10 Steps to Learning to Garden Meditate

10 Unique Ways I Garden Meditate

Gardening was never my forte. Honestly, I proudly wore the label of a “brown thumb” for most of my life. I’d often cringe at the thought of tending to plants, certain I’d unintentionally send them to an early demise. But little did I know that my journey from reluctant gardener to someone who finds solace in the garden would be a transformative experience. It’s the mindfulness/ meditation aspect that does that for me. Here are the ten steps that it took to get there.

1. Starting Small

My first foray into gardening was timid. I began with a single potted plant—a resilient succulent known for its ability to withstand my neglect. It required minimal care, allowing me to build confidence slowly. It wasn’t the first one I’d ever bought. I had killed others before. But I was ready, albeit with baby steps.

2. Learning Through Mistakes

The beginning was marked by countless failures. Overwatering, underwatering, and choosing the wrong plants were all part of the learning curve. But with each mishap, I began to observe the subtleties of my plants’ needs, fostering a sense of mindfulness in the process. I honestly never thought that I’d get there. My sister always tells me “just ask the plant what it wants.” I always thought she was nuts. But she’s not. You observe and you attend and you are mindful and then it starts to all click.

3. Patience and Presence

Gardening definitely helped teach me the art of patience and presence. Instead of rushing through tasks, I started to slow down, observing the nuances of my plants. And when I failed to do that, they died. This repeatedly reminded me of the importance of being fully engaged in the moment. This is really what mindfulness is all about.

4. The Healing Power of Nature

Amidst the frustrations and mishaps, I found solace in nature’s healing embrace. The garden became my refuge, a place where I could escape the chaos of daily life and immerse myself in the serenity of the natural world. I am definitely an urban woman. However, I love the fact that San Francisco offers so many opportunities to immerse yourself in nature within the city itself. You don’t even have to have your own garden. You can enjoy any of the small and large gardens throughout the city as spots for meditation.

5. Nurturing Growth, Both Plant and Self

As my gardening skills improved, I noticed a parallel growth within myself. Tending to plants became a metaphor for self-care and nurturing personal growth. I found that the more I nurtured my garden, the more I nurtured my own well-being. The more I nurtured myself, the easier it was to remember to nurture the plants. It helps to feel more tied in to nature.

6. Accepting Imperfection

Gardening taught me to embrace imperfection. Not every plant thrived, and not every leaf remained unblemished. Just as I accepted my plants’ flaws, I learned to accept my own imperfections with greater compassion. Obviously, this is something I’ve worked in throughout my life, particularly through therapy. There are many ways of approaching it. The point is that gardening teaches us things like this in a somatic, experiential way that differs from just thinking about it.

7. Mindful Observations

In the garden, I developed the practice of mindful observation. I’d spend moments simply gazing at the play of sunlight on leaves, the dance of pollinators, or the delicate unfurling of a bud. These contemplative moments allowed me to connect with the beauty of the present. They reminded me that everything that’s happening in my head is related to the past or the future. What’s happening right now in front of me is what’s real. The rest is usually just noise. By teaching myself to focus on just one thing in a garden, I learned mindfulness. And that leads to learning meditation.

8. Letting Go of Control

Gardening reminded me that life, like the garden, is filled with uncontrollable variables. I couldn’t command the rain to fall or the sun to shine. I couldn’t always shield my plants from pests or disease. Even when it seemed like I was doing everything right, plants would fail to thrive. It was hard. I wanted to fix it.

However, in relinquishing the illusion of control, I discovered a profound sense of freedom. It was a reminder that there is beauty in the natural ebb and flow of existence. Sometimes, the most vibrant blooms emerge from the unexpected and unplanned corners of life.

Gardening became a symbol of embracing impermanence. It offers an ongoing lesson in letting go that extends far beyond the garden’s borders into my life. I still struggle with wanting to control everything but it reminds me again and again that it is absolutely okay that I cannot.

9. Celebration of Growth

Each tiny sprout, every new leaf, and the first bloom are all reasons for celebration. Witnessing the gradual transformation of my garden taught me to savor the journey and appreciate the beauty of growth. As with all of the other lessons, this was really less about the garden than it was about myself. I exist in cycles and seasons but am also always growing. It’s a powerful thing and it’s nice to see it outside of yourself then to see how it relates to the inside of yourself.

10. Gardening as a Meditation Practice

Surprisingly, I found that gardening was my form of meditation or mindfulness. The act of tending to plants, gazing upon the deep colors of flowers, and immersing myself in nature’s rhythms all became a profound mindfulness practice. I didn’t know that this would happen although looking back it seems inevitable. By learning not to worry about “doing it right” and just be present in the act of doing it, I was able to allow things to grow. And in the process, I grew, too.

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Top-Selling Thorn-Proof Gardening Gloves

Top-Selling Thorn-Proof Gardening Gloves

Thorn-proof gardening gloves are an essential tool for any gardener who deals with prickly plants, thorny shrubs, or any potentially harmful vegetation. They provide protection against cuts, punctures, and scratches. Therefore, they allow you to work in the garden more safely and comfortably. They don’t have to be costly but you do want to make sure that you invest in a good pair.

What Are Thorn-Proof Gardening Gloves?

Thorn-proof gardening gloves are a type of protective handwear designed specifically to shield your hands. All gloves will protect your hands to some extent, of course. However, these gloves have unique features that make them specifically protective. They’re important for handling thorny or prickly plants. If you prune rose bushes, for example, you want to make sure to use these gloves. Additionally, if you have sensitive skin, you may want to use them in all of your gardening.

What To Look For When Buying Thorn-Proof Gardening Gloves

Here are some key features and considerations for thorn-proof gardening gloves:

  • Material: Thorn-proof gloves are typically made from durable and puncture-resistant materials such as leather, synthetic leather, or specialized fabrics with reinforced layers. Leather gloves, in particular, are known for their toughness and ability to withstand thorns.
  • Thickness: These gloves are usually thicker than standard gardening gloves. This is to provide an extra layer of protection against thorns and sharp objects.
  • Length: Many thorn-proof gloves come with extended cuffs or gauntlets. These cover a portion of your forearm, providing added protection in areas where thorny plants may come into contact with your skin.
  • Fit: A good fit is essential for comfort and dexterity. Look for gloves that fit snugly but still allow for movement and flexibility. Some gloves have adjustable wrist closures to ensure a secure fit.
  • Grip: A textured or non-slip surface on the palm and fingers of the gloves can help you maintain a firm grip on tools and plants, even when working in wet conditions.
  • Breathability: While protection is crucial, it’s also important to consider breathability to prevent your hands from becoming too sweaty or uncomfortable during extended gardening sessions. Some thorn-proof gloves have breathable materials or mesh panels to promote airflow.
  • Durability: Look for gloves with reinforced seams and stitching.
  • Cleaning: Check whether the gloves are easy to clean. Some thorn-proof gloves can be wiped clean. Others may be machine washable.

