Growing a garden or arranging and enriching a balcony, a terrace or a simple windowsill, is a widespread habit in many families. This DIY (Do It Yourself) activity is now considered by many a real source of well-being. So much so that, in recent years, the so-called "Garden Therapy" has become increasingly widespread. In fact, according to this therapy, the work of gardening helps to achieve a better level of inner well-being.
DIY gardening versus stress: the study
A recent analysis by Austrian researcher Fritz Neuhauser of the Geriatriezentrum Am Wienerwald center has shown that the benefits of gardening, in terms of mood as well as mental and physical health, can be equated to the effects obtained by doing yoga or meditation.
Even without going into the therapeutic details of this practice, it is clear to everyone that dedicating a few hours a week to the cultivation and care of our flowers and plants brings numerous benefits not only to the aesthetics of our terrace or garden, but our mood as well.
Furthermore, gardening is a simple and not a very tiring activity. Even those who are not particularly experienced – those who do not have, as they say in gardening jargon, a green thumb – will find it, with the right precautions and advice, a relaxing and highly satisfying activity.
DIY Garden: tips to take care of your green space
When it comes to gardening, we want to make some recommendations: learn the ropes before moving on to the facts. Today we begin to discover what the main rules are to prepare our plants in the best way to move them to the ground, to set up their new home correctly and some advice on maintaining our gardens. Moving a plant from one place to another in a garden means giving it a new home, that is comfortable and cared for. Using healthy and well-worked soil, as well as proper exposure and nourishment. Yet, at the time of the transplant, it is right to ask yourself a few questions. When should the transplant take place? Only in the Fall or in the Spring too? Can a plant in full bloom be moved?
A plant can keep the same soil for a relatively long time if it is regularly fertilized. After a certain time, however, development slows down and the plant loses energy because the roots take up more and more space inside the pot while the quality of the soil tends to steadily decrease (becoming dusty and diminishing).
For this reason, plants must be re-potted in larger pots, with fresh soil at regular intervals. To determine if a plant needs repotting, it is best to check the roots. In some types of plants, turgid, fibrous roots form on the surface of the soil, indicating that the plant needs a larger pot.
On the other hand, the thinner roots of other plants begin to protrude from the drainage hole of the pot. In this case, however, it is not an unequivocal sign that the plant needs repotting. Some roots, in fact, can protrude from the drainage hole even without the rest having filled the whole pot. The only safe method is to remove the plant from the pot and examine the roots.
Choosing the right period: when to repot or transplant?
The most suitable time is between the middle and the end of the cold season. Just before the vegetative rest and frost, plants settle down to then start vegetating again in the spring. Plants should never be re-potted during the resting period. If, when it is re-potted, the plant has not yet begun the vegetative period, the roots will not be able to make their way into the fresh soil which causes water retention, this may cause them to rot.
To transplant, pay attention to these further recommendations: do not forget to wait until the plant is no longer blooming, do not perform this activity in the height of summer or during an excessively windy day. Instead, the transplant from the pot to the ground can always be done as long as the root ball is kept intact and moist. Indeed, if it is an herbaceous plant in a small pot, you can think of transplanting it even if it is blooming, watering it well before and after.
DIY gardening décor tips
When furnishing and decorating a garden or an outdoor space, it is important to choose the right mix of pots and supports. In fact, alongside the traditional terracotta pots, there is an increasing number of modern and design vases. Objects with simple and sophisticated lines, able to embellish even the most elegant and particular gardens. Tall or low containers where to place flowers or accommodate small plants. Square or rectangular to adapt to any space, white or colorful to hide or be highlighted providing character to your outdoor space. There is no shortage of choice in terms of materials either. Aluminum and glazed stoneware are easily adaptable to both the outdoor and indoor space, providing the right protection to plants. Cement solutions, on the other hand, combine practicality and a linear design for a clean and classy touch to your outdoor oasis.
Living with nature is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves, especially in this historical moment, during which we spend a lot of time at home. Those fortunate enough to have a garden (or a terrace), can take advantage of the advice and tips provided today to use their time fruitfully while doing a favor to their mind and body. Even science says so!