When you’re stressed, the best relief can come from a food you may not expect – deep-purple-hued, delicious berries.
Blueberries, especially, have the power to provide antioxidants and phytonutrients to help your body fight stress-causing free-radicals.
Free radicals are produced by the brain and can cause serious damage to your body. They’re sometimes caused by viruses and other bacteria entering the body, but environmental factors such as herbicides, pollution, radiation, and cigarette smoke are also reasons they may disrupt your body function.
Your body desperately needs antioxidants to fight these life-threatening body invaders which may accumulate rapidly as you age. Studies show that people who eat blueberries experience an intense boost in free-radical killers.
These nutrients in berries also provide a boost to your immune system, which can also counter stress. Besides the medical problems that stress can cause, you may also suffer from depression and mood swings.
Stress can become a vicious cycle that’s hard to break free from and diet can play a huge part in relieving stress – or making it worse. If you eat the stress-busting foods such as berries on a regular basis, you can help balance your physical and mental well-being.
The purple-hued berries such as blueberries and blackberries get their color from anthocyanins – pigments which give the berries their deep color. They are antioxidants that act as a medicine to the brain, helping cognitive functioning, moods and even body and limb coordination.
Managing stress by adding some superfoods such as berries can be an effective preventative measure to keep side effects of stress at bay. Add delicious berries to your cereal in the morning or to yogurt for a healthy snack and ensure your daily dose of this stress-busting food.
You can make a difference in your health when you grow foods in your garden that lower your risk of high blood pressure caused by stress. Hypertension (high blood pressure caused by stress and diet) is known as “the silent killer” and may lead to medical issues such as kidney, stroke and heart disease, among others.
If you love to garden – or want to try out your green thumb, you can add foods to the table that can play a big role in reducing your high blood pressure and lowering your risk for those dreaded medical problems.
Leafy greens are an easy-to-grow place to begin your gardening experience – or to add to your garden if you’re already practicing this life-altering activity. Leafy greens are rich in potassium and help counteract the effects of sodium in your diet.
Choose from greens like spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, turnips, and collard greens. The fresh taste from your garden is far better than canned (which often contains high levels of sodium) and provides a much better taste than frozen.
Berries are another great source of flavonoids, a natural compound that can help lower high blood pressure. Strawberries are often one of the first plants a beginning gardener attempts to grow.
They’re easy and quick to yield. You can easily freeze them and add to your cereal or grab a handful for a quick and healthy snack. Hypertension, caused by stress and anxiety, may be prevented by adding a variety of berries to your garden – and your diet plan.
Potatoes are another easy-to-grow superfood that you can easily add to your garden space (or grow in raised beds and containers). They contain the valuable minerals, magnesium, and potassium, which can greatly help to lower your blood pressure naturally.
Fiber is another reason to grow potatos. Getting enough fiber in your diet helps create a healthy immune system, which can reduce your risk of depression and other maladies caused by too much stress in your life.
Rather than add butter, salt and sour cream to your fresh potatoes, try other low-calorie and low-fat options such as salsa and plain yogurt. Potatoes are a go-to comfort food when you need a filling and tasty meal, but without the calories and sugar that can raise your blood pressure.
Beets are also easy to grow and are delicious straight from the garden. Plus, you can eat the entire plant. The root of the beet can be a delicious addition to soups and stews or you can roast and grill them.
Valuable nitrates present in beets can help you lower your blood pressure within 24 hours of consumption. They’re great for your overall health and mental well-being, too.
Try growing these and other amazing superfoods in your garden and add them to your diet plan to lower blood pressure and to counteract the effects of stress and anxiety.
Budding is a term rosarians use when a portion of one plant is grafted onto the rootstock of another — as opposed to growing on the original plant’s roots.
This has been a fairly popular way of propagating roses, especially among commercial growers. You look puzzled. You’re wondering why?
Many commercial growers believe that roses just grow better using this method. First, the plants themselves take less time to establish their root systems.
And the growers enjoy a larger percent of roses thriving on the rootstock than they do with roses on their original stock.
The growers simply take the canes (or branches) from the one rose plant, cut off the bud eye at the junction of the cane and leaflet and then insert it under the bark of the cane of a rootstock plant. A simple, uncomplicated operation.
When the canes and foliage above the bud are cut off, all the plant’s energy is then focused toward making the newly budded eye grow.