Top-Selling Thorn-Proof Gardening Gloves

Here are some of the top-selling options to choose from when picking out the right durable, thorn-proof gloves for your own gardening adventures:

Skydeer Utility Gloves

There are many different types of leather gloves, of course. Skydiver specializes in deer leather, which turns out to be a great option for the garden. These are soft and flexible but also durable and protective. They have many different choices, but narrow down your options to the “utility gloves.” Their Elegant Ladies Gardening Glove comes in a wrist length as well as an extended length. They even have gloves in this category for kids who help in the garden.

MERTURN Leather Gardening Gloves for Women

Available for less than $15 per pair on Amazon, these are definitely top sellers. Some of their standout features include:

  • The combination of leather and cotton in their design offers breathability with durability and protection.
  • They have “touchscreen” fingers which means that you can easily check something on the phone without taking them off.
  • They have a soft foam padded palm that is also “stab proof.”
  • These gloves are flexible with great grip.
  • They have a really cute design available in over three dozen different styles/colors to suit your personal style.

HANDLANDY Rose Pruning Gloves for Men & Women

These are extra long gloves that protect your arms all the way up to the elbow. They are made of pigskin, which some people prefer because this is a very breathable type of leather. Unlike some other leathers, when these get wet, they still dry soft, staying comfortable. Therefore, if you often garden in wet conditions, these are a great choice. The palms and fingertips are reinforced to be puncture resistant.

Yionaiyi Professional Rose Pruning Thorn Proof Gardening Gloves with Long Forearm Protection

Although they’re advertised for rose pruning, they are photographed holding a thorny cactus, so you can tell that these are designed for all types of prickly gardening. These are faux leather, which is important for vegan gardeners to consider. They are lightweight and breathable, making them comfortable even though they extend to the elbow. Moreover, the palms and fingertips have double padding for that extra protection that you’re looking for.

MEPEREZ Thorn Proof Cotton Gardening Gloves

Cotton is another option for vegan gardeners. These are made from high quality durable cotton that is thick enough to provide protection. Moreover, the cotton has been coated with a non-slip material. Therefore, these have good grip. These are long sleeve gardening gloves that offer a touchscreen finger opening for a combination of protection and functionality.

QQEARSAFETY Waterproof Gardening Gloves for Women and Men

These are very affordable nylon wrist-length gardening gloves that are perfect for gardeners who work in wet conditions. The waterproofing comes from a coating of sandy latex, which also helps with grip and durability. They come in a variety of different sizes so you can get the fit that is right for you. Moreover, the combination of nylon and knitted ribbing helps to really secure a great fit.

OIZEN Leather Tough Cowhide Work Gardening Gloves

These are often on bestseller lists because they sell consistently and are highly affordable. The cowhide is thick but flexible. It is designed to resist cuts, punctures and abrasions as well as some oils. This is combined with an elastic material that allows for breathability. Moreover, this material is sweat-resistant. This option has a thick ergonomic design which makes it flexible but with great grip.

YIXIN2013SHOP Garden Gloves on Amazon

Want to go a little bit fancier? All of the above options are priced between $10 and $25. These, on the other hand, are about twice the high end of that. What makes them worth it?

  • Goatskin glove with cowhide forearm extension offers the best in protection and durability without sacrificing flexibility
  • Ergonomic design enhances the flexibility while retaining grip but also allowing for fine motor gardening tasks like planting seeds
  • An adjustable buckle allows you to get the fit that you need

Do you have a pair of gardening gloves that you love? Tell us about them in the comments!

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The Gardener’s Brain

The Gardener's Brain

As you stand amidst the lush, vibrant foliage of a garden, your busy mind settles into the soothing rhythm of the natural world. The rumination stops. You notice the gentle rustling of leaves, the cheerful chorus of birdsong, and the earthy aroma of freshly turned soil. It’s in these still moments that you realize there’s something profoundly transformative happening inside your mind. This is a phenomenon that we might refer to as “the gardener’s brain.”

What Is The Gardener’s Brain?

“The gardener’s brain” is more than just a pretty metaphor. It’s actually related to the science of how gardening impacts the brain. Research has uncovered that activities as seemingly simple as digging, planting, and weeding trigger a cascade of neural responses within the brain.

When gardeners immerse themselves in these tasks, their bodies release a surge of endorphins. These are the body’s natural mood elevators, promoting feelings of happiness and well-being. This natural release of endorphins not only enhances mood. It also acts as a potent pain reliever, reducing the perception of discomfort and stress. The gardener’s brain, it appears, is itself a garden of sorts – a garden of neurochemical delights.

Neurology and Gardening

Gardening engages various neurological aspects that contribute to its positive impact on mental well-being. Here are some key neurological aspects of gardening:

Endorphin Release

Gardening activities like digging, planting, and weeding stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural chemicals produced by the brain that help reduce pain and induce feelings of pleasure and relaxation.

Dopamine Production

Engaging in gardening can lead to the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This can result in a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when seeing plants thrive.

Stress Reduction

Gardening has been shown to lower cortisol levels, a stress hormone, leading to reduced feelings of anxiety and stress. This reduction in stress hormones can have a calming effect on the brain.

Improved Mood

Spending time in nature and tending to plants can elevate mood by increasing the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to feelings of happiness and well-being.

Enhanced Cognitive Function

Gardening involves planning, problem-solving, and attention to detail, which can stimulate cognitive function and help maintain mental sharpness, especially in older adults.

Sensory Stimulation

Gardening engages multiple senses, including touch, smell, sight, and sometimes taste. This sensory stimulation activates different parts of the brain, providing a holistic cognitive experience.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Gardening often encourages mindfulness, promoting a state of focused attention on the present moment. This practice can have a positive impact on the brain’s neural pathways associated with stress regulation and emotional control.


Engaging in new gardening tasks and challenges can promote neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to adapt and rewire itself. This adaptability is crucial for learning and memory.

Social Connection

Gardening in a community or with others can activate areas of the brain associated with social bonding and cooperation, fostering a sense of belonging and connection.

Positive Associations

Over time, the brain forms positive associations with the act of gardening, making it a source of pleasure and relaxation, which can lead to long-term mental health benefits.

The Brain Benefits of Digging, Planting and Weeding

Let’s take a bit of a closer look at how each of these three stages of gardening affect the gardener’s brain in relation to the above.

