Gardening Keeps You Healthy

Thomas Jefferson famously wrote to Charles Willson Peale in 1811 at age 68, “But though I am an old man,I am but a young gardener.” Any gardener who has planted peas on a brilliant spring morning or cut zinnias on a sunny summer day knows the feeling of a lightened step, a younger mood. There is mounting empirical evidence that gardening is both good for the spirit & for the body as well.

Of course, you knew this all along.

  1. Gardening Helps You to Stay Lean

You can expend calories by going dutifully to the gym, or you can simply live an active life: “Non-exercise activity thermogenesis” or NEAT, is now officially recognized as an effective way to keep incoming and outgoing calories in healthy balance. According to Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic, engaging in everyday activities can overcome a propensity to gain weight. “NEAT includes all those activities that render us vibrant, unique, and independent beings,” says Dr. Levine. Gardening, for instance, expends 200-400 calories per hour!

Planting, pruning, and pushing a wheelbarrow not only burns calories, it helps maintain strong bones.

  1. Gardening Keeps Your Bones Strong

Women aged 50 and older who garden weekly have stronger bones than those who engage in jogging, swimming, walking, or aerobics, according to a 2000 study by Dr. Lori Turner at the University of Arkansas” We hadn’t expected yard work to be significant … But there’s a lot of weight-bearing motion going on in the garden—digging holes, pulling weeds, pushing a mower,” concluded Dr. Turner.

  1. People Who Garden Are Less Likely To Be Deficient in Vitamin DImage result for gardening healthy

Vitamin D is widely recognized as the sunshine vitamin. A deficit has been linked to an increased risk of a number of ailments, including common cancers, type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Absorbing enough sunlight to allow your body to produce sufficient vitamin D but not so much that you risk skin cancer can be tricky. Age complicates the situation, as a person over 65 years of age exposed to the same amount of sunlight as a 20-year-old person makes only about 25% of the vitamin D.

According to Harvard Health Publications, a little sunshine can go a long way: 10 to 15 minutes of sun on the arms and legs a few times a week can generate nearly all the vitamin D the average person needs—assuming its rays are at a fairly direct angle. And regardless of age, time of year, and other factors, regular gardening has been shown to reduce the likelihood of inadequate vitamin D.

  1. Gardening Makes Us Happy

People who engage in green exercise, that is, activity while out in nature—even if its just for just a few minutes a day—enjoy greater self-esteem and improved mood, according to an analysis by researchers at the University of Essex. And actively playing in the dirt can offer extra rewards. A 2007 study suggests that contact with a common soil bacterium can increase the release of serotonin in parts of the brain that regulate mood. In other words, gardening makes us happy.

  1. Gardens Build Healthy Communities

Image result for gardening healthyThe networks and social support that come from being involved in a Community Garden brings a whole other set of mental health benefits. Shared experiences with others growing traditional ethnic foods can be a starting point for understanding between cultures. The entire community benefits from a Community Garden in multiple ways: better nutrition, enhanced mental health, social ties, and an increased appreciation of social diversity.

Bok choy is rich in vitamins C, A and calcium. For the highest benefit, prepare it straight from the garden, stirfried very quickly until just tendercrisp.

  1. The Fresher the Food, the Greater the Nutrient Content

Get the most out of your vegetables by eating them fresh from the garden. Vitamin C content can decline rapidly, particularly in leafy greens like spinach, after just three days of refrigeration. The best way to be sure your vegetables offer maximum nutritional benefit is to grow them yourself.

It Is Clear That The Evidence Is In!

For a healthy life, garden often, and garden smart. Warm up your body by stretching, lift with your knees bent and your back straight, change tools often to reduce strain on your joints and wear protective clothing: gloves, a sun hat, and shoes that grip the ground.

 LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR LINE OF GREEN PRODUCTS HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:
•University of Arkansas Newswire. 2000. Got Weeds? University Of Arkansas Researchers Say Yard Work Builds Strong Bones.

http://newswire.uark.edu/articles/10028/got-weeds-university-of-arkansas-researchers-say-yard-work-builds-strong-bones
•University of Bristol. 2007. Getting Dirty May Lift Your Mood. Science Daily
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402102001.htm

•Home and Gardening Tips and Information:
Homeandgardenseedassociation.com
•Barton J., Pretty J. 2010. What is the Best Dose of Nature and Green Energy for Improving Mental Health? A Multi-Study Analysis.
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2010, 44 (10), pp 3947–3955
•De Rui, M. and others. 2014. Vitamin D Deficiency and Leisure Time Activities in the Elderly: Are All Pastimes the Same? PLoS One
10;9(4):e94805.

•Favell D. 1997. A Comparison of the vitamin C content of fresh and frozen vegetables. Food Chemistry 62(1) p59-64.
•Holick M. 2004. Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 80 (6).
•Wakefield S. and others. Growing Urban Health: Community Gardening in South-East Toronto. Health Promotion International
22(2). http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/researchWakefieldYeudallTaronReynoldsSkinnerGrowingHealth.pdf

 

5 Garden Tasks to Complete Before Summer Arrives

Our gardens don’t get as much attention during the winter as they do in the warmer months, and spring is the right time to start preparing your garden for the growing season.

Beyond using an electric grass trimmer to prune your perennials and larger plants, you’ll want to check up on your garden tools to ensure you’re ready to take on the growing season. Ensure your small tools like trowels and rakes are in good shape, as well as larger ones like your electric lawn mower or wheelbarrow, are ready to go before you begin planting.

The projects you finish at this time can help your plants achieve more growth later on, so it’s important to start thinking about them early in the year. These are some of the gardening tasks you should prioritize in the early spring and summer.

Add Lime to Acidic Soil

Soil with a low pH can cause a number of problems for your garden, and adding lime to acidic soil will make it more alkaline and more conducive to growth. We recommend using lime on soil with a pH anywhere below about 6.

It takes time for new lime to have an impact on plants, so we recommend adding it to your soil at least a few weeks before you plan on planting. You should cover any soil that contains recently added lime with a plastic tarp during heavy rains to retain as much of the lime as possible.

Repair Fences and Trellises

It’s easier to fix these structures using your favorite multi tool and oscillating tool blades during the spring than at any other time o f the year, as there won’t be as many roots or as much growth to obstruct your work. That said, we recommend waiting until the end of spring to set new fence posts, as spring rains can raise the water table and make this job much more difficult than it needs to be. If a brand new, beautiful feature piece is what your looking vs. the traditional wooden or chain link fences, take a look at the unique Green Living Fences to do the job.

Remove Debris and Dead Growth

Raking your lawn isn’t the most enjoyable gardening project, but removing these obstructions will promote grass growth and prepare your garden for the summer. This is also the time to re-seed any bare patches you notice and apply any non-toxic herbicide you use in your garden.

Look Out for Slugs

Slugs are annoying garden pests that can cause significant damage to seedlings if left unchecked, and they often begin to come out during spring rains. Make sure to check regularly for slug damage.

If you’re having trouble with slugs, you can take more steps to keep them out of your garden. Check out these natural methods for ideas to get rid of slugs—many of them are possible with common household items.

Start Planting

Once your soil no longer contains any ice crystals, you should be able to begin planting seeds for your earliest crops! Some of the most common plants that should be planted early in the spring include lettuce, spinach, and peas.

Planting a range of crops with a variety of maturation dates will allow you to continue harvesting throughout the summer and fall. Make sure to cover any seedlings during hard frosts, which can cause irreversible damage to young plants.

Spring is the most exciting time of the year for gardeners, and these early-season tasks are even more rewarding when you consider the effect they’ll have on later growth. Start with these simple projects in the spring to prepare your garden for the summer and fall. Worx / Rockwell Tools

Want more information? Check out our line of green products to help get your next gardening task done.

Guest Editor: Rae Steinbach
Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course.