Bud eyes from the desired variety have all the genetic material to create a new plant that’s identical to the original.
The point at which the bud is inserted into the bark of the rootstock plant is called the bud union. On mature plants, the bud union looks very similar to a knob. As the plant grows in your garden, though, new, large canes grow from directly above this bud union.
In the colder climates, the bud union is the portion of the plant that’s most important to the plant’s survival during the harsh, winter months. As you learn later, you’re going to plant the bud union several inches below the ground in the cold climate and then protect it by covering it with a mound of soil.
How to Bud Roses video
Rose Flower Petals
She loves me, She loves me not!
Hmm. Remember that old game you used to play with wild daisies? With each “she loves me” or “she loves me not” you’d utter, you’d pull a petal of the flower. The last petal told the truth. So how often did she really love you?
No one would ever dare play such a destructive game with a rose. Yet, the rose — depending on its variety — has a host of petals — sometimes too many to count.
And sometimes, they’re just unique. Take, for example, the famous Green Rose. Formally called the Rosa chinensis viridiflora, the flower of this rose is green. But, upon closer examination, rosarians explain that what appears to be petals of a bloom is actually a host of sepals.
The petals of the rose.
Normally, a rose bloom is defined as having a minimum of five petals. But as you’ll soon learn from the vast varieties of roses, this is seldom the case. In most cases, roses have more — many more — petals than just five.
In some cases so many petals exist on a single bloom that there are literally too many for the bloom to open fully except in the hottest of weather.
In many cases, the number — as well as the color — of the petals are just so fabulous that even if the plant blooms only once during the summer. . . Well, it was well worth the wait just to witness this gorgeous flower.
The most common of the petal formations — and yes, there is some uniformity and commonality to these! — fall into three major categories: single, semi-double, and double or sometimes called fully double.
The single formation is explained in its name. It’s simply a single row of petals — and yes, the most usual number of petals is five.
The semi-double formation contains only two –sometimes three — rows of petals with 12 to 16 petals in all.
The double formation or fully double formation contains lots of petals. A bloom is considered as part of the formation if it has more than 17 petals.
Sometimes you’ll find several more formations. And this is where the names get a little tricky and can cause some confusion. Some rosarians call a fully double formation of any flower that has between 26 and 40 petals.
If you speak with other rose hobbyists be aware of this overlap in names. But some roses have even more than 40 petals (imagine the beauty!). These are normally called “very double.” (No, I agree it’s not a very imaginative name, but it fits the description!)
And then there’s the arrangement of the petals.
While we’re on the topic of petals, let’s go into just a little bit more detail. Because in addition to the classification of roses by the number of roses, these beauties are also classified by the arrangement of the petals as they unfurl. (Do you ever think that rosarians just love to classify things?)
But, it’s true. And this classification comes into use when the flowers are in exhibition.
Many-petaled rose flowers with great or formal form are often called exhibition roses. These blooms are gracefully shaped whose petals are symmetrically arranged in an attractive circular outline coming to rest in a high pointed center. Yes, indeed, it is really a thing of beauty.
The arrangement of this unfurling of petals is judged on the symmetry as well as the spacing of the gaps. The center of the bloom — for judging purposes — should be well-defined, rising high within the flower and pointed.
From the side, you should notice the natural symmetry of the structure. The petals unfurl — ideally – uniformly from the center.
The outer row of the petal should be as close as possible to a horizontal plane.
Of course, each variety has its own inherent characteristics, as you might expect. But each exhibition rose is at its unique perfect phase of bloom when it is between half and three-quarters of the way open.
When you’re growing a garden, decorative or an informal rose, the bloom itself is not held to quite the same high standard. The flower itself is not as well-defined as an exhibition rose, nor does it need to be as high or as pointed in the center.
Ruffled, sometimes called wavy petals, as well as cupped, those turned inward are accepted. This variety also has fewer petals than most of the other classifications.
If rose forms are so important, just exactly, you’re wondering right now what affects the formation of the petals themselves. Well, if you’re thinking that it’s mostly genetics, you’re right… to a point
Three of the most important factors — after genetics — in rose formations are climate conditions, cultivation and the exact weather conditions as well.
A rose of substance.
Petals are also viewed and judged by their substance. This is defined by the petals’ stability and durability. Most importantly — and this should come as no surprise — substance is also judged by how long it retains its quality in a vase.