The Brain Benefits of Digging

Digging, a fundamental gardening activity, offers numerous brain benefits. As the gardener plunges their hands into the soil and wields a spade, the brain’s reward system springs into action, releasing dopamine—a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and motivation. This surge of dopamine not only fosters a sense of accomplishment but also reinforces the satisfaction of physically shaping the earth. Additionally, the rhythmic, repetitive nature of digging can induce a meditative state, reducing stress and anxiety while enhancing concentration. This combination of pleasurable stimulation, meditative engagement, and tangible outcomes makes digging a cognitive workout for the brain, improving mood and mental well-being.

The Brain Benefits of Planting

Planting seeds or young plants is a gardening endeavor that brings unique neurological advantages. When gardeners delicately position a seedling into the ground or gently nestle seeds into the soil, they engage fine motor skills and tactile senses, activating areas of the brain associated with touch and spatial awareness. The act of planting also instills a sense of hope and anticipation—a future harvest or a flourishing flowerbed—triggering the release of dopamine, which elevates mood and motivation. Furthermore, the nurturing aspect of planting fosters a deep emotional connection with the growing life, offering a source of ongoing satisfaction and a sense of responsibility. This emotional bond contributes to a sense of purpose, enhancing overall mental well-being.

The Brain Benefits of Weeding

Weeding, often perceived as a mundane chore, conceals surprising neurological benefits. As gardeners meticulously remove unwanted plants or invasive weeds, they engage in an activity that demands focus and attention to detail. This heightened concentration can lead to a state of mindfulness, where the brain is fully immersed in the task at hand, relieving stress and promoting relaxation. Moreover, the act of weeding provides a tangible sense of progress and control over one’s environment, which can boost self-esteem and reduce feelings of powerlessness. In essence, weeding transforms a seemingly routine task into a therapeutic exercise for the brain, offering mental clarity and emotional satisfaction amidst the garden’s green tapestry.

Notice Your Changing Gardener’s Brain

Since you started gardening, you might have noticed some amazing changes in your brain. You might feel happier and more relaxed when you’re in your garden, thanks to all the fresh air and natural beauty around you. You might also find that you’re better at focusing and solving problems now, probably because gardening makes you pay close attention to what you’re doing. Plus, you’ve learned to be patient and persistent, just like your plants, which has made you more resilient in other parts of your life. Remember this each time that you head out to the garden. Celebrate all that this hobby does for you.

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8 Best Gardening Hats for Ultimate Sun Protection and Style!

Best Gardening Hats for Ultimate Sun Protection and Style!

The best gardening hats offer protection from the sun that goes beyond just providing a little bit of shade. They protect your eyes. Moreover, they help regulate your body heat. Plus they have other great features such as protection from rain or insects. Of course, you might as well be stylish while in the garden (or anywhere!) Therefore, you’ll want to explore the best gardening hats that fit your style.

What to Look For In Choosing Among the Best Gardening Hats

When choosing the best gardening hat, it’s essential to consider various features to ensure it meets your specific needs and preferences. Here are some important features to look for:

Wide Brim

Opt for a hat with a wide brim. You usually want one that’s at least 3 inches wide. This will provide ample shade and sun protection for your face, neck, and shoulders.

UPF Rating

Look for a gardening hat with a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating to ensure it effectively blocks harmful UV rays from the sun.


Consider the material of the hat. Lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking fabrics like cotton, nylon, or polyester are good choices for warm weather. For cooler seasons, choose a hat with insulating properties.

Adjustable Fit

Hats with adjustable features like drawstrings, chin straps, or elastic bands provide a customizable and secure fit, especially on windy days.


A gardening hat with ventilation holes or a mesh crown can help keep your head cool and prevent overheating.

Water Resistance

If you often garden in wet conditions, choose a hat with water-resistant or waterproof material to keep your head dry.

Neck Flap

Some gardening hats come with a detachable or built-in neck flap that offers additional sun protection for the neck and ears.

Insect Protection

If you’re in an area with a lot of insects, consider a hat that has built-in insect repellent or mosquito netting to keep bugs at bay.


Look for well-constructed hats with reinforced seams and sturdy materials to ensure they can withstand the rigors of gardening.


Check if the hat is easy to clean and maintain, as gardening hats can get dirty from soil and sweat.

Best Gardening Hats for Ultimate Sun Protection and Style

Here are some of our recommendations for finding the best gardening hats with many of the aforementioned features:

FURTALK Womens Wide Brim Sun Hat with Wind Lanyard

This hat has over 12,000 reviews on Amazon and more than three-quarters of them are five-star reviews. It’s a unique eco-friendly hat made from recycled paper. It comes in two sizes, and it has a velcro strap that helps with adjusting either size to better fit you. The brim is over three inches wide. And it has a UPF of 50+. At under $25 on Amazon, this is a solid choice.

Leotruny Women Super Wide Brim Sun Hat UPF50+ Waterproof Bucket Hat

Although designed for fishing and camping, this is actually a great gardening hat. The brim is nearly 6″ so you’re going to have your own shade while you work. Other great features include UPF 50+, mesh panels for ventilation, an adjustable chin strap, and five different color options. If you want to make a style statement, this hat is a great choice. It’s also under $25 on Amazon.

EINSKEY Sun Hat for Men/Women

This is a unisex hat that comes in eighteen different colors/prints so you can choose one (or more) that really suits your personal style. The brim is nearly 4″ wide. It has mesh panels and a built-in sweatband, perfect for staying comfortable while working in the sun. However, if it happens to rain, you’re covered because it’s a waterproof hat.

Home Prefer Men’s Sun Hat with Neck Flap

This is a lightweight, breathable, quick-drying hat that includes a flap to protect your neck. It has 50+ UPF. It comes in twenty different colors to suit your style. Although labeled for men, this hat works well for anyone. Note that it is a one-size-only hat, though, so if you have a small head then it might not be the right fit for you. However, check the brand for other hats that might work as they have a wide range of options. And, at under $20, this is one of the best gardening hats on the list in terms of affordability.

Jackell’s Mosquito Head Net Hat

If you’re looking for insect protection in addition to sun protection then try a hat like this one. It includes a mesh face veil to protect you from bugs while you work in the garden. The brim is almost 3″, it has UPF 50+, and it costs under $20.

Palmyth Head Net Hat

This is another good choice if you’re looking for a hat with an insect veil option. It’s versatile because you can choose to snap the veil up when you don’t want to use it plus you have the option of a removable neck flap. The brim is 3.2″, UPF 50+, sweatband and mesh for ventilation, water-repellent, and easy to wash.

