Back in 1987, the National Garden Bureau celebrated its first ever National Garden Week, dedicated to the folks who grow their own. It was a time set aside to both plant the seeds and spread the word about the utility and beauty of home and neighborhood gardening. But why celebrate something we assume to be such a basic and routine activity? They did this because, as Tom Karwin of OnGardening.com so wisely tells us, “Only gardening supports aesthetic, scientific, social, and political pursuits, and invites exercise as well.” As such, the act of gardening becomes a complete-human experience. And we, as humans, benefit from this single activity in so many ways, and on so many levels.
This week proved to be so successful, and necessary, that in 2003 the National Gardening Association expanded this celebration to the entire month of April, renaming it as National Garden Month. And as Mike Dunton, the Founder of Victory Seed Company notes, “April is National Garden Month for a reason. It is when we gardeners begin preparing for harvests of real, fresh, healthy food. …And whether you dream of self-sufficiency, saving some money on your food budget, or taking control over the quality of what you eat, April is your opportunity to start.”
And in the name of growing your own as well – and enjoying all of gardening’s benefits – we’d like to help you get a jumpstart on a garden of your own.
How to Create Little Spots of Health on an Ailing Planet
All across the country, there are all types of lawns, gardens, and gardeners. Some folks prefer to cultivate vegetables, others like flowers, and others still prefer fruit-bearing trees and bushes. Nonetheless, no matter what kind of garden you hope to grow, and what kind of lawn you like to maintain, these devices below can make it better, easier, and more enjoyable all year long.
In the spring and summer, it’s easy to grow plants in the warmth. But the trick becomes keeping them happy and producing (or flowering) during the winter months. And the Abba Patio Garden Greenhouse is a wonderful choice for anyone who owns a large enough outdoor space. With it, you can create your very own gardening environment, helping your plants bloom earlier with a head start on the spring and summer months by growing them in milder climates throughout winter.
This greenhouse is lightweight and easily assembled by two people in about 30 minutes. No tools are required, and it remains portable even after assembly. It’s constructed with a heavy-duty, powder-coated steel frame that resists chipping, peeling, rust, and corrosion. And around that sits a strong, durable, reinforced, transparent polyethylene cover manufactured from heavy duty material. The windows are equipped with insect netting to help control pests, and large-footprint plates that provide more stability. And, last but not least, the greenhouse’s 6ft x 8ft size allows it to hold all the gardening space you’ll likely need for your home. And, if not, just pick up another one!
You can also garden year-round (and let your imagination grow wild) using the Miracle Grow AeroGarden. This soil-free, hydroponic, indoor gardening system grows fresh herbs, vegetables, salad greens, flowers, and more 5 times faster than soil. But it’s not just a way to grow plants and vegetables indoors during the winter; it’s a way to grow them faster and more easily than you ever could outdoors, all year long. And while the idea of hydroponic gardening is far from new, this system makes it so incredibly easy – by automating nearly everything.
The AeroGarden features a fully-interactive, touch-screen control panel that tells you when to pour in water; reminds you when to add plant food; automatically turns on and off the high-performance, full spectrum, 45-watt LED lighting system; and provides timely tips and on-screen help functions. Inside the box, you’ll find included a 9-Pod Gourmet Herb Seed Kit that contains Genovese Basil (x2), Thai Basil, Curly Parsley, Italian Parsley, Cilantro, Chives, Dill, Mint, and 3 oz. of liquid plant food. And if one of the pods happens to not sprout, Miracle Grow will send you a new seed pod as a replacement.
The plant seeds are already embedded in the pods, which include a sponge to soak up the right amount of water to start germination and give the plants a medium for root growth. The grow lights and water pump cycle as needed to create the right conditions for germination, and then, two weeks later, the system switches to parameters more optimal for the fast growth given the type of plant you’ve chosen. All you have to do is think about which recipes you want to cook with them.
Have you ever gone into your grandparents toolshed; noticed the rusty, old, manual-push lawnmower; and thought – well, that’s just far too much work? Not anymore, folks! This classic Scotts Push-Reel Mower gives you the eco-friendly fuel savings of a manual mower combined with the wide-cutting width and ease of a power mower.
For those of you who like an impeccable lawn, the Scotts 2000-20 is a light, maneuverable, economical, quiet, and pollution-free solution for any turf. Powered by you, this mower has no complicated engine components to deal with and assembles with no tools required, so you’ll be ready to cut the grass within minutes of taking it out the box. And its unique, dual-tracking rear wheel design helps reduce drag and improve maneuverability. Meanwhile, its 5 ultra-sharp, heavy-duty steel blades ensure easy, accurate cutting and efficient operation. Each blade slices through grass with extreme precision, leaving behind fine mulch, which is essential for a healthy lawn.
The mower also boasts a wide, 20-inch cutting path that will reduce the number of passes required to cut your grass so you can get the job done more quickly and efficiently. On top of that, the easy-to-use, quick-snap height adjusters provide fingertip control over your blade height for precision cuts. Adjustable from 1 to 3 inches, they easily fit into 9 different height slots and stay securely locked in place.
Overall, the Scotts 2000-20 Classic Push Reel Lawnmower is just as easy to use, and cheaper to operate, than a gas-powered mower, especially when you consider all the peripheral needs of a motorized mower. It weighs only 34lbs., is backed by a 2-year warranty, and shines as a perfect example of a simple, low-tech solution to a common need.
And as we remember the simple joys of gardening all throughout the rest of April, let’s keep in mind the wisdom of Bill Neiman from Native American Seed:
“Now is the time to plant many of the grasses and wildflowers that are part of the “rainforest” in our area of the planet – the plains and prairies. The time to reaffirm our faith that there will indeed be a future. A time to remind ourselves that each of us has the right and the responsibility to create little spots of health on an ailing planet. A time to do our part, in the hope that our children and our children’s children might have a chance to experience the joys of watching the earth wake up from a long winter’s rest to flower into a beautiful spring.”
Happy National Garden Month, everyone. Now go out there and get your hands dirty!