The substance of a rose petal also depends on the amount of moisture the petals have absorbed. But, perhaps most importantly, the substance is demonstrated in the texture, firmness, crispness, thickness, and toughness of the petals.
You can determine the substance of petals for yourself. Touch a petal. Go ahead, the chances are it’s not going to fall to pieces (not if it has any substance at least!). Is the petal thick? Look at it closely. A true petal of substance has an opalescent sparkle and sheen to it. And if it’s a red rose, it’ll have a velvety appearance to it.
The color of petals
Of course, rose petals are also judged by their colors. The elements that contribute to the petals degree of cover are . . . dare I say elementary. As you can imagine the bloom whose petals are bright, clear and vivid are usually prized more than others.
But in addition to that, the hue of the color is a factor as well. This factor includes the visual impact the petals have on the eye as well as how it distinguishes itself from other colors.
To this end, rosarians refer to something called chroma. This is the intensity and purity of the hue. Ideally, the petals should have no gray or white in their hue. And in fact, the idea petal of substance would be an amazing blend of brightness and chroma.
Bt is a microbe naturally found in soil. It makes proteins that are toxic to immature insects (larvae). There are many types of Bt. Each targets different insect groups. Target insects include beetles, mosquitoes, black flies, caterpillars, and moths.
With Bt pesticides, routine testing is required to ensure that unwanted toxins and microbes are not present. Bt has been registered for use in pesticides by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since 1961.
What are some products that contain Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)?
Currently, Bt strains are found in over 180 registered pesticide products. Bt products are used on crops and ornamental plants. Others are used in and around buildings, in aquatic settings, and in aerial applications. These products are commonly sprays, dusts, granules, and pellets. Some of these products are approved for use in organic agriculture.
Some crops have been engineered to make the Bt toxin. These plant-incorporated protectants include corn, cotton, and soybeans. Photo is Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) biological insecticide label. Douglas-fir tussock moth control test.
How does Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) work?
Bt makes toxins that target insect larvae when eaten. In their gut, the toxins are activated. The activated toxin breaks down their gut, and the insects die of infection and starvation. Death can occur within a few hours or weeks.
The different types of Bt create toxins that can only be activated by the target insect larvae. In contrast, when people eat the same toxins, the toxins are not activated and no harm occurs.
Each type of Bt toxin is highly specific to the target insect. For example, the ‘kurstaki’ type targets caterpillars. The ‘isrealensis’ type targets immature flies and mosquitoes. Little to no direct toxicity to non-target insects have been observed.
How might I be exposed to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)?
People are most commonly exposed to Bt through their diet, at very low levels. Exposure can also occur if you breathe it in or get it on your skin or eyes. For example, this can occur while applying sprays or dusts during windy conditions. You may also be exposed after using a product if you don’t wash your hands before eating or smoking. Since Bt is commonly found in soils, exposures not related to pesticides are also possible.
Pets might be exposed to this product in treated birdbaths or water fountains. You can limit your exposure and reduce the risk by carefully following the label instructions.
Photo depicts the colonial growth displayed by Gram-positive Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria, which were cultured on sheep blood agar (SBA) medium, for a 48 hour time period, at a temperature of 37°C.
What are some signs and symptoms from a brief exposure to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Bt is low in toxicity to people and other mammals. Several studies have found no evidence of sickness or infection as a result of exposure. However, some products with Bt have caused eye and skin irritation. In one study, rats breathed in very high doses of concentrated Bt. Some had runny noses, crusty eyes, and goosebumps. Others were less active or lost weight.
In another study, people were surveyed before and after aerial applications of Bt. Most people were not affected. However, some people with hay fever reported certain symptoms. These included difficulty with sleep and concentration, stomach upset, and nose/throat irritation. Seasonal factors, such as pollen, may have contributed to some of the effects.
Scientists also evaluated whether Bt can cause allergic reactions. Researchers found that farmworkers exposed for one to four months did not experience any problems related to their airways, nose, or skin. However, further exposure showed evidence of an immune response and the potential for skin allergies to develop.
What happens to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) when it enters the body?
When eaten, Bt is confined to the gut. It does not reproduce, and the toxin is broken down like other proteins in the diet. Bt leaves the body within 2 to 3 days.