Philights 100% Cotton Women Sun Hat

If you want a hat that works in the garden as well as in your daily life, then take a look at this one. It’s great because the brim has wire built into it that allows you to change the shape. Therefore, you can have a cute rolled-up brim when you’re out and about but more shade when you’re in the garden.

Kool Breeze Solar Hat

This one is for those people who might want to splurge a little on cost to get something really special. This is a lightweight breathable straw hat with a super wide brim and UPF 50+. What makes it really special is that it has. built-in fan, powered with solar power, to keep you cool as you garden. It comes in many different styles and will cost you about $60.

GearTOP Kids’ Bucket Hats

Do your kids hang out in the garden with you? If so, you’ll also want good sun protection for them. GearTOP has some of the best gardening hats for kids. They’re lightweight, breathable, UPF 50+, and easy to adjust to the child’s head size.

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My Favorite Garden Metaphors

My Favorite Garden Metaphors

The garden and the things that grow in it provide such great lessons for life. Perhaps that’s why there are so many terrific gardening metaphors. By looking at what nature has to teach us, we truly can learn a lot. So, here are some of my favorite garden metaphors and what I love about them.

Life is a Garden and You Are the Gardener

This metaphor beautifully encapsulates a powerful life lesson about personal responsibility, growth, and mindfulness. Just as a garden requires careful tending, planning, and nurturing to flourish, so does our life. Further thoughts on what we can learn from this idea that life is a garden:

  • Personal Responsibility: In a garden, every plant’s well-being depends on the gardener’s attention and care. Similarly, in life, we are responsible for our own growth and happiness. We have the power to make choices, set goals, and take actions that shape our path.
  • Growth and Development: Gardens need regular care, including watering, weeding, and pruning, for plants to reach their full potential. Likewise, in life, personal growth and development require continuous effort, learning from challenges, and letting go of things that no longer serve us.
  • Patience and Perseverance: Gardens don’t bloom overnight; they need time and patience to bear fruit and flowers. Similarly, in life, achieving our dreams and aspirations often demands perseverance and resilience. It’s essential to keep moving forward, even when progress seems slow.
  • Mindfulness and Attention: Successful gardeners are attentive to their plants, noticing signs of distress, and providing the necessary care. In life, being mindful and present allows us to recognize when we need self-care, prioritize our well-being, and build strong connections with others.
  • Seasons of Change: Gardens experience cycles of growth, dormancy, and renewal as the seasons change. In life, we, too, go through various stages, facing ups and downs, but like the garden, we can adapt, grow, and evolve as we navigate life’s different phases.

Life’s Garden is Filled with Seeds of Opportunity

This metaphor likens life to a vast garden filled with seeds representing various opportunities and possibilities. Just as a garden offers an array of seeds waiting to be sown, life presents us with countless opportunities for growth and success. Further thoughts:

  • Abundance of Choices: Just as a garden has diverse seeds, life offers us a myriad of choices and paths to explore. We are presented with opportunities for education, career, relationships, personal interests, and more. Embracing this abundance empowers us to make informed decisions that align with our passions and values.
  • Nurture and Cultivation: Seeds need nurturing, proper care, and the right environment to grow into thriving plants. Similarly, seizing opportunities in life requires dedication, effort, and persistence. By investing time and energy into our pursuits, we can cultivate our potential for success.
  • Timing and Patience: In a garden, different seeds germinate and grow at their own pace. Similarly, in life, seizing opportunities may require patience and recognizing the right timing for certain endeavors. Understanding that success may not come overnight helps us stay committed and focused.
  • Weeding out Negativity: Just as weeds can hinder a garden’s growth, negativity and self-doubt can impede our progress in life. By recognizing and removing negative thoughts or influences, we create space for positive opportunities and personal growth.
  • Embracing Diversity: A diverse garden is beautiful and enriching. Similarly, embracing the diversity of opportunities in life allows us to expand our horizons, learn new things, and experience a more fulfilling journey.
  • Harvesting Rewards: A well-tended garden eventually yields a bountiful harvest. Similarly, taking advantage of life’s opportunities and pursuing our dreams can lead to the fulfillment of our goals and aspirations.

Planting Seeds of Success

This gardening metaphor emphasizes the importance of taking intentional actions and making consistent efforts to achieve success in our endeavors. Here are some key lessons that can be drawn from this metaphor:

  1. Vision and Goals: Just as a gardener starts with a vision of the garden they want to create, success begins with setting clear and meaningful goals. Identifying what we want to achieve gives us direction and purpose.
  2. Embracing Failure: Not every seed will grow into a plant, and not every attempt will lead to immediate success. Embracing failure as part of the growth process allows us to learn, adapt, and improve on our journey to success.
  3. Cultivating Skills and Knowledge: A gardener may need to learn about various plant species and gardening techniques. Similarly, acquiring new skills and knowledge relevant to our goals enhances our capabilities and chances of success.
  4. Creating the Right Environment: Just as certain plants thrive in specific conditions, success may require creating an environment that supports our growth and development. Surrounding ourselves with supportive people and a positive atmosphere can be beneficial.
  5. Consistency and Daily Actions: Success often comes from consistent daily actions and habits. Like watering and caring for a garden regularly, consistent efforts contribute to steady progress and growth.
  6. Adaptability and Flexibility: Gardeners adjust their strategies based on weather and other conditions. Similarly, being adaptable and flexible in our approach allows us to navigate changes and challenges on the path to success.
  7. Celebrating Progress: As plants grow, gardeners take joy in their progress. Likewise, celebrating small milestones and achievements motivates us to keep moving forward and maintain a positive outlook.

Harvesting the Fruits of Our Labor

This conveys the idea of reaping the rewards and benefits of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. Just as a farmer collects the fruits of their labor during harvest time, we too can experience the gratification of our efforts in various aspects of life. Here are some essential lessons from this metaphor:

  • Delayed Gratification: Like crops that take time to mature, achieving significant accomplishments may require patience and delayed gratification. Understanding that results might not be immediate encourages us to stay committed to our endeavors.
  • Effort and Investment: Farmers invest time, resources, and energy in their fields, and in life, hard work and effort are necessary to yield meaningful results. The more we invest, the more we stand to gain.
  • Joy in the Harvest: Harvest time is a moment of celebration for farmers. In life, reaching milestones and achieving our goals brings a sense of fulfillment, joy, and pride in what we have accomplished.
  • Reaping What We Sow: The quality of the harvest depends on the care given during planting and cultivation. In life, the outcomes we experience are often a reflection of the choices and actions we make along the way.
  • Gratitude and Abundance: Harvest time is a time of abundance, and it reminds us to be grateful for what we have achieved. Practicing gratitude for our successes enhances our overall sense of contentment and fulfillment.
  • Renewal and Planning: After harvest, farmers plan for the next planting season. In life, success should be seen as part of an ongoing journey, encouraging us to set new goals and continue our pursuit of growth and improvement.

