Gardening During Social Distancing Times

Gardening During Social Distancing Times

Posted 2020-04-04 by Marie Vonowfollow
ImageMarie Vonow

April 2020.
With lots of people spending most of their time at home due to social distancing rules, there is a resurgence of interest in gardening. Forward thinking people are planting vegetables and herbs in case they become scarce later in the year. Many garden centres are selling out of vegetable seedlings as soon as new stock is delivered.

I am spending more time in the garden and actually nurturing my seeds and seedlings rather than shoving them in the ground and hoping for the best. Like many other gardeners I am concentrating on vegetables and herbs. This year I will actually do staggered plantings rather than planting all my seeds at the same time. This way I should get an ongoing crop instead of everything being ready to pick around the same time.

Try talking to your plants. It couldn't do any harm
Some people recommend talking to their plants and even playing them music. I have never tried either but perhaps I will now I am home more.

Speaking kindly is recommended.There are articles online where researchers say what type of music they found had the best result, seems rock isn't popular with plants. One man in England fitted his tomato bush with headphones and it grew an enormous tomato which won him a prize.

Growing in containers
Even if you don't have a yard, perhaps you have a patio or balcony where you can have a few plants in containers.
Vegetables suited to containers include -
  • tomatoes
  • capsicums (peppers)
  • carrots
  • spring onions
  • baby spinach
  • kale
  • beans
  • radishes

  • Herbs that grow happily in containers include -
  • parsley
  • chives
  • basil
  • thyme
  • coriander
  • mint (If you plant mint in the garden instead of a pot it may overgrow other plants.)

  • Check which plants can be planted at this time of the year in your area.

    You may have some pots or a planter box on hand to use. An old wash tub, bath tub, wheelbarrow or polystyrene box can also be a great container.

    The thyme is growing in a polystyrene box from the supermarket ImageMarie Vonow

    Perhaps you need potting mix and other supplies but don't want to go out at this time. Some garden centres are taking orders over the phone and you can pay using your credit/debit card. Many deliver and some have reduced the fee, but you may need to spend a minimum of $50 or another amount. Check the Facebook page of your nearest garden centre for information and give them a call.

    Earlier in the week I got potting mix, manure and pea straw delivered and am enjoying pottering around in the garden. I am taking my time and trying to do it properly.

    It is fortunate I have some vegetable seeds on hand because seeds as well as the seedlings are selling out in many nurseries. You can buy seeds online but be prepared to wait longer than usual for delivery. Some online sellers have run out of stock of some varieties.

    I find it a good idea to label what I plant. I save the sticks from ice blocks and one time bought a packet of wooden knives that were reduced in price. They worked well.

    These wooden knives make good labels ImageMarie Vonow

    I am going to try watering my newly planted seeds with a watering can until they are established because I think my lack of success with some seeds has been due to being too heavy handed with the hose and washing seeds out of the ground.

    Try something new
    Now could be the time to try something new. Perhaps you have always wanted to try your hand at bonsai but thought it would take too much time. Give it a try now.

    Some plants can be grown from cuttings. If you get a few new plants growing now they will be well established by the end of the year and make great Christmas presents.

    I am thinking of trying out a no dig garden. I have limited sunny spots which don't already have plants but there are a couple of places which could suit a no dig garden. There are instructions on the internet for setting this up.

    Gardening is a happiness boosting activity. For further information check out - Gardening Makes Me Happy. Vegetables harvested from your own garden are tastier than produce bought from a supermarket. Gardening is something positive to do during this stressful time and the satisfaction of growing some of your own food is worth the effort you put in. Happy gardening.


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