If breathed in, Bt can move to the lungs, blood, lymph, and kidneys. Bt is then attacked by the immune system. Levels of Bt decrease quickly one day after exposure.
What happens to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) in the environment?
Toxins created by Bt are rapidly broken down by sunlight and in acidic soil. Other microbes in the soil can also break it down. Bt does not readily leach in soil. It typically remains in the top several inches of soil. Bt remains dormant in most natural soil conditions. However, there has been some reproduction in nutrient-rich soils. On the soil surface, dormant Bt cells last only a few days. However, below the soil surface, they can last for months or years. The half-life in unfavorable soil is about 4 months. Bt toxins break down much faster. In one study, 12% remained after 15 days.
The photo shows Top: Lesser cornstalk borer larvae extensively damaged the leaves of this unprotected peanut plant. Bottom: After only a few bites of peanut leaves of this genetically engineered plant with Bt.
In water, Bt does not readily reproduce. A study found Bt toxins in the air were broken down rapidly by sunlight. Forty-one percent (41%) of the toxin remained after 24 hours. On plant surfaces, sunlight breaks down Bt; the half-life of Bt toxins is 1-4 days.
Can Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) affect birds, fish, or other wildlife?
Bt is practically non-toxic and non-pathogenic to birds, fish, and shrimp. No adverse effect or infection was found in rats given large doses of two different Bt strains. There is no evidence that Bt can cause a disease outbreak among wild animals.
Little to no direct toxicity to non-target insects and other shelled invertebrates has been observed. Bt does not seem to hurt earthworms. However, the aizawai strain is highly toxic to honeybees. Other strains have minimal toxicity to honeybees.
Water fleas exposed to the kurstaki and israelensis strains showed moderate toxicity. The aizawai strains are highly toxic to water fleas. However, evidence suggests that toxicity to these non-targets may be related to impurities from the production of Bt.
Always follow label instructions and take steps to minimize exposure. If any exposures occur, be sure to follow the First Aid instructions on the product label carefully. For additional treatment advice, contact the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. If you wish to discuss a pesticide problem, please call 1-800-858-7378.
Do you want to help the environment and grow those big tomatoes?
I believe the key to a favorable outcome of organic fertilizers is to be loyal to its application and use. Know that when you use plant food and organic fertilizers that the results will take a little longer but the lasting results are much longer and more healthy. The list here is not all there is but what has worked for me. They represent materials found all around us and have been there for many centuries.
Alfalfa Meal— A plant food growth regulator, rich in vitamins and minerals. NPK is 3-2-2. A green manure crop made from alfalfa that has a plant growth regulator hormone. It starts or re-starts vigorously millions of microbes that will then trigger soil organisms that convert the bordering nutrients into an useable form to plants.
For more information about alfalfa meal please watch my VIDEO
Azomite— NPK is 0-0-2.5 and 5% Calcium. A natural volcanic mineral-rich in trace elements. Azomite may be used with potting soil, indoor plants, gardens and mix in with compost and your favorite organic fertilizer.
Bat Guano— Bat excretions or bat guano, a natural fertilizer containing nitrogen and lots of trace minerals.
Blood Meal— A dried blood material with nitrogen of around 12%. One of the highest non-synthetic sources of nitrogen. Use in the compost pile. Blood meal is a slow-release source of calcium and phosphorus used to increase phosphorus levels. NPK is approximately 12-1-1.
Bone Meal, steamed— The NPK is 1-13-0. Bone Meal is the best source of phosphorus and also has calcium and some trace minerals. It is a slow-release therefore, it is a safe fertilizer when potting young or new plants.
Coffee Grounds— The world is finding out that a tossed material is rich in nitrogen and should be added in the garden and compost piles. Ask your local coffee shop for their supply of coffee grounds.
Compost— Considered the best organic fertilizer because it is high in microorganisms, humic acid, enzymes, vitamins, and humus. Make your own compost.
Corn Gluten Meal— A natural fertilizer and pre-emergent herbicide. Apply Corn Gluten Meal at the right time of year – before spring growth.
Cottonseed Meal— Made from cottonseed. Compost 1st to rid toxic chemicals. Use in the compost pile. NPK is 6-1-1 considered by many to be the second-best source of nitrogen after blood meal. It is a slow-release fertilizer. It also adds acidity to the soil.
Cover Crops— They are leguminous plants like clover, grains, rye, and oats. Cover Crops are planted for use as a green manure.