You may notice that a lot of these lessons are themselves metaphors related to gardening: reaping what we saw, harvesting rewards, cultivating gratitude … turn to your garden to see what life lessons it has to teach you!

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Top 7 Eco-Friendly Peat Moss Alternatives

Top 7 Eco-Friendly Peat Moss Alternatives

Peat moss has a long history of gardening benefits. However, it also poses significant problems for the environment when you use peat moss. Therefore you might want to explore peat moss alternatives. There are plenty of great options that do the job without damaging the earth.

What Is Peat Moss?

Peat moss is a type of organic material that comes from the decomposition of plants in peat bogs over thousands of years. A peat bog, also known as a peatland, is a type of wetland ecosystem formed over thousands of years through the accumulation of dead vegetation.

Reasons People Use Peat Moss in Gardening

Peat moss is used in gardens for various reasons:

Soil Amendment

Peat moss is an excellent soil amendment that improves soil structure and texture. It helps to loosen dense soils, improving drainage in clay soils and retaining moisture in sandy soils. The fibrous nature of peat moss also enhances aeration, which is vital for root growth.

Water Retention

Peat moss has a high water-holding capacity, enabling it to retain moisture in the soil. This characteristic is especially useful during dry periods, as it helps to keep the soil consistently moist, providing a more stable environment for plants.

pH Adjustment

Peat moss is acidic, and its presence in the soil can lower the pH level, making it more acidic. This is beneficial for acid-loving plants, such as blueberries, rhododendrons, and azaleas, which thrive in slightly acidic conditions.

Organic Matter

As an organic material, peat moss contributes to soil fertility by slowly releasing nutrients as it breaks down. It also serves as a substrate for beneficial soil microorganisms, improving the overall health of the soil ecosystem.

Seed Starting and Potting Mixes

Peat moss is commonly used in seed-starting mixes and potting mixes for container gardening. Its light and fluffy texture provides an ideal medium for young seedlings to establish their root systems.

Soil Conditioner

When applied as a top dressing or worked into the soil, peat moss acts as a soil conditioner, improving the overall quality of the soil and enhancing plant growth.

Environmental Problems with Peat Moss

Unfortunately, using peat moss creates problems for the earth. Peat bogs are unique ecosystems that store a significant amount of carbon and provide a habitat for various plants and wildlife. Unsustainable harvesting of peat moss can lead to the depletion of these valuable habitats and release stored carbon into the atmosphere. Additional problems related to using peat moss include impact on water quality and quantity, increased flooding in over-harvested areas, and the loss of species diversity.

Top 7 Eco-Friendly Peat Moss Alternatives

Several peat moss alternatives are available for gardeners who want to reduce their environmental impact. Gardeners can create healthier soils, support sustainable practices, and reduce the impact on sensitive peatland ecosystems. Some of the best peat moss alternatives include:

Coconut Coir

Coconut coir is a renewable resource derived from coconut husks, which are usually discarded as waste. Using coconut coir as a peat moss alternative helps recycle this agricultural byproduct and reduces the need for landfill disposal. It has similar water-holding capacity and aeration properties but is more sustainable and environmentally friendly. And yet, I]it is a more sustainable option compared to peat moss.

Do note that the production and transportation of coconut coir might have some environmental impact. This includes energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with processing and transportation. However, these impacts are generally lower compared to peat moss extraction.


Compost is made from organic waste, such as kitchen scraps and yard trimmings, which would otherwise end up in landfills. By composting organic materials, gardeners divert waste from landfills. This reduces methane emissions. Moreover, it creates a nutrient-rich soil amendment that improves soil health. There are very few potential drawbacks to using compost as a peat moss alternative, which is why it’s a common peat moss alternative.

Leaf Mold

Leaf mold is the result of decomposed leaves and is a valuable organic material for improving soil structure and water retention. It is an excellent source of nutrients for plants and can be made by composting leaves over time. Note that leaf mold may take a longer time to break down compared to compost, though. Therefore, gardeners may need to plan and start the decomposition process in advance.

Well-Rotted Manure

Well-rotted manure is a byproduct of animal husbandry and agriculture. Using well-rotted manure as a soil amendment can help recycle organic waste. Aged and well-rotted animal manure can enrich the soil with nutrients and improve its fertility. It also enhances soil structure and microbial activity.

Note that manure from intensively farmed livestock may contain residual antibiotics or other substances that could impact soil and water quality if not properly managed. Ensuring that the manure comes from a reputable and sustainable source is essential if you want to use it as a peat moss alternative.

Pine Bark

Pine bark, when aged and ground, can be used as a soil amendment to improve aeration and drainage in the soil. It is particularly useful for plants that prefer acidic conditions. Since it is a byproduct of the timber industry, you’re making use of something that would otherwise go to the landfill. Note that some pine bark products may contain chemicals or preservatives used during timber processing. That’s just something you want to check for before adding it to your garden.

Rice Hulls

Rice hulls are lightweight and provide good aeration to the soil. They can be used as mulch or mixed into the soil to improve its structure. Like with pine bark, they are waste from another industry that we can use as gardeners. Like with coconut coir, there may be environmental impacts of transport but these should be less than with peat moss extraction.

Peat-Free Potting Mixes

Many commercial potting mixes now come with peat-free formulations, using various combinations of the alternatives mentioned above. These mixes provide suitable growing mediums for various plants. Note, however, that some commercially available peat-free mixes might still contain non-renewable resources or synthetic materials. Checking the ingredients and sourcing sustainably produced mixes is important as a result.

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Substack Gardening: Must-Read Newsletters If You Love Nature

Substack Gardening: Must-Read Newsletters If You Love Nature

I recently shared with you how much I was loving Lia’s Living Almanac. It’s a Substack newsletter related to plants and gardening. However, it’s not the only one that I subscribe to. Substack has many different gardening and nature newsletters that you might want to check out. Therefore, I wanted to share some more of my favorites with you today.

What Is Substack?

If you’re not familiar with Substack, then I’ll give you a brief overview. Substack is a platform where you can easily create a newsletter. However, unlike other newsletter platforms, such as MailChimp, your newsletter also acts as a sort of blog. People who sign up for your newsletter will receive it in their email. Alternatively, they can read it on the Substack app or website. People who aren’t signed up for the newsletter can see your articles on the site or app. Then they can decide if they want to sign up or not.

