GARDENING is therapeutic as it gives a welcome boost to your mental and emotional wellbeing.
Gardening also helps fight depression as well as aids in patient recovery and rehabilitation.
It is hard to imagine that the small patch of green space outside your home can do so much and help bring a new lease of life to people struggling with mental and health issues.
TURNING EMPTY SPACE INTO A GARDEN
If there is an empty space in your frontyard, you can transform it into a miniature garden oasis.
The first step in this endeavour is usually to ask yourself what you want in terms of the types of plants and flowers, and how you want them placed in the garden, whether to grow them in the ground or in pots.
Just a word of reminder — the plants or flowers you choose should help in your healing process if you are suffering from depression, anxiety or any other health-related issues.
And most important is having the right gardening tools, especially if you are a beginner.
Malaysia’s largest home improvement store, MR.D.I.Y. sells various types of gardening tools that cost less than RM10 each. So even if you go overboard when purchasing gardening tools, it won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
Nevertheless, stay focused on the basics so that not to overcrowd your storage space.
BASIC TOOLS TO GET YOU GOING
1. Easy-grip digger and hoe
This is an efficient tool for turning soil. It can dig into dense soil better than a spade. It is ideal for digging into tough soil and breaking up hardened dirt clods. The fork is useful for scooping mulch or turning compost piles. The head is made of carbon steel and the handle is designed to fit the palm of the hand and not stress. The ergonomically designed handle reduces hand and wrist fatigue while working.
2. Garden hand shovel
You would need a shovel to dig holes, break up soil, remove tough weeds, and edge lawns and trenches and the easiest way to get all these done is with a hand shovel. This essential hand tool is wonderful for transplanting bedding plants and herbs, planting containers, and taking out weeds. Select a hand shovel with a broad blade to move more soil or a long, narrow blade to dig up weeds or for rocky soil. The handle should fit comfortably in your hand.
3. Pruning shears
Hand pruners is a type of scissors for use on plants. They help reign in plants that are getting out of control. They are strong enough to prune hard branches of trees and shrubs, sometimes up to two centimetres thick. Pruners cut with a sharp blade meeting a flat surface, similar to a knife on a board. They should fit easily in the palm of your hand. For cleaner cuts and less injury to plants, sharpen them regularly.
4. Growmate easy mix
Growmate Eazy Mix, which is available at MR.D.I.Y. is a ready-to-use 3-in-1 natural soil blend for flowers, shrubs, vegetables and herbs. The ingredients for this are peat moss, compost and fertiliser, and it is easy to use. It is three times lighter than normal soils, natural and clean. Prepare a pot or a space for planting and pore the easy mix to a one-fourth height. Place the plant in and continue pouring in the mix and then water the plant. When repotting, remove 90 per cent of the old soil from the plant and add the new mix.
5. Watering can
You can get either a plastic or metal watering can. They come many styles, colours and nozzle options. Plastic cans are lighter than metal, but they won’t last long. Metal cans should be galvanised to resist rusting. Consider the size of the can relative to your strength, as you don’t want to overstress yourself carrying too much water at once. The handle position should allow you to carry a full can and also tip it to pour easily.
While gardening can be a wonderful hobby, it can quickly turn into a thorny and splintery hassle with dirt getting into your fingernails. So, having the right pair of gloves is helpful. Gloves should be durable but not too bulky, especially for working with seeds or transplanting seedlings. Fabrics that are water-resistant but breathable will help keep hands comfortable and fit perfectly.