Tag Archives: plants

WHO KNEW? GARDENING IS A HEALTHY HABIT!

Weed, Baby, Weed! (Or Plant, for That Matter)

Gardening is a healthy habit! It burns calories, it works your muscles, and it increases your harvest. And while it’s good to dig in the dirt, the aftereffects can be a pain. That’s why it’s important to condition your core, and position yourself correctly so the right muscles are used:

  1. When planting or weeding keep your back straight (not hunched) to minimize back strain, and take breaks every so often to protect your knees and back.
  2. When picking up heavy bags of soil (or anything else) bend at the knees-not your waist- to engage your leg muscles. This decreases stress on your neck, shoulders, and most importantly your back.
  3. When pruning, pull branches to your level. Avoid twisting or reaching too far overhead.

Families who garden are more likely to get their 5-plus a day of fruits and vegetables.

  • Kids who garden tend to eat more veggies (even when they go off to college). And everyone knows that eating veggies is a healthy habit!
  • 6 easy vegetables anyone can grow: green beans, cukes, leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers and zucchini.
  • The number one vegetable people grow in their gardens is tomatoes, with 86% of American households planting them.

Other Healthy Outcomes

  • Gardening is a proven tension tamer. In one study, people who took a frustrating test then gardened for 30 minutes showed an uptick in their mood and a lowering of the stress hormone cortisol.
  • Stronger immunity? Yes. Research shows that children who garden (and play in dirt) develop healthier immune systems.
  • Finally, garden helps society. OK, that sounds rather grand, doesn’t it? But think about it: 72% of plastic wrap and materials used to package produce ends up as litter on land or in water. And if you grow it, you will eat it (freeze it, can it, give it to lucky friends) before it spoils. Supermarkets, on the other hand, often end up with piles of unsold produce, costing an estimated $15 billion every year.

So, eat well, feel great, and garden for good health. Get digging.

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON GARDENING

You probably know someone (maybe even yourself) who has said, “Gardening is too hard. There is so much to learn. I just know if I plant something, I’ll kill it.”

Well, of course you will. Everyone who has ever gardened since Adam and Eve has killed a plant. This is called learning. It’s how we figure out what works and what doesn’t.
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Feed Your Soil, or Feed Your Plants?

“I thought adding plant food to the water would be best for my plants. What is the difference between feeding the plants and feeding the soil?”

soil-in-hands

Organic Fertilizers and Soil Amendments

At Giordano’s Gift and Garden we sell fertilizers and soil amendments for every gardener’s needs, and we are committed to providing organic products as much as is practical, so there is the smallest negative impact on the environment.  Organics are natural ingredients that beneficial microbes digest as food and then make nutrients available for plants. Feeding the soil preserves the natural biologic interactions that support plant survival and growth. Also,organic fertilizers have a much lower chance of leaching through the soil and contaminating the water table.

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Grow a Healthy and Beautiful Garden

Which Growing Zone? zone-map-3

Growing a garden in Zone 7a (this is the zone we live in on Long Island) means we have the best of both warm and cool climates. Summer temperatures are warm enough to grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and many other subtropical plants. Winter temperatures can be cool enough to freeze the soil several inches deep for brief periods, but moderate enough that a little insulation will protect plants from damage.

Spring planting of vegetable crops should be guided by the last average frost date. In our zone it could be after April 15, or as late as the first week in May. Keep an eye on the weather forecast, and if you are unsure, ask the local County Cooperative Extension office, listed in the phone book. Seed packet instructions often contain statements such as “Plant seeds indoors six weeks before the last average frost,” or “Sow seeds in the garden two weeks after the last average frost date.”

Microclimates

It also is important to know how many hours of direct sunlight your plants can receive and where the shadows fall in the afternoon. You may have at least 4 different microclimates around your home:

  1. A hot side facing south
  2. A shadowed, cool side on the north
  3. A warm western side with afternoon sun
  4. An ever-changing eastern side that may be warm or cool depending on trees, fencing, or time of year.

Carefully observe heat and light to know where to create your garden. Watch where your snow melts first. This is the warmest and sunniest microclimate you have. Plants that produce fruits require plenty of sun. Allow at least 6 hours daily for tomatoes, zucchini and cabbage. In general, the bigger the fruit the more sunlight it must have.

On the other hand, many veggies and herbs can do well in only about 4 hours of sun a day, such as carrots, beets, chard, chives, lettuce, basil, mint, parsley, or spinach. For leafy green vegetable, less sunlight is fine.

The Key to Success

The key to a healthy garden lies in the soil.  The more you can do to keep your soil healthy, the more productive your garden will be and the higher the quality of your crops. Giordanos carries premium soil and boosters to enhance your output and the excellence of your plants.

Giordano’s wants you to succeed, so we offer plants that will thrive for our customers. Your success is our success, so come in for advice about what will work best for you.

If you are starting or maintaining a home vegetable garden, this website from Cornell University will prove to be extremely helpful:

https://gardening.cce.cornell.edu/