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Reduce Stress, Stay Healthy

Jim Boxberger - Correspondent
Posted 3/13/20

With all the craziness going on right now with coronavirus, the stock market and everything else, it was interesting to hear one doctor talking about reducing your stress level to improve your …

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Reduce Stress, Stay Healthy

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With all the craziness going on right now with coronavirus, the stock market and everything else, it was interesting to hear one doctor talking about reducing your stress level to improve your health.

One good way proven to reduce stress is gardening. It is a good thing the weather has been cooperating so far this spring, or should I say winter as it is still winter. Spring doesn't officially come around until March nineteenth and even after that date, old man winter cold still make a surprise visit. But for now let's just take the warm weather one day at a time.

One problem we could have though is if it stays warm for a couple weeks and then we get an arctic cold snap like a few years ago. If the fruit trees start to blossom too soon, they run the risk of having the blossoms frozen off. The trees themselves will be fine, but they won't have any abundance of fruit in the fall. So spring weather is nice if it is here to stay.

The crocus and daffodil bulbs are starting to sprout at my Aunt's house in Liberty and the buds are starting to swell on the rhododendrons around my house. Now it is not yet the time to put out the tomato plants yet, but tree and shrub season is quickly approaching. We are potting up bare root berries, rhubarb and roses this week, and the fruit trees and perennials will be in next week or so.

For the berry bushes, once we pot them up, we put them right outside so that they can wake up with the normal spring warm-up. Normally this would allow the roots to start growing before the top, but if the weather warms up too soon, the tops will start to sprout and it puts a little more stress on the roots to provide the moisture and nutrients to support that growth.

To help alleviate that stress, we use Foxfarm Microbrew and Kangaroots which adds beneficial mycorrhizal fungi to the roots to help them grow quicker and fuller. The cool nights will also help to keep the plants from sprouting too soon. But as the sun gets higher in the sky each day and the days are getting longer, the urge to get our hands in the dirt gets stronger.

Getting our hands in the dirt brings back memories of childhood when we all used to play in the dirt. We didn't have video games, cell phones or computers back then. You couldn't Google it or ask Alexa, you had to find it out yourself. That is what gardening does, it allows you to do it yourself.

Whether it is a vegetable garden, flower bed, berry bushes or fruit trees, the satisfaction of doing it yourself helps to reduce stress with a sense of accomplishment. A little gardening knowledge goes a long way, but if gardening just isn't for you, we can also hook you up with a fish tank so that you can watch fish for 15 minutes a day. Personally, I do both.

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