Our plants are only as good as the soil they are grown in. Picture: Supplied
Our plants are only as good as the soil they are grown in. Picture: Supplied

Now is as good a time as any to cherish your garden

By Life Is A Garden Time of article published Apr 16, 2020

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Your garden has so many benefits. It improves your mental and physical wellbeing while adding value to your property and providing a tranquil escape from a busy lifestyle. 

But even greater than all of this is the benefit that your garden brings to our planet. 

Here are some of the benefits that gardening brings to our planet and a few things that you can do to make a difference to our world, after all, there is no planet B:

Clean the air

Plants are the planet’s air purifiers as they convert carbon dioxide into oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. This is vital for animals and humans as we rely on oxygen to survive. In addition to this, plants remove chemicals and bacteria from the environment which has added benefits for us as it makes our environment healthier and cleaner.

While all plants clean the air, there are a few that are better air recyclers than others. For the benefit of our environment, consider planting indigenous plants that are better suited to our climate and opt for air purifiers such as Aloe (Aloe Vera) or Spekboom (Portulacaria afra). These plants require minimal maintenance, consume less water and provide maximum air cleaning benefits.

Grow your food

Growing fruits and vegetables can reward you in several ways including saving you money and providing nourishing and flavoursome foods. More than this, growing your food can have a significant benefit to our environment. Commercially grown fruits and vegetables rely heavily on pesticides and chemicals to prevent damage to the harvest, while households may rely on repellents to prevent damage to homegrown products, these are often used more sparingly, minimizing the impact on our environment.

In addition to the chemical component, commercially produced products need to be transported to various outlets for retail purposes which adds to air pollution. By growing seasonal vegetables you can provide sustainable fruits and vegetables for your family throughout the year at a more affordable cost and with greater benefit for our environment.

Replenish the soil

Our plants are only as good as the soil they are grown in and as such, we need to keep the soil in tip-top shape to maximise the benefits of our efforts. While plants suck up carbon dioxide from the air, they also take in chemicals and other harmful elements from the soil and this can impact on their growth. To keep your soil at its best, plant indigenous plants that will change according to the seasons. 

These plants often lose their leaves in the winter which decay to nourish the soil and the plants that grow in it. To make sure your plants are getting sufficient nutrients throughout the year, consider creating a compost heap. 

This is a great way to use your garden and kitchen waste to put valuable nutrients back into the ground where they can help your plants grow lush and beautiful.

Protect the bird and the bees

Birds, bees and other insects have an important role to play in our ecosystem and environment as butterflies, bees and many birds are key players in pollinating our plants. To attract these creatures to your garden, plant some colourful, fragrant flowers and you’ll have a hive of activity taking place around you as the birds and bees spread seeds around your garden and neighbourhood to grow more plants and contribute to a healthier environment for all of us.

We all have a role to play in conserving our environment and it couldn’t be easier than starting with your garden. 

For more gardening tips and information, visit www.lifeisagarden.co.za or join the conversation on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/lifeisagardensa.

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