Best Gardening and Nature Substacks

I shared previously about Lia’s Living Almanac which is great for people who are inspired by growing and cooking their food. Let me share some of my other favorites with you now:

Creatively Conscious

This is an intentional newsletter / digital magazine by creative / writer Claire Venus. She celebrates slow living and the well-being it brings, writes about nature in her life, and shares thoughts on motherhood and more. She recently shared her creative garden project called The Soil Web. Claire explains it’s “all about soil, making soil using worm hotels and observing the bio-diversity of soil!”

June’s Writing

June Girvin is a retired nursing professor and “Reader, writer, knitter, walker, gardener, critic.” She chats conversationally about all different types of things in her newsletter, with gardening showing up prominently. She shares photos and descriptions of what is going on in her own garden. I often find that I learn best just by hearing other people’s stories and what they’re doing to problem solve. This fits me better than “Here’s how to do things in three steps.” So that’s one of the reasons that her newsletter is appealing to me.

Also, she did a great important post on planting for pollinators. We discussed that recently here on our site. And it’s the kind of thing that will show up in good gardening/nature newsletters from time to time. As you’ll discover, most of the writers on Substack are sharing a variety of different things that overlap and it weaves gardening into that.

Garden Study

Garden Study is a subsection of a larger Substack called Culture Study. It’s authored by Anne Helen Petersen who shares many different smart thoughts about culture but wanted to create this section just to talk about the joys of gardening. As of the writing of this post, some of the recent articles in Garden Study related to container gardening, gardening mistakes,  square foot gardening, and practicing patience when gardening with kids.

Note that this is a subscription-based newsletter. Substack allows authors to offer both free and paid content. Most authors offer both. Garden Study is an opt-in optional newsletter for paying subscribers but you do get a little bit of preview content before you pay. (Also, it’s good to pay if you can; these newsletters don’t write themselves!)

Life in the Real World

This newsletter will be one of your favorites if you love nature photos. Author Karen Davis is a nature photographer as well as a writer. She shares “Drops of Beauty” regularly which are photo-rich looks at nature. They delight me every single time that I open one.

About the newsletter, Karen writes:

“This newsletter will be full of photos and reflections on what nature teaches me every day about beauty, wonder, and living in the world. I hope you will find it grounding, meditative, sometimes illuminating, and full of genuine curiosity about this strange thing we call Life.”

Neblina Wool Dye Studio Notes

I’ve previously shared with you how I’m interested in gardening plants for natural dyes to dye yarn or fabric. There’s so much great information in this newsletter that’s all about that. The newsletter is written by Sara Meinecke who calls herself a “Natural dyer, knitter, sewer, slow fashion enthusiast.” That’s right up my alley (although I crochet instead of knit.) She explains that her Substack newsletter is about “sharing natural color processes, exploring local color palettes, and connecting with sustainability.”

Recently, she shared a post about Artist Dates. These are part of Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way practice, in which you take yourself on a weekly solo creative date. What I love about the post is that it’s a roundup of artist-date ideas specifically for natural dyers. For example, doing a dye color test of a plant local to your area or taking yourself on a nature walk. Very inspiring and creative!

The Gardening Mind by Jo Thompson

This is one of the most comprehensive resources on Substack related to gardening. Authored by a garden designer, it’s rich in helpful tips and information about all aspects of gardening. There are sections for small gardens, planting design, what not to do in the garden, resilient and sustainable gardening, and more. If you’re looking for just one newsletter that will help you get started with gardening information, then this is where you might want to begin.


This is a place that shares essays and thoughts from multiple contributors about alternative gardening. If you’re interested in social justice issues and climate concerns as they relate to gardening, then this is the spot for you.

Remembering Wild by Sez Kristiansen

This is a beautifully written newsletter about a variety of different topics related to rewinding, the spirituality of nature, natural remedies, creativity, mental health, and more. In terms of gardening, Sez says that the space is for you if, among other things, you, “love the wild outdoors, gardening or being in nature.” That would be us, right? It includes a podcast and meditation. While it’s not a typical gardening newsletter, it’s one you’ll like if gardening is part of a slow-living path for you.

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Shopping for Grow Lights? Learn the Optimal Number of Lumens Required for Your Plants.

Shopping for Grow Lights? Learn the Optimal Number of Lumens Required for Your Plants.

If you’re venturing into the realm of indoor gardening, one essential tool you’ll need to master is the grow light. These artificial light sources mimic the sun’s rays, providing the energy necessary for plants to thrive. However, choosing the best grow lights for plants can be a daunting task. After all, there are a large number of options on the market. You want to stay frugal but you want to get a good light. One thing to consider is the number of lumens required for your plants.

What Are Lumens?

Lumens are a unit of measurement used to quantify the total amount of visible light emitted by a light source. This is calculated as it is perceived by the human eye. In simpler terms, lumens are a measure of how bright a light appears to us.

The concept of lumens is based on the sensitivity of the human eye to different wavelengths of light. The eye is more sensitive to green-yellow light, so light sources that emit more light in this range will appear brighter to us.

Brighter Isn’t Always Better

In the context of grow lights, lumens can be somewhat misleading. That’s because plants have different light requirements than humans. Whereas lumens are measure by how our eyes perceive them, a plant’s “eyes” would see them differently. Plants primarily use specific wavelengths of light in the blue and red spectrum for photosynthesis. Therefore, even though a grow light might have a high lumen output, it may not provide the right light spectrum or intensity that plants need for healthy growth. Nevertheless, lumens are one good indicator to look at when choosing the best grow lights for your plants.

Lumens and the Best Grow Lights for Plants

Let’s start out speaking generally. First, higher lumens generally indicate a brighter light output. If you know that you have plants that need a lot of bright light, then you might want to look for grow lights with higher lumens. But what’s a high number for lumens? Most grow lights will offer between 2000 – 10000 lumens per square foot, so plants that need a lot of light will be closer to that 10000.

As a very general guideline, some indoor growers recommend around:

  • 2000 to 5000 lumens per square foot for low-light plants
  • 5000 to 7000 lumens per square foot for medium-light plants
  • 7000 to 10000 lumens per square foot for high-light plants

What does that mean?

Low-light plants can tolerate indirect or filtered light. They are ideal for areas in your home or office with less intense light levels. Examples include spider plants and snake plants as well as peace lilies.

Medium-light plants thrive in moderate light levels and can tolerate some direct sunlight. Placing them in locations with a bit more light will help them grow and remain healthy. Examples include philodendron, African violets, and Boston fern.