SPRINGING INTO ACTION

Grow Vertically in Small Spaces

Creating a small balcony garden — which also works for space-challenged patios and decks — helps find the perfect balance between beauty, privacy and practicality. With multiple planting levels, there’s room for both edibles and ornamentals. A great solution for a space-saving balcony garden would be our LivePicture series of products, allowing multiple plants to share the same space and receive consistent water through its self-watering reservoir.

 

Consider a tree’s final height and width when planting

Before you buy a tree, look at the shade pattern it’ll have when it’s grown. You’re going to start with a small sized tree, and it’s going to look good when you plant it near the house, but once it grows up, it’s going to be a problem with the roof and gutters. An alternative option to achieve privacy with a smaller footprint would be our innovative Green Living Fences. These pre-grown panels offer instant privacy, and immediate green focal point and is very low maintenance.

Your soil may need amending

Soil pH (acidity level) is very important, and just because your dirt looks rich and black doesn’t mean it’s the right pH for grass. Take samples around the yard and send them to your local extension service for testing. You can fix soil pH problems by adding lime to raise the pH or iron to lower it. Most grasses prefer a pH of 6.0 to 7.2

Create a Backyard Escape

Let lighting and landscaping turn a backyard into a relaxing getaway — day or night. Add natural touches to your outdoor structure with a variety of potted plants to make a statement. A beautiful focal point to immediately forget your in the city is our modular Green Living Fence panels. See below how they brighten and beautify this backyard oasis.


Grow Herbs in Containers

Maximize gardening space and bring herbs closer to the kitchen by growing herbs in pots on a deck or patio. Combine edibles with ornamental flowers to augment hardworking plants with color and beauty. The LivePicture system is ideal for such applications as a result of the ease of use of the system. Offered in multiple different sizes, it is easy to find the perfect fit for any backyard or patio.

Learn more here!

7 tips to get your yard ready for spring

Green Living Fences

Sometimes all we need is a bit of sun and some warmth to get us into the spring spirit. However, as you make your way outside – you will notice that this also bring budding new growth to your garden, and that winter has also left its mark in the shape of broken branches and bare patches.

This isn’t a problem! With our short 7 tip guide, you will spring you into action and be ready for the growing season ahead. This will will help you save tons of time, money and energy later on by getting ever

1. Start your spring lawn prep by using a rake

Get rid of any leaves and other debris that have built up over winter. Once they have been cleared, give your lawn a boost by spreading a thin layer of compost.

2. Seed lawn patches that are bare

Your initial step will be to loosen the surface to a depth of 2-4inches. Following that, use the back of a garden rake to level the soil. Spread a mixture of grass seed and compost or fertilizer over the bare spot. Tamp with the flat end of the rake in

order to work in the seed. Water afterwards, as needed.

3. Check your equipment and hand tools 

To see if anything needs repairing, cleaning or replacing. Also take this time to make sure your irrigation system is working properly for the upcoming growing season.

4. Aerate your lawn

This will allow oxygen, water and nutrients to easily reach grass roots. This perforates the soil with small holes and allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate the roots.

5. Prune any broken, diseased or dead limbs

From dead trees, branches and other woody plants. Prune back spring-blooming shrubs such as forsythia after flowering. This is also a great time to thin out and trim up your summer blooming shrubs and most roses.

6. Clear out weeds and last season’s garden debris

From beds and borders, remove or cut down last year’s foliage and toss it in the compost pile.

7. Attract birds to your garden

A single chickadee can consume up to 1,000 bad bugs a day. Include a birdbath or bird friendly plants, like sunflower, cotoneaster, viburnum, honeysuckle,  and aster. Another option would be our beautiful pre-grown Green Living Fences. They are a great way to add beauty and security to your backyard instantly.

Click here to learn more about Green Living Fences

 

CITYLINE & DANIELLE BRYK HIGHLIGHT DEVRON’S GREEN LIVING FENCES!

Cityline thumb

Danielle Bryk speaks about the Green Living Fences and how they offer an instant way to add greenery to any backyard.

As indicated by CityLine, Designer, Danielle Nicholas Bryk talks about five statement decor pieces that you can keep in your garden throughout the year, plus how to create a relaxing garden that engages all your senses.

Take look at the video below to see the segment!