While the Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc throughout the United States with over 1,700,000 reported cases, we have all had to adjust our work and home schedules to ensure we are staying healthy.
Thanks to advances in technology, many of us have been able to work from home allowing us to continue providing for our family. With so many Americans being forced to stay at home, we have seen a tremendous uptick in quality conversations, as well as finishing up projects around the house. One of the projects that Americans have turned to is gardening.
Without even thinking about following the Center's for Disease Control's (CDC) healthy guidelines, gardening allows us to practice our social distancing and to wash our hands often. As you might imagine, by digging in the dirt, it is easy to get our hands dirty, forcing us to clean up often. In addition to that, digging in the dirt makes it easy to get dirty hands forcing us to clean up often. The amazing thing about gardening is it helps with our flexibly and motor skills. This is so important for our older Americans! From planting to harvesting there are all kinds of wonderful benefits derived from gardening that improve strength, endurance and mental health.
If you walk into Home Depot or Lowe's, you immediately realize there is a significant surge in business throughout the home improvement stores, especially in the gardening section. One frequent customer who has loved gardening ever since her husband retired from the military over 20 years ago is Thelma Schmidt. Mrs. Schmidt said, “Gardening brings her great joy and helps clear her mind. There is nothing I enjoy more than walking with the grandchildren to the garden and giving them the opportunity pick the vegetables. Mrs. Schmidt recommends that all senior citizens give gardening a try. You could tell rather quickly how much that meant to her by the huge smile that came across her face when talking about her grandchildren. I asked Mrs. Schmidt what she would suggest for senior citizens just getting started gardening. She responded saying, “I would recommend starting with a couple of your favorite vegetables and if you like it, do a little more next year.
Finding plants and flowers to start your garden or beautify your home are repetitively easy, but the coronavirus has peaked demand so keeping up with the supply has been difficult for some suppliers. Bonnie Plant Farm, a 100 year supplier from Union Springs, Alabama has been running their tucks extended hours just to keep up with the demand. They are grateful for their business but have had to work their magic just to keep the stores stocked. You can purchase their healthy plants at Home Depot, Lowes, and Walmart, or you can order online from them too. Whether you are growing plants, flowers, vegetables or herbs, they probably have it. If you have any questions about growing a vegetable or plant, chances are very good that they have a detailed summary on their website to guide you along the way.
Benefits of planting and gardening:
- Improves mental health- Mrs. Schmidt believes one of the best things about gardening is that it helps sharpen her mind. By being able to spend time outside and in your garden, it improves your mental health.
- Stress release- Throughout the growing process, you will be focusing on the plants. By focusing on plants and vegetables, you will have fewer episodes of anxious feelings, thus eliminating stress.
- Vitamin D-Being outdoors in sunshine allows for a heavy dose of vitamin D.
- Sleep better-By working several hours in the yard or garden, it is very likely you will fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow.
- Exercise-by using your muscles while working in the yard, it helps with flexibility and mobility, the key ingredients to help you stay active and fit.
There are hardly any precautions about working in the yard. Keep in mind though, many occasions temperatures can exceed 80 and 90 degrees outdoors, so remember to stay hydrated and apply plenty of sunscreen.