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ag 2p Horticulture at the back of the mind! - The Times Hub

Horticulture at the back of the mind!

Horticulture at the back of the mind!

During this new confinement, the presence of plants in your environment could be particularly beneficial and help you get through these difficult times. Here are some suggestions for family and creative horticultural activities to occupy your days of confinement and your long curfew evenings.

Several scientific studies have indeed shown that the practice of gardening and urban agriculture can calm the spirits and bring a little comfort and inner peace during troubled times like the one we are living through.

  1. Some studies show that trees and other plants significantly reduce the death rate and the number of visits to hospitals. According to renowned cardiologist François Reeves: “Nothing beats trees to improve and maintain human health. No pill, pacemaker or operation cannot have such a positive effect as trees on our health ”.
  2. Plants act primarily on the health of humans by reducing their stress level. According to a scientific study conducted by a researcher from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, college students under exam stress experienced increased positive feelings and decreased levels of fear and anxiety when they could. observe plants. Other studies have also shown that when plants adorn an indoor space, the systolic blood pressure of the people who occupy it drops by one to four units.
  3. Plants also allow humans to be smarter and more efficient! Australian and Canadian scientists have found that the presence of plants in classrooms allows students to score better on exams than those who are not in contact with plants. The same has been demonstrated in office buildings since the presence of plants allows workers to be more attentive, more productive and more efficient when carrying out the tasks they have to accomplish.
  4. In 2004, the National Land Afforestation Promotion Organization of Japan conducted an experiment that found that people who had just watched a forest for 20 minutes had 13% lower levels of cortisol, a hormone directly related to stress.
  5. From a psychological, even spiritual point of view, parks, gardens and urban vegetable gardens are all places where city dwellers can be happier. Contact with nature through green spaces and indoor plants is essential and therefore contributes in a certain way to making us better citizens and, above all, allows us to stay the course in times of pandemic!
  6. Another study carried out at two prestigious British universities found that practicing horticulture and urban farming would be an effective way to overcome mild depression or maintain good mental health. In particular, this study revealed the existence of a beneficial soil-living bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae, which stimulates the production of serotonin in the brains of those who manipulate the soil, causing effects similar to those of certain antidepressant drugs.

Become a producer of young shoots

Horticulture at the back of the mind!

Photo courtesy, Veseys

Young sunflower sprouts ready to eat.

In these uncertain times, when the price of edibles is constantly increasing, making your indoor vegetable garden is the trend of the hour! It is easy and pleasant to produce mini greens and young vegetable shoots at home. Broccoli, watercress, spinach, kale, lettuce, alfalfa, peas, radishes, and sunflowers are some of the easiest plants to germinate indoors and the most available on the web.

The technique for obtaining young vegetable shoots is very simple. Just fill a salvaged plastic container – those in which BBQ chicken or commercial mixed lettuce are sold are ideal – with moist potting soil that is lightly squeezed. All that remains is to spread the seeds, which must then be covered with a thin layer of potting soil.

You should also make sure to close the lid or place a translucent dome on each container in order to retain maximum humidity. Water lightly or spray lukewarm water if the soil is dry, otherwise open the lid or the dome for a few minutes if condensation forms.

Although the majority of seeds do not require light to germinate, it is necessary to expose all seedlings to light once the stems are formed. Light from a south-facing window is usually sufficient for the growth of young shoots.

Harvesting of young shoots of vegetables should be carried out 7-21 days from the date of sowing. Harvesting is done when the first two leaves – which are actually cotyledons, used to nourish the plant before the actual leaves appear – are well developed.

Create a garden miniature meditation

Horticulture at the back of the mind!

Photo courtesy, Gardening Succs

A Lilliputian garden made up of a collection of miniature plants planted in original salvaged containers.

Every evening, when it’s time to do the dishes, I look at the collection of miniature plants that my wife has installed in front of the kitchen window. These plants are small, but their effect on my mind is great! I always have a good time in the company of this Lilliputian garden since it helps me find calm and promotes meditation.

If you also want to create a garden of miniature plants, you can collect various small objects that you have at home to make original containers, such as an old ladle, a teapot, a metal cookie tin, hollowed out corks. or seashells. Feel free to add figurines, candles or various other natural decorative elements around the plants.

Horticulture at the back of the mind!

Courtesy photo, The gardens of your dreams

An old ladle is an ideal container for a miniature succulent plant.

Fill the items you find with a bit of potting soil and plant some mini succulents, like echeveria or haworthia, in them. Tillandsias and mini orchids are also very suitable.

Make a vegetable garden from vegetable cores

Horticulture at the back of the mind!

Courtesy photo, Better living differently

In order to save money, reduce waste and improve your food autonomy, I suggest you make an indoor vegetable garden from leftovers.

  • Beets, bok choy, carrots, celery, cabbage, romaine lettuce, green onions and leeks are among the vegetables that most easily produce roots and new growth from cores.
  • Take care to keep the end of the root vegetables where the stems or leaves are attached, while in the case of leafy vegetables, it is instead the base of their rosette of leaves that you will need to keep.
  • Place the cores you have collected in containers filled with moist potting soil. You can also place the cores in a glass dish containing 1 to 2 cm of water.
  • When the cores are placed in the water, it is important to change it regularly. In addition, make sure to transplant vegetables into pots filled with potting soil as soon as their roots are well developed.
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