High-light plants benefit from intense light exposure, making them well-suited for use with high-output grow lights. They are often cultivated for their flowers, fruits, or specific culinary uses. Tomato and basil plants are common examples. Orchids are also in this category.

The Best Low, Medium and High Light Grow Lights for Plants

If you’re ready to start looking at some good options for grow lights, then you can head to Amazon to get started. Here are some top options in each category:

Low Light Grow Lights

  • GYTF’s T5 White Full Spectrum LED Plant Growing Lamp Strips are 3000 lumens. They have very bright LED bulbs that provide full spectrum light. This is great for plants. You can get them in packs of 2, 3 or 4 ranging in price from $19.99 to $34.99.
  • FECiDA’s Desk Grow Lights for Indoor plants are another good option at 2000 lumens. These are designed to sit nicely on your desk. They have an adjustable height of 16″ – 24″. They cost a little over $30 on Amazon.
  • Need something a little taller? LBW’s Adjustable Tripod Stand adjusts to between 15 and 48 inches. It’s 3800 lumens.
  • Monios-L T8 LED Grow Light 4FT grow light strips are 4300 lumens, so they’re at the higher end for low light grow lights.

Medium Light Grow Lights

MILYN’s 100W Led Grow Light Bulb is 5000 lumens. If you have a range of low-light and medium-light plants then you might want to try these.

FECiDA’s 600W LED Grow Light Dimmable lights are good for seed starting and for medium-light plants. It offers 5000 lumens. 

High Light Grow Lights

FECiDA’s dimmable lights don’t just come in the 600W. There’s also a 1000W and even a 2000W. These offer 12000 and 20000 lumens respectively. Therefore, if you primarily grow indoor plants that fruit or flower, then you might want to check out what they have to offer.

In Addition to Lumens: PPFD

If you want to use lumens as a rough reference, you can look for grow lights with higher lumen outputs, but it’s crucial to also consider the light spectrum and coverage area. For example, plants in the vegetative stage require a higher proportion of blue light, while flowering and fruiting plants benefit from more red light. Therefore, a balanced spectrum with a higher total output of usable PAR light would be more valuable than just looking at lumens.

If you want to dig deeper, then you should also look at Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD). PPFD measures the number of photons in the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) range that reach a specific area (usually measured in micromoles per square meter per second, µmol/m²/s).

Different plants have varying PPFD requirements at different stages of growth.It’s crucial to provide the right amount of light for optimal photosynthesis and overall health. Therefore, when shopping for grow lights, it’s essential to consider the light’s PPFD output and its spectral distribution (the balance of red and blue light), rather than focusing solely on lumens.

But, getting the right number of lumens is a great place to start! It will help you narrow down the options. Then you can choose among those select options by looking at PPFD, cost, and other details.

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Book Review: Homegrown Flax and Cotton

homegrown flax and cotton book

Every once in a while, I get to marry multiple interests. For example, I have long loved crochet and believe in the slow yarn movement. Every now and then, I can combine that with gardening. I shared a bit of that with you when I did a book review of A Garden to Dye For. Today, I’ll share more with a book review of Homegrown Flax and Cotton by Cindy Conner.

What Is Slow Yarn?

Slow yarn, like the slow food movement, refers to engaging in yarn crafting mindfully and sustainably. It’s part of an overall sustainable lifestyle. And it celebrates doing things by hand. Crochet and knitting are already slow crafts. After all, it takes a lot longer to create a handmade sweater than it does to just go buy one. However, you can extend that into a longer, more involved slow yarn process.

For example, in the book Unraveling, author Peggy Orenstein shares her slow yarn story. She first learns how to shear a sheep, which is no easy task. After learning, she shears enough to collect wool to make a sweater. She cleans the wool. Then she learns how to spin it. After that, she learns how to dye it. Finally, she is ready to knit it into a sweater. That’s an example of slow yarn.

Slow Yarn in the Garden

Wool isn’t the only fiber that you can use to knit or crochet. In fact, there are many other great natural fibers that offer various benefits when crafting. Cotton is a favorite choice when making lightweight summer clothes as well as kitchen towels. Therefore, you can incorporate gardening into a slow yarn movement of your own. Cindy Conner’s book “Homegrown Flax and Cotton” is all about this.

Homegrown Flax and Cotton by Cindy Conner

This book is subtitled: “DIY Guide to Growing, Processing, Spinning and Weaving Fiber to Cloth.” Or, as a description of the book puts it, you learn how to go “from seed to shirt.” That pretty much sums up what this book is about. It teaches us how to grow either flax or cotton in our own gardens. Then, we learn how to actually take that material from plant form into yarn form. Finally, there are tips for weaving it to create a cloth. However, once you have the spun cotton or flax yarn, you could also knit or crochet with it. As a crocheter, that would be my personal plan.

Flax vs. Cotton for Growing Your Own Fiber

The book explains that both flax and cotton are easier than you might expect to grow in your own garden. The author explains that if you live in a colder climate, then you will probably want to try growing flax. In contrast, cotton is best grown in a warmer environment. Of course, it you live in a more temperate climate, then you could choose either one (or both).

Some of the other key differences, besides temperature requirements, of flax vs. cotton include:

  • Flax has a shorter growing season, smaller flowers, and is usually a physically shorter plant than the cotton plant. Cotton plants actually have really pretty flowers that turn into the cotton.
  • Generally speaking, cotton requires more garden space to grow. That said, flax tends to have a lower yield than cotton. As a result, you will need to plant more in order to get the same amount of yarn.
  • Flax prefers well-draining, fertile soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH range (around 6-7). It requires regular watering, particularly during its early growth stages. Cotton, on the other hand, prefers well-drained, loamy soil with good moisture retention. It has a higher water demand than flax and requires consistent watering throughout its growing season.
  • Both flax and cotton can be susceptible to certain pests. However, the pests are different for each. Flax may attract insects like aphids, thrips, and flea beetles. Cotton can be affected by pests such as bollworms, aphids, and spider mites.
  • Flax is a self-pollinating plant. Cotton, on the other hand, typically requires cross-pollination by bees or other pollinators to produce a good yield of cotton bolls.
  • The harvesting and processing methods are different for each, which the book explains in greater detail.

