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Gardening and Plant Care Guide

What is gardening?


You can garden for food purposes, as almost every food is made from or includes some sort of plant to begin with, or decorative purposes, and Brittanica explains that gardening can even be considered an art because of the beauty of the end result. Planting can be done anywhere with only a seed, sun, care, and water. Everything is different since every plant is different, like humans; some plants will need more attention, care, and water than others, and choosing one that will suit our needs and wants is important for your plant's life. You must also think about the season you are planting a plant in, since some need lots of sun in the summertime, but some plants, like houseplants, don't require that much sun and can be grown in different seasons.


Facts on Plants


Plants have tons of history: a video on plant cells describes how they started off as “Lycophytes” and then they turned into scale trees (extinct) which then fossilized and made coal, which is commonly used across the world. Plants can also be categorized in many ways, including being sorted as angiosperms, that flower and/or have fruits like orchids, and gymnosperms, which do not. However, all plants have the same eukaryotic cell types, and all utilize the process of photosynthesis, which you've probably heard of before. Photosynthesis requires water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight. Water is transported by the xylem, a plant tissue that transfers water absorbed from a plant’s roots and brings the water to the leaves to help with growth. Stomata, or small outlets, allow carbon dioxide to be absorbed and oxygen to be released. Lastly, the pigment chlorophyll intakes photons from the sun for the plant.


The following image is an “,” beautiful greenery.


Interior view of Royal greenhouses Laeken Brussels Belgium (Wikimedia Commons).


Steps and Tips to Grow Plants


1. Selecting a seed


Depending on where, why, and how you are planting it, you should decide what plant you want to grow. Most people want to grow things that they can consume, such as vegetables and fruits. Although you can also grow flowers and plants for ornamental purposes, When selecting plants, think about whether you want to plant them outside in a garden or if you are going to put them in a container inside. Using this information, you should decide by reading the back of the seed packet for information at almost any garden/shopping store. Buying seeds early, maybe in the winter, is good since you can plant them in the proper seasons, so they grow in time, and they are probably going to be cheaper and easier to find then.


2. Finding good locations


Location again depends on the type of plant; if the packet says it needs lots of sun, then using an app to see the sun path and using that information, you can figure out where you are going to get the best amount of sunlight during certain seasons. Try to limit shadows. Certain plants like houseplants don't require that much sunlight and don't need that extra information but putting it close to a window is a good idea.


3. Planting


Once you find a location, you need to start planting. If there's grass where you want to produce, you should dig out all the grass and weeds as it disrupts the process of your plant growing. Certain plants need to be seeded inside (most plants where the harvest time is over 90 days), and some garden centers already start that process for you; then, you can just plant them wherever in your garden. Almost all information should be on the seed packet. If you're a pro gardener, transitioning or making raised beds for your plants are highly beneficial, but either way, they still grow the traditional way just fine. If your soil isn't the best (more organic, the better), this video says you can buy a soil bag or make one by mixing play sand, peat moss, and manure compost.


4. Start a compost pile


Just throw in things like fruit peels, eggshells, any food waste, leaves and mix them in your soil to give your plants some cheap non-wasteful good nutrients.


5. Keep on caring


Make sure to keep on watering daily (a metal fan sprinkler is best for watering a large garden), pick weeds, and make sure your plants are getting sunlight. If they aren't, then moving them to a different location can be good for the growth.


6. Harvesting/end result


This may be the best step of them all as it shows that all the hard work has paid off. For flowers seeing them bloom and for food seeing the vegetables or fruits fully done. When harvesting, make sure you preserve and clean the product well. For cleaning, you can use things like fruits and veggie soaks. For preserving, you can use vacuum seals, freezers, make jelly, jam, sauce etc.


Types of Plants and Flowers: A Flipbook!


According to Mongabay, there are over 391,000 species of plants, so going over all of them would be outrageous, so I'll show you all a few houseplants to help find a plant that can be suitable for you using the flipbook I made. In addition, at the end of the flipbook, you can see some plants from R2AC members, which may give you some inspiration!


You can find more specific flowers using this link: https://www.all-my-favourite-flower-names.com/list-of-flower-names.html


Benefits to Gardening


There are plenty of benefits of planting and starting a garden, and I'll name a few outlined by Good Housekeeping. Firstly, they take carbon dioxide from the air and release it as fresh oxygen to make breathing easier. This also means they are excellent air filters. You can also grow your own food which means it's fresh and organic, and you know exactly what is going in your food. Moreover, gardening and planting can boost your mood, sleep, physical strength, heart health, weight, lung health, high blood pressure, some cancer, reduce stress, and mental health. Lastly, it's a way to give back, and according to Forbes, it lifts your spirits and makes you feel happier since it can stimulate serotonin production.


Article Authors: Preet Kaur Chohan

Article Editors: Edie Whittington, Valerie Shirobokov

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