Crab Meal— NPK is 5-2-0.5. A soil improver which is a by-product of the crab industry. Once kiln dried they are ground up into the meal. Crab Meal will add life to the soil by furnishing a protein chitin food for microorganisms.
Earthworm Castings— (vermi-compost, vermiculture, vermicompost) An organic fertilizer high in useable minerals and bacteria. The NPK is high with over 60 trace minerals, considered an ideal additive to soil. Earthworm Castings is made from worms digesting organic matter and passes the castings. Ammonium sulfate is toxic to earthworms.
Epsom Salt— Hydrated magnesium sulfate, used as a quick-acting reservoir of magnesium and sulfur. These are elements that are required in the soil. Epsom Salt is an outstanding fertilizer.
Feather Meal— NPK is 12-0-0. Feathers are ground up into a meal. Nitrogen is released over a long period of time. Feather Meal is used to enhance green leaf growth, initiate compost decomposition and get better soil structure.
Fish Emulsion— An organic fertilizer produced from fish or fish by-products. Add seaweed to it and it will make an excellent fertilizer. Fish Emulsion‘s NPK is approx. 4-1-1 to 7-2-2.
Granite meal— Ground from soft granite into rock powder. Good potassium to help produce starch and sugar for the plants. Granite meal‘s job is to furnish trace mineral content where the soil has been used too much and deficient in trace minerals.
Greensand— An organic fertilizer which is a good source of iron, potassium, and trace minerals. Greensand is mined from ancient seabeds.
Gypsum— An excellent source of the micronutrients sulfur and calcium. Because of Gypsum‘s draining capabilities and provides aeration it is added to clay soils.
Humates— (Humic substances) A source of humic acid which is a natural organic lawn fertilizer with trace minerals and is the result of nature successful compost. Humates smells like the forest decayed leaves.
Kelp Meal— Ground-up dried seaweed. A good source of copper and boron. Abundant in plant food growth hormones. Kelp Meal is a natural source of chelated trace elements that enhances the health of the soil and plants.
Lava Sand— Ground up lava, rich with trace minerals, Lava Sand has a water-holding ability.
Lime— Gives soil an adjustment of the pH, reduces acidity, Lime contains calcium that keeps magnesium low.
Manure— Not human’s in this country. Manure is rich in nitrogen and can be obtained from many different animals, even horses. It should be composted before using because it’s nitrogen and ammonia can burn plants.
Molasses— A food for soil microorganisms. It contains trace minerals, sulfur, and potash. Molasses is a very important part of the complete organic program.
Potash— A material containing potassium. It can be potassium carbonate from wood ashes. Where potassium is deficient in the soil, potash fertilizers can correct the problem and boost crop yields and quality.
Rock Phosphate— A dry organic fertilizer. NPK is 0-25-0. A natural source of phosphorus, calcium and essential trace elements. It gets to build phosphate fertility, increase root activity in seedlings and transplants. Rock Phosphate enriches the soil and quality of the crops.
Seaweed— A saltwater plant that will accelerate root growth and has more than 60 trace minerals demanded by plants. This organic fertilizer, Seaweed, if added with fish emulsion will make the best complete fertilizer.
Soft Rock Phosphate– Aka Colloidal Rock Phosphate. A soft, natural colloidal clay releases its nutrients slowly. Unlike other phosphates, it has colloidal clay that can tie up sandy soils and contribute to their nutrient holding volume.
Sulfate of Potash— NPK is 0-0-52. A natural potash that is 51% soluble. Sulfate of Potash is second only to nitrogen in the amount required for plants. It can be applied as a supplement or mixed with other materials. Do an accurate soil test before applying.
Sul-po-mag— Natural fertilizer. Sul-po-mag is a source of 22% sulfur, 22% potash and 11% magnesium.
Sustane, aka composted turkey manure.– A very fast acting 100% composted organic fertilizer. NPK is 5-2-4. Made from real turkeys.
Here’s a piece of trivia I bet you didn’t know: roses are the third-largest plant family. It’s true! What is in the name of a rose? It would be extremely difficult for it to become the third-largest family if it were as difficult to cultivate them as their reputation leads you to believe.
But the more interesting point is the various members of the rose family you can find around us all the time. Like what?
Well, the “rose family” includes such plants as apples, cherries, raspberries, and many ornamental landscape plants!