8 Gardening Things to Learn From Homegrown Flax and Cotton

You’ll have to read the book to get all of the details. In brief, though, here are eight things you’ll learn about related to the gardening of cotton and flax:

  1. If farm-to-table gardening and eating makes sense to you, then garden-to-garment will make sense as well. The textile industry does a lot of harm to the planet. You can help by growing your own fiber and making your own clothes.
  2. In case you weren’t already familiar with it, growing flax means that you’ll be making clothes out of linen. Notably, you will not also be able to eat flax seeds from this plant. That’s because there are two different flax plants – one that’s edible and another that’s for fiber.
  3. For both plants, you want soil that is rich and ready to go in spring. You can use autumn leaves to cover the beds through the winter, preparing the soil for spring planting. However, if you live in an especially cold area, then you might instead plant “winter-kill” crops like forage radish, winter rye and oats.
  4. You can plant flax in rows or by scattering the seeds. However, rows might make more sense as a beginner because it’s tough to tell what’s flax and what’s weeds at first. That said you want a really dense planting so that the stalks are crowded together and don’t get too wide.
  5. You can get seeds for white, green, or brown cotton. The author thinks it’s more fun to spin with the color, but you can choose what works for you. Make sure that you get cotton seeds that are NOT genetically modified.
  6. If you know how to plant tomatoes, then you should find it relatively easy to learn to plant cotton!
  7. If you’ve never seen a cotton plant grow before, then you might find the whole process surprisingly exciting. It goes through interesting stages of flowering.
  8. Did you know that in some states there are restrictions on planting cotton even in your own backyard garden?! If you live in a cotton-growing state, you should look into the rules before proceeding.

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9 Cheap Ways To Naturally Attract Pollinators

9 Cheap Ways To Naturally Attract Pollinators

Pollinators are important to your garden. If you want a sustainable garden, then you’ll want to find ways to naturally attract pollinators. And if you want a frugal garden, then you’ll need to figure out how to do so cheaply. Luckily, there are a lot of options for you to do so.

What Are Pollinators?

I confess that I always think of bees when I think of pollinators. They’re the quintessential ones. However, there are actually quite a few different pollinators. So, what does this term even mean?

Pollinators are any animal that helps to transfer pollen from the stamens to the stigma of plants. In other words, they facilitate plant mating. This leads to seeds and fruits. Bees are pollinators. However, so are birds, butterflies, moths, flies, and beetles. There are even some mammals like mice and bats that can help pollinate.

Why Do You Want to Naturally Attract Pollinators To Your Garden?

Pollinators are a good thing. Without proper pollination, many plants would not be able to produce viable seeds or fruits. Therefore, you want to bring them to your garden. Benefits when you naturally attract pollinators to your garden include:

Increased And Improved Yields

With more efficient pollination, your garden’s crop yields are likely to increase. They promote more uniform and abundant harvests. Pollinators can even improve fruit quality! Whether you’re growing fruits, vegetables, or seeds, the presence of pollinators can lead to higher productivity and better overall yields.


Pollinators contribute to the overall biodiversity and ecological balance of your garden. They facilitate cross-pollination among different plant species, This aids in genetic diversity and the survival of various plant populations. By attracting pollinators, you promote a diverse range of flowering plants, which in turn supports a broader array of wildlife and beneficial insects in your garden. It’s a beautiful cycle.

Ecosystem Services

Pollinators provide invaluable ecosystem services beyond pollination. They contribute to the broader ecological functioning of ecosystems, including habitat creation, food web support, and nutrient recycling. By attracting pollinators, you enhance the ecological resilience and health of your garden, creating a more balanced and self-sustaining ecosystem.


Attracting pollinators to your garden contributes to the conservation and protection of these vital species. Many pollinators, including certain bee species, face population declines due to habitat loss, pesticide exposure, and other factors. By providing a welcoming environment with a variety of nectar-rich flowers and suitable nesting habitats, you can support pollinator populations and contribute to their conservation. This is a great thing for the world.

Did you know that you can certify your habitat to help wildlife?!

Garden Beauty and Joy

Pollinators, such as butterflies and hummingbirds, add a vibrant and colorful element to your garden. Their presence enhances the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space. This creates a visually appealing and more dynamic environment. Watching pollinators in action can be a delightful and educational experience, bringing joy and wonder to both adults and children. In other words, it is simply fun to naturally attract pollinators to your garden.

Cheap Ways To Naturally Attract Pollinators

Now that you’re sold on the idea of attracting pollinators to your garden, how can you do it? Here are some of the best cheap ways to naturally attract pollinators:

Plant Native Wildflowers

Native wildflowers are already well-adapted to the local ecosystem. Plus, they provide abundant nectar and pollen resources. Therefore, they attract a wide range of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, with their diverse colors, shapes, and scents. Native plants also support local biodiversity and help maintain the ecological balance of your region. This is one of the best cheap ways to naturally attract pollinators while adding beauty to your garden.

Create Habitat Diversity

Provide a variety of habitats and shelter options to attract different pollinator species. Incorporate elements like flowering shrubs, trees, grasses, and nesting sites such as log piles or rock crevices. These habitats offer nesting opportunities, resting places, and protection from predators. Therefore, they are key to making your garden more inviting to pollinators.

Provide Water Sources

Place shallow dishes or bowls filled with water in your garden to provide a water source for pollinators. Adding pebbles or stones to the container allows insects to perch safely while drinking. Water sources are particularly crucial in hot and dry climates.

Avoid Pesticides

Minimize or eliminate the use of pesticides in your garden. Pesticides can be harmful to pollinators, disrupting their behavior, health, and reproduction. Embracing organic gardening practices helps create a safe and welcoming environment for pollinators, allowing them to thrive and carry out their important pollination role.

Plant a Succession of Blooming Plants

Select a diverse array of flowering plants that bloom at different times throughout the growing season. This ensures a continuous food supply for pollinators from spring to fall. By providing a succession of blooms, you support pollinators throughout their lifecycle, from early-season emergence to late-season preparations for winter.

Provide Host Plants for Caterpillars

Many pollinators, such as butterflies, require specific host plants for their caterpillars to feed on. Research and include host plants in your garden that cater to the needs of particular pollinator species. By supporting caterpillar development, you encourage the presence of adult butterflies and contribute to their life cycle.

Minimize Garden Disturbances

Limit excessive garden clean-up and leave some areas undisturbed. Some pollinators, such as ground-nesting bees, require bare soil or leaf litter for nesting. Allow natural debris and leave patches of bare ground. In this way, you provide nesting sites and overwintering habitat for these beneficial insects.

Use Group Plantings

Plant flowers in clusters or groups rather than single plants scattered across the garden. Groupings provide a concentrated and easily recognizable food source for pollinators, increasing the efficiency of their foraging. This way, they can visit multiple flowers in one area, maximizing their access to nectar and pollen resources.

Be The Bee

In other words, ask yourself if you would come to this garden if you were bee. What would need to be different in order to bring you to buzz and pollinate there? Use your intuition to help guide you to enhancing your garden so that it naturally attracts pollinators.

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