No doubt you've been spending more time at home these days like us! I'm looking at this time as a way to catch up on projects that I normally don't have time for. For instance, I spent yesterday in my garden. Fun fact : Did you know that gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get free tomatoes with the deal? Gardening can lower your blood pressure, help you burn calories and is good for your bones. Not only does the Vitamin D you’re soaking in from being outside help you fight off colds and flus, but it turns out even the dirt under your fingernails may be working in your favor! There is a friendly bacteria called Myobacterium vaccae found in garden dirt that has been linked to alleviating symptoms of psoriasis, allergies and asthma! Gardening provides a source of community, provides a natural "lift" in your mood and helps to relieve stress. And who doesn't want to relieve stress during this global pandemic we are experiencing?
Contrary to popular belief, many species of plants do quite well here in the desert. Personally, I love to grow tomatoes, citrus, jalapeños, pomegranates and succulents! I've recently developed a love affair with houseplants! The Fiddle-leaf fig is my favorite! However, my latest succulent discovery is known as the ZZ plant or the Zanzibar Gem. This houseplant really shines- literally! Not only is it tough and easy to care for, but it is GORGEOUS! It prefers natural, bright light but will tolerate low light conditions just fine. I adore the shiny, vibrant green leaves and the fact that it doesn't require that much water. It makes a stunning addition to any home! Just please keep them away from your furry friends. These indoor plants can be toxic for our furry family members!
If you would like to get into gardening but are not sure how to begin, I always recommend a starter plant from Star Nursery, some potting soil and a planter. Start with putting some rocks at the bottom of the planter pot for drainage and then add a little bit of moist soil at the bottom. Form a little mound of soil with your hands. I then place my starter plant on that mound of soil, making sure it doesn't sit above the rim of the pot. You want to leave an inch or so from the top of the pot for watering. From there, I fill it with potting soil, press down gently and then water it well. You can give the plant a nice drink when you first plant it. Avoid over watering because that can kill your plant. A moisture meter is very helpful in this regard. I got mine at Star Nursery for $7.99. Depending on what season we are in, I try to water my plants 3-4 times per week. In the hot summer months, I water everyday.
During all of the chaos in the world right now, don't forget to take the time to embrace the good things in your life and admire the marvels of creation. " When I see your heavens, the works of your fingers, The moon and the stars that you have prepared, what is mortal man that you keep him in mind, and a son of man that you take care of him? " Psalms 8:3,4
Take this time to do more reading, listening to music, singing and laughing. Maybe hang a family wall of photos? Or organize your pantry! Or learn how to use your new Instant Pot!
Don't forget to relax, stay hydrated, build up your immune system, prayer and meditation! Breathe.... Stay well my friends.