Woman gardening

Why gardening is great for our health

The healing power of nature is something we can all benefit from, and nowhere do we feel this more than when surrounded by the flowers and the trees, the birds and the bees, and perhaps a fellow gardener or two.

Immersing ourselves in nature is fantastic for our mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. There’s just something about the great outdoors that speaks to an innate part of us – and when we swap sitting in the sun for a spot of gardening, even more wonderful things start to happen.

We all know that exercise is good for us, but did you know that 30 minutes of gardening can burn the same number of calories as a game of badminton?

As well as benefitting our bodies, gardening has also been found to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve social functioning, lower stress levels, prevent cognitive decline, and help to maintain independence.

If that wasn’t enough, time spent in nature has been shown to:

  • Reduce hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Boost mood and vitality
  • Restore attention levels
  • Redress mental fatigue
  • Improve feelings of contentment
  • Inspire mindfulness
  • Help you to feel more relaxed
  • Aid a more active lifestyle
  • Increase the likelihood of forming connections

In 2021, the RHS released research that revealed those who garden every day have wellbeing scores 6.6% higher and stress levels 4.2% lower than people who don’t garden at all.”

Royal Horticultural Society

And who can disagree with the Royal Horticultural Society?

Peter mowing the lawn in our Hove house

Making the most of the garden you have

Even if you no longer have your own private garden, tending a shared space can be incredibly fulfilling – not to mention bringing you closer to others.

Whether you choose to grow your own vegetables, plant a herb garden, try your hand at a hanging basket, tend to the rose bushes, create a border in bloom, mow the lawn, put out feed for the squirrels and birds, sweep up the leaves, trim the edging, pull out the weeds, or simply sit outside and soak up the beauty of it all, doing a little in your garden really can deliver a whole host of health benefits.

But if you are keen to get out there and give your green fingers free rein, what gardening jobs should you be focusing on as we head into July?

Top 10 gardening jobs for July

As one of the warmest months in the calendar year (fingers crossed!), July is the perfect time to enjoy your garden, and all the beauty it brings. Because of more heat, it’s important to keep plants watered, root out the weeds, and get ruthless with any deadheads you spy on your saunter round the flower beds. 

According to the RHS, the top ten jobs that deserve your focus this month are:

  1. Checking clematis for signs of wilt
  2. Caring for houseplants if you’re on holiday
  3. Watering new plants
  4. Deadheading bedding plants and repeat-flowering perennials
  5. Picking courgettes before they become marrows
  6. Treating apple scab
  7. Clearing algae and blanket weeds from ponds
  8. Ordering catalogues for next year’s spring-flowering bulbs
  9. Giving the lawn a quick-acting summer feed
  10. Harvesting apricots, peaches and nectarines

This month is your last chance to sow French beans and runner beans (only if you’re in the south of England), and if you’ve not yet planted out leeks and brassicas ready for a winter supply, now’s the time to do it.

Carrots can still be sown in July (keep an eye out for those pesky carrot fly if splitting existing seedlings), but this month is best for spring cabbage, turnips, oriental veggies, chicory, fennel, and any autumn or winter salads.

Common gardening problems in July

As a font of all gardening knowledge, the RHS advises keen gardeners to keep an eye out for the following this month:

  • Aphids (check plants regularly)
  • Potato blight and tomato blight
  • Asparagus beetle
  • Sunken brown patches of blossom end rot on tomatoes
  • Plum rust, pear leaf blister mite and pear rust

You might also want to check any tree ties as tree trunk girth increases and give regular liquid feeds to plants growing in containers.

An eye on the future

Looking ahead to August, the most pressing jobs include pruning Wisteria and restricted fruits, deadheading flowering plants on a regular basis, watering containers and new plants (preferably with grey recycled water or rainwater), and collecting seeds from your favourite plants.

But if all of that sounds like too much trouble, make yourself a cuppa and simply soak up the sunshine. The garden will work its magic either way.

Thinking of moving? 

You can enjoy shared gardens in all of our houses. Some of our tenants are keen gardeners, while others prefer to sit and simply enjoy the outdoor space.

Are you thinking about making a move into one of our houses? We are open to new residents!

Our friendly team are on hand to support you every step of the way. We currently have places in our Alfriston, Hove and Tunbridge Wells houses.

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