You may think there is little to do in the brrrr freezing cold this January. But, it is what you do now that will prove so fruitful in a few months time. Aside from the aesthetic gains to be reaped and after listening to RTE1 for too long recently – where the news, primetime and even the weatherman depressed me – I realised we all need something to smile about. I had to get outside.
But there is also another [moreso recently more serious] side to gardening and that is of keeping active. According to one report, if maintained for at least 30 minutes gardening can be so beneficial. They say…
- Digging the garden burns between 150 and 200 calories per half hour
- using a push mower burns 180 calories in women in half an hour and 240 calories in men, while using a motor mower it drops to 135 and 180 calories each.
- planting, pruning and trimming flowers, shrubs and trees gives a moderate workout, burning 135 calories in women and 180 in men in half an hour.
- weeding might be the scourge of most gardeners, it burns off 140 calories in women and over 180 in men per half hour
So having dusted down those tools and psyched yourself; having saved your petrol money so as you might drive to the gymnasium and having sold those spandex tracksuits here’s what you can do
- trees, trees, trees – the best time to plant bare roots and rootballs types as they’re still dormant. They’re also great value.
- tree’s, the Christmas tree – it could sit there for ages. Recycle it!
- weeds – start doing it now. [see above]
- mulch – i find it warms my hands! Buy it loose or by the metre cubed. It’s better value.
- tree’s – adjust those straps and buckles. Not too loose mind you.
- hedging – bareroots are still available – plant them now.
- fertilise – yes fertiliser. If you use a slow release version [not 10:10:20 style] you can apply it now as you are planting or as you are mulching.
- buy Grandma’ a rose plant – and pot it up yourself. Great value and she’ll love you for it
- edging – re-edge those beds. Use a length of timber to stop damage on the lawn if necessary
- prune – remove any dead or diseased wood from your trees
- fruit – trees [more] are always good
- vegetables – plan your plot for the new year – now!
- birds – fill the feeders
- garden hygiene – a good garden ‘spring clean’ so to speak is always necessary. It prevents a build of pests and diseases.
- planting now means no watering – good for the environment
However, if you’re like my Dad you’ll probably just do the 30 mins and leave the rest to someone else….. That said, a great time to get a head start is now. Enjoy