Horticultural Healing

Preparing for spring.

Posted Feb 25, 2021

J Garget, Pixabay, Public Domain
Source: J Garget, Pixabay, Public Domain

The longer I’m at the personal coaching game, the more I’m convinced that activities such as pet ownership, voluntarism, and gardening are underutilized tools for reducing, ahem, garden-variety anxiety and sadness.

Here I talk gardening, but we’re in the dead of winter. Assuming you’re in a typical cold-weather climate, what can you do?

Of course, there are houseplants, such as my favorites, the peace lily and coleus.  But it feels a bit like cheating to talk about houseplants in an article about gardening. Gardening is about the outdoors. 

No matter how cold and snowy it is outside, we can evoke fantasies of our dream garden by perusing catalogs. They’re my bedtime soporific. Faves: Park Seed, Wayside Gardens, Burpee, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Roses by Edmunds, Totally Tomatoes, SeedsnSuch, and Territorial Seed. Favorite purchases: Orange Paruche tomato, Rainbow’s End rose, Big Duck Gold marigold, Dreamland Red zinnia, and Ambrosia corn.

So, now we’ve bought more seeds that we could plant. No problem because, if you’re like me, despite using a seed-starting kit lots won’t germinate, or the more face-saving term: “I had a crop failure.”

Okay, so now you’ve got at least some seedlings, perhaps supplemented next month by store-bought plants.

Now, it’s time to start figuring out where the heck that vegetative mishmash will go. If you’re an orderly type, on a piece of paper, draw the space, approximately to scale and put bits of colored toothpicks where you think the plants should go. Play around until it seems about right, and tthere’s your vision.

In most locales, your soil will thaw in March or April. Dig a shovelful of compost into the top cubic foot of the soil where you’ll be planting. Assuming you don’t make your own compost, steer manure is available and cheap. It will mellow in a few weeks, so after last-frost, April or May, your soil has been babied and ready for your planting and the horticultural healing that comes from working in the garden and seeing the miracle of growth, flowering, and fruiting.

So, are you ready to start reducing your anxiety or merely increasing your pleasure by fantasizing about growing your own?

I read this aloud on YouTube.