Wild roses generally have two names (no not quite a first and a last name like people!). Each wild rose has a scientific or botanical name with at least two parts, sometimes more. These names are always based on the Latin language. In addition, each wild rose also contains a common name as well. For example, there’s the Rosa eglanteria — the plant’s botanical name. Its common name is eglantine.
There are times when changes occur naturally in the plant. A normally red-flowered rose, for example, may suddenly sprout a white-flowering seedling. This is called a variety. When the variety is produced artificially as a result of something a person has done, it’s called a cultivar. While that looks like an impressive word, it’s really rose-language shorthand for the term “cultivated variety”.
This cultivar could have several origins. It may be the result of a hybrid. Technically, a hybrid is when the pollen of one plant is placed on the female reproductive parts of another plant. The results are seedlings with genes from both parents.
But the cultivar could also be the result of people who actively seek to reproduce roses through rooting cuttings. In this case sections of the stem of the plant they want are grafted to another plant.
You can recognize a cultivar just by its name. They are usually only given one name (there’s not Latin-based scientific name linked with these plants). When you see a rose is named ‘Rainbow’s End’ or ‘Knock Out’ you know instantly that the final product is a man-made cultivar. You’ll also notice, as you learn more about your new-found hobby, that these single-named cultivars are always set off by a set of single quotation marks — never double!
If this particular man-made cultivar is sold in more than one country, then don’t be surprised to discover that it’s also known by more than one name.
If it is registered with this group, then it may also receive a “code name”. This code name starts with three capital letters that denote the hybridizer or the person who introduced the variety. Then, this is followed by additional lower-case letters. There’s a rose called the TANorstar. This code name is always the same — no matter in which country the rose is sold.
Names of Roses is Pretty Cut and Dry
After taking the time to describe all this, you would think that everything about the names of roses is pretty cut and dry. Oh, no! That’s just not the case, not by a long shot!
As you begin to read more, you’ll realize that names are really listed in many different ways in all sorts of publications.
Now that I’ve completely confused you and while you’re still scratching your head looking completely puzzled, we might as well plow ahead to one more point. Some older varieties of roses will have a common name as well. You can view these as nicknames. These have been adopted over the years and used so much that they’re just accepted, affectionate ways of talking about these particular roses.
Now that you’re wondering why you need to know all of this, I’ll tell you right now, sooner or later (and probably sooner) you will encounter all the names. And it very well could be the next time you open a rose catalog.
Many catalogs print all the possible names of the roses. This helps everyone to know what rose we’re talking about. The names are usually listed in the following order: fancy names; scientific names; common names and code names.
Here’s an Example of What I’m Talking About.
For the rose called “Alba Maxima’ you’ll find a listing like this. It has a fancy species and common names:
Synonyms are ‘Great Double White’, ‘Maxima’, Rosa alba maxima, and Jacobite Rose.
If the rose has two alternate fancy names and a code name, the entry looks like this:
Rosa Alba Meidiland
Synonyms are ‘Alba Meilandecor’, ‘Meidiland Alba’; MElflopan.
With all the thousands of roses in the world and all the names just one rose can be given, it’s no wonder that the rose experts use various methods to group the roses as well. Now you know what is in the name of a rose.
Gardening can boost the feel-good hormones in your brain, which help fight against feelings associated with stress. Studies have shown that people who have a garden eat better and have fewer long term negative health effects.
Plus, another upside to gardening for stress eating is that you’ll discover that instead of putting weight on, you’re actually losing it instead. Most people are surprised to find that they lose inches around their waist and drop numbers on the scale through gardening.
It doesn’t seem like exercise because it’s a fun, fairly easy hobby to get into. The best part is that gardening isn’t something that requires you drag yourself to an exercise club, wear workout gear or pay for a membership.
It’s all convenient and very low cost. You just have to buy the seeds or the starter plants. You can get started with gardening through container gardening, window box gardening, indoor or outdoor gardening.
There are so many different types of foods you can plant, too. When you’re involved in growing a garden, you get exercise in a variety of ways. It’s good for any body type and any weight because the exercising is all low key and low impact so you won’t feel it in your joints.
Picking up the plants to move them from a pot to the soil works the upper body. As you work on transplanting, you’re working out core muscles as well. Lifting bags of soil to add to the garden plot is part of a garden workout.
