket and everything in between. So know why you want to start gardening so that you will have an objective to follow.
Indoor gardening as the name implies is doing your gardening inside your house or apartment. It is the type of gardening that does not expose your plants to the open atmosphere. This has advantages and disadvantages.
Depending on where you live weather conditions may be harsh and practicing indoor gardening can be beneficial because cold weather will not attack your plants.
In addition, there is easy reach to your plants. Remember plants ‘breathe in’ carbon dioxide and ‘breathe out’ oxygen and you as a human it is vice versa. So when you have plants indoors you are sure to have ample oxygen to breathe to sooth you mind.
Read about oxygenated water here to learn more how beneficial oxygen is to our bodies.
Indoor gardening also comes with its own challenges. You might have to look for indoor lights if you will have plants that do not have access to sunlight. Plants need light to photosynthesize so there might be a bit of cost involved there. You definitely need to have some structure to plant your crops unlike outside where you can dig on the ground.
Read more – Growing Indoors
We are used to having plants in the open, like the forest, farming fields, etc. So this is the type of gardening that is most common. When you speak to someone about gardening most likely their minds will jump to thinking about open space outside rather than indoors.
This style of gardening is most suitable for people with space or little space inside the house and where weather conditions a favorable. During times of rainfall your garden will enjoy rain water. Have you noticed how rain water does amazing things to plants?
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