Ways to Welcome Spring in Uncertain Times “Watching something grow is good for morale. It helps us believe in life.” Myron S. Kaufman The vernal equinox (March 20 this year) came and went with only a little fanfare in most parts of the country. Usually, spring is a time of hope and renewal. But to be honest, it doesn't feel very spring like right now. Of course, in some parts of the country garden beds are still under a layer of snow. But even here in California where it has been unseasonably warm, there's a layer of stress over pretty much everything. Many of us suddenly find ourselves navigating new ways of doing the everyday things we used to take for granted -- working from home, homes chooling our kids, and generally trying to figure out how to get through the coming weeks and months with stores and restaurants closed or our ability to move freely curtailed. But even in these uncertain times, nature can be a place of calm and comfort. Myron S. Kaufman wrote, "Watching something grow is good for morale. It helps us believe in life." Not only is it good for morale, it's good for our overall health. There have been several scientific studies showing that spending time in nature reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which helps boost our immune system and promotes healing. As you might expect, we think that a vegetable garden is an especially good idea in this time of social distancing. What better place to spend your time outside than in your garden growing food for yourself, your family, and maybe even your community? And spring, even in times of uncertainty, is the perfect time to get started. If you're new to gardening, or even if you're an old-timer who has plenty of dirt under your nails, now is the time to brush up on some gardening basics to make sure your garden is the best it can be, all summer long. And Smart Gardener is here to help. The Smart Gardener blog is full of informative posts to help you get your garden ready for planting, and the Smart Gardener app makes it easy to plan, grow and harvest your own food.
Where to put your vegetable garden Where to put your vegetable garden The five most important things you will need to think about when considering where to put your garden: sunlight, drainage, wind, shade, and proximity to your house. read more Preparing your garden for planting Preparing your garden for planting Preparing a garden bed can be intimidating for a new gardener, but we've got your covered with a thorough step by step guide -- from breaking the soil to planting seeds. read more
What to grow in your spring garden What to grow in your spring garden It's tempting to start planting all those seeds you bought over the winter, but it's best to take a moment and consider what conditions each plant needs to germinate and thrive. read more Early spring planting tips Early spring planting tips You've picked the spot for your garden, started your seedlings, prepared your soil, and mapped out your bed. All that's left to do now is get planting. And we have some tips to help. read more
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