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Tue, 07/10/2012 - 11:21 — Sarah Martinez
Gardening, and EXERCISE, for beginners
Learning to garden means I’m learning to exercise???
Should I exercise? Or should I fix up my garden beds and make my lawn look pretty? What to do, what to do. In today’s fast paced world, I feel as if there is little time to do any leisure activities. I’m torn between which pursuit I would most enjoy. Then all of a sudden, my multi-tasking brain kicks into gear! Why can’t I do both activities together-gardening and exercise combined?
(Stretch out your muscles before you begin, and let’s get planting!) The first step in making your garden beautiful is to prepare the soil where you wish to plant. Texas soil is usually made up of a lot of clay. This results in poor drainage and could cause plants to get too much water. (Not to mention the roots will have a tough time branching out!) As a remedy, mix some potting soil with the existing soil (Try using Calloway’s Flower Bed Mix). As you pull out that shovel and begin digging in the soil, feel how it works on your deltoids and triceps. Try digging left handed part of the time, then switch and dig right handed. When you are ready to add the Flower Bed Mix remember to keep your back straight and bend at the knees when lifting bags. This simulates a squatting exercise, which works the thigh muscles, and ensures that you don’t strain your back!
Now we are ready to install our plants. Some things to consider before choosing your plants are the amount of sunlight your garden bed will get, your preference of annuals (plants that bloom only once) or perennials (plants that continue to grow for several years) and climate conditions. Our Texas Certified Nursery Professionals at Calloway’s would be more than happy to help you choose the right plants to keep your garden looking superb. Make a plan of where you want to put new plants, read the tag on each one so you know how far apart to plant them then go at it. The act of planting, digging and weeding requires the same energy as other physical activities such as walking, cycling, and aerobics. You could burn 200-300 calories per hour!
After all of your flowers and shrubs are planted cover the beds with mulch. Calloway’s Hardwood Mulch is quite handy for this step. Push together a ring of mulch around the plant under the furthest reaching leaves. This will help guide water to the roots ensuring they penetrate the new soil. Make sure the mulch ring isn’t too close to the base of the plant. Gathering mulch at the base of a plant might bring on rotting and ultimately kill the plant. We don’t want that! Mulching also helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and control soil temperature. (Remember, when lifting bags of mulch, just like with the Flower Bed Mix, bend at the knees and never lift with your back.)
So there you have it! Those are the basics of getting your garden started, while incorporating your exercise as well. Digging, raking, lifting and planting all burn calories like any other exercise activity and are a good arm and leg muscle workout. Don’t forget to stretch after you finish.
Life's a garden!