Not everyone has what is commonly referred to in the gardening community as ‘green fingers.’ Ideally, we should all have a penchant for gardening, for it carries with it a multitude of benefits. It’s been shown to improve mental and physical well-being while also fostering a sense of belonging and connection. Gardening has been proven to provide the following benefits:
- Improve your immune system
- Burn calories
- Relieve stress
- Reduce the risk of stroke
- Improve diet and gut health
- Can reduce notions of anger
- Bestows a sense of responsibility
- Enhance your sensory perception
- Inspires creativity
- Can foster a sense of community
Gardening typically means spending time in the sun, which increases the absorption of vitamin D. It also means you’ll be quite active, and that means burning calories. The sunlight, combined with all the moving and lifting etc., helps release the feel-good hormones – endorphins – which in turn help combat stress. Studies have revealed that gardening for as little as 10 min a week can have a positive impact on one’s health and reduce the risk of heart disease. Studies have also shown that people who garden and grow their food tend to be healthier – a by-product of such a lifestyle is an improved diet and gut health. Pruning, cutting, digging – it’s a great and healthy way in which to blow off steam. To properly maintain a garden requires commitment and dedication, which is why gardening bestows qualities like responsibility, purpose, and ownership. Gardening engages the senses – you feel the soil between your fingers, you smell the herbs and the scent of the flowers, and you listen to the buzzing of the bees around the flowers. It also helps you to flex your creative muscle by creating and nurturing space for you to reflect upon and take pleasure in. Finally, community gardens help to bring people together and to foster relationships through a common purpose.
Now, if gardening isn’t your thing, or if it’s something you don’t have the time for it, then planting a tree is your next best bet!
Planting a tree in 6 easy steps
Trees can be likened to an investment; the performance of that investment will depend on a several factors, including the type of tree planted, its location and the care provided. It’s imperative that when planting a tree, you get it off to a healthy start as this will help it mature to its full size and ensure its provision of environmental, economic, and social benefits throughout its period of existence. Spring is considered the best season to plant a new tree as it has all of the summer to ready itself for winter. New trees need lots of care and attention as they need to sprout both leaves and roots. It is advisable to do your research on choosing the best tree for your area, once that’s done, get the necessary tools and set aside an afternoon to do your planting.
Step 1: Soak the root ball
It’s important that you soak the root ball before planting it, and you can do this while preparing the hole. By soaking the root ball, you’ll reduce the possibility of the tree rejecting water from the surrounding soil once you’ve planted it.
Step 2: Start digging
One of the commonly asked questions when it comes to planting a tree is ‘how big should the hole be?’ The first thing you need to know is that tree roots require space to spread out, so keep that in mind when choosing a spot to plant. The second thing you need to know is that the hole you dig should be at least twice the size of the root ball. And finally, as long the hole is big enough to cover the existing roots, your new tree should be quite fine.
Step 3: Cultivate the soil
The surrounding soil needs to be enriched. Thus, take the soil you’ve removed to make the hole and put it in a wheelbarrow or large bucket. To this soil, add compost, gypsum, and fertiliser. The addition of these plant minerals will improve the condition and structure of the soil and ensure it drains correctly while containing all the nutrients to help your new tree grow to the best of its ability.
Step 4: Decant the new tree
You’ll need to remove your new tree from its container, keep the root intact and place it inside the hole you’ve prepared for it. Should the roots be extremely matted, you can gently tease them out, but don’t go to town as disturbing the roots can send the tree into shock.
Step 5: Add the enriched soil
Add the enriched soil back into the hole around the roots of your new tree and make sure the soil is firm so that it can hold the tree in place. After that, you can make a slight well around the base of the tree so that the water can be captured and channelled to the roots.
Step 6: Time to water
Water your newly planted tree as this will help the soil to settle and establish the roots.
If you don’t have the time to plant a tree or you don’t own or have a property that facilitates the process, your next best bet is Cambridge Mask Co. Why might you ask? Because we’ve partnered up with a non-profit tree planting charity – One Tree Planted – to assist them in their global mission of reforestation. It’s really simple too – the tree planting process – all you have to do is buy one of our Cambridge PRO masks at full price. A portion of the sale will go to One Tree Planted and they’ll plant a tree on your behalf. By buying a PRO mask, you’ll be doing more than looking out for yourself - you’ll be looking out for the planet too.