A simple guide to getting started with gardening

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Sometimes, after a hectic day, I look up from my stupid phone and realize it’s dark outside. I kind of spent all day alone working on my big digital rectangle and treating myself by scrolling on the smaller one. What is this existence?

In the middle of lockdown I swore it to myself never Take for granted the time you spend with friends, family, co-workers, or even interactions at the café—but here I am. Maybe I forgot how to socialize? Or do you find it more strenuous these days? Whatever it is, I’m not the only one feeling separated. Last year, Headspace found that more than half of the youth in Aus feel lonely.

So what the hell do we do?

When we’re all feeling lonely, we need to find ways to connect. A decades-long one Harvard study has found that close relationships make us happy for a lifetime. But it can be difficult to know where to start – it’s daunting to show yourself.

If you’ve secretly seen this sweet old slut on the street pulling weeds or admiring her roses and wanted to try it yourself, now is the time.

gardening is good for mental well-being and a study worldwide recently discovered that being in touch with nature can actually make us feel less lonely. Jackpot.

You can also strengthen the connection by taking someone else gardening with you. Sharing will add a cute social element to the mood-boosting hobby.

If, like moi, you have smooth, baby-like hands that have never seen a hard day’s work in your life, start from scratch. I’ve done the research for you so you can get out in the sun and pursue your new hobby.

1. Look at the part

Before we jump into the right idea, let’s arm ourselves with the right gear. As a newbie, grab gloves for a better grip on heavier tools. Plus, they keep your hands clean and protected. A hand trowel is your best bud for planting, moving soil, and removing weeds. And of course a watering can or hose to water your babies. And if you do commit, prepare yourself — you’ll be spending a lot of time outside, so be sure to put on a hat, sunscreen, and bring water to drink.

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2. Find a local community garden

Community gardens are run by ordinary people in busy cities to produce food and promote a more sustainable future. Plus, by joining one, you’ll find like-minded locals to spend healthy time with.

This nifty side shows you where your nearest garden is. It’s also worth checking out your neighborhood Facebook group (those parents always know!) or actually reading what’s on those flyers down the street. If you don’t have a garden nearby, you can always grab some friends and sign up to start your own with the community.

Most community gardens charge a fee. It helps cover expenses for things like mulch and fertilizer to help manage the space. And you’ll reap the vegetarian rewards, feel proud to be ~growing~, and feel part of the community. Given that community gardens are run solely by regular folks like me or you, there’s no endless pool of money to dive into. They need serious love to keep thriving.

Lipton Iced Tea helps Aussies come together and connect in nature by providing funds to transform community gardens. Whether it’s getting their hands dirty, pulling weeds and spreading mulch, or bringing the gardens to life with new plants, garden beds and power tools, they help beautify community gardens. By ensuring these spaces are nurtured, it means more of us can enjoy and connect with the little pieces of local beauty.

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3. Ask your green thumb

Every friend I’ve had who is interested in gardening is Yes, really into gardening. It’s like a cult. Once they start talking about how to grow tomatoes, they don’t stop. Find that buddy and get the best advice on what to do—more importantly, what not to do. Best of all together in the garden! You’ll enjoy the experience even more as you catch up along the way.

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4. Do your research

If you want to make the most of your new Mother Nature era – do it right. The last thing you want when you’re trying to feel more connected is to do serious damage to a shared garden that a bunch of other people have been hard at work on. Eep – this is a surefire way to feel on the outs. RDo some research on what you’re doing before you dig in (sorry). Knowing which plant varieties thrive well in certain seasons and what can kill her. If you’re looking for basics, find out a few resources Visit the Community Gardens Australia website and ask about specific rules in your local garden. Or just ask your new garden friends!

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Grab your friend and get your hands nice and dirty. It will make you feel a lot better!

Image: Bob’s Burger

About Rachael Garcia

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