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Gardening season

Joan Ritchie's editorial for March 27, 2019
Editorial by Joan Ritchie

Although we probably aren’t out of the snowy woods yet, a lot of melting has taken much of the snow away in the last couple of weeks.  

Every green thumb on the prairies is itching to scratch in the dirt and get spring blossoms blooming and their flower beds and gardens planned and ready for the planting season.  

Gardening is not for the faint of heart; there may be some physical labour involved into getting the soil prepared and ready for planting. A person would be foolish is they thought they could just go out and throw some seed in a plot of hard soil and reap results.  

Not that easy my friend…ask anyone at the farmer’s market how much preparation and work it takes to produce and reap abundant crops.  

You need to till the soil, and possibly more than once. Is it fertile soil, and the kind you need to plant the seeds you are planning? Some seeds need better drainage, while others can survive and thrive in a heavier mixture.  

Individuals who you can see have a proven track record in producing excellent crops are a great resource for the lowdown on how to do it. Just ask them; most are willing to share their abundance of information because they take great pleasure and pride in what they produce. You can spot these over-producers in the garden patch by their beaming faces and exuberance when engaging on the subject. Other great resources for information are the internet and books on the subject. Of course, there’s also the school of hard knocks where people learn from experience and make the appropriate changes to get optimal results. That is, if they are quick learners!  

And, as we all know, we can have the best intentions, put in all the prep work required and still may not get the results we were expecting due to forces beyond our control…scorching heat that burns the plants, too much rain, unexpected frost that could stunt growth, insects that consume the plants both above and below ground, not enough or too much fertilizer or maybe not the right kind for what you are producing…and here’s hoping that you use organic products that won’t kill you, stunt your growth or cause some…

And then, as many green-thumbers know, planting by the moon is a necessary compliance. The older set believe in this phenomenon and strictly adhere to it, and for one that considers themselves an in-betweener, I have seen from others and my own experience, it works.  

And if you haven’t heard yet, there are multiple health benefits to gardening, not to mention the abundance of nutrient rich garden vegetables you have to consume. A study done a few years ago noted that gardening could reduce the risk of dementia by 36 per cent. This makes me wonder why more senior health care facilities don’t have garden plots for their dementia patrons to putter in?  

There is also exercise involved in gardening; that is a good thing for the blood pressure and body, and who doesn’t enjoy a happier countenance? It’s a mood booster. Did I mention, it is noted that a substantial percent of the population gets more pleasure out of gardening that from sex?    

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