So is raking the soil and digging in it to plant items. There’s also weeding, which is a repetitive exercise that relaxes both the mind and the body. You can burn calories in your garden by mulching and other tasks required to keep a garden productive.
Some foods require more effort to grow than other foods and that also contributes to weight loss. If you’re doing more physical aspects of gardening such as hoeing, this is considered a moderate workout and you can end up burning as much as 300 calories for every hour that you’re hoeing.
You’ll end up giving your muscles strength from all the activity as well as toning them. Gardening calms the mind, too – which, in turn, reduces stress and lowers cortisol. When the cortisol is lowered, you’ll also have less of a drive to turn to food for comfort.
Gardening Helps Dieters Shed Fat During Stressful Times
When you garden, there’s always healthy food available for meals and snacks to help combat stress during troubled or anxious times. Your garden can be the quiet place you go to relax, exercise to get you out of the doldrums and provide a good supply of healthy, mood-boosting foods.
Gardening might be the ultimate way to shed the fat cells during times when you crave unhealthy foods. Sugary and salty snacks, fast food and foods rich in calories and carbohydrates are what you feel you need, but add calories and free radicals to your body.
You may also plant yourself on the sofa and feel like you can’t make a move to do anything beneficial to your body. Gardening is like any other hobby you might take up – you’re excited about doing it.
But, gardening is different because it not only relieves stress but can provide beauty for the mind with flowers and food for the soul and body with the healthy plants you choose. Keep your garden simple at first until you know what you have the stamina for.
If you discover you really enjoy gardening, the sky’s the limit on the healthy foods you can enjoy. But keep gardening your hobby to relax and enjoy and don’t let it become a chore.
Stress affects us in various ways. We always want comfort and most of the time we find it in harmful foods, but what we really need is vitamin and nutrient-rich foods we can depend upon to keep our stress-out times low calorie, but satisfying.
Mood swings are dangerous to the dieter. If you choose an outlet such as gardening, you have a better chance of foregoing the bad moods and immersing yourself in the mood-lifting gardening experience.
And you’re more likely to eat the healthy foods you harvest from your garden than to pick them up at the supermarket when you’re stressed out. Gardening affects all of the senses – taste, smell, sound and touch all benefit the dieters need to consume healthy and low-calorie foods.
When gardening to relieve stress and eat healthier, try to be in the moment. It doesn’t help much to garden while you’re thinking about tomorrow’s workload or finances. You also have the perfect chance to build on your creativity when gardening.
When planning your garden, think about whether you want it to be wild and entertaining or subtle and elegant. That decision goes a long way in how much you relax in your garden environment.
Relaxation is sometimes key in relieving food cravings, which occur when you’re stressed out. Carving out a space in your garden for only you – for meditation, reading or just enjoying the aromas and ambiance – can help reduce cravings you may have for high-calorie, high-carb foods.
Gardening also gives you a sense of accomplishment that you don’t get with many other hobbies. It satisfies all the senses and the harvest is low calorie – and beautiful to behold.
The earliest recorded history of the use of garlic to boost health and relieve stress was made by the Egyptians. They fed it to their slaves and other laborers to boost their strength and stamina during the decades the pyramids were being built.
Now we know for sure that garlic is a huge asset to the immune system and can help prevent cancer, heart disease and lower blood pressure. Antioxidants are highly concentrated in this superfood and can combat the damage to our bodies caused by free radicals (body pollutants).
Free radicals are now believed to contribute to the development of life-threatening diseases. Garlic contains the antibacterial and anti-fungal component called allicin and naturopathic practitioners often recommend it for depression and anxiety.
Some little known facts about the benefits of garlic include:
* Chop or crush the garlic and let it sit for a while before cooking so the allinase enzymes contained in the garlic will better preserve its cancer-preventive properties.
* Allicin (a sulfur compound) may help improve your iron metabolism. A protein (ferroportin) allows a passageway in the cell membrane to store iron and exit the cell when the body needs it.
* Garlic is a good source for selenium, a trace mineral also present in the soil. Selenium is imperative for the body to increase immunity, protect against free radical damage, as an anti-inflammatory and to maintain a healthy and vibrant metabolism.
* Garlic may also play a role in the fertility of males and females and in preventing autoimmune, cancer and thyroid diseases.
You should include garlic in your diet plan on a daily basis. At least half a clove in your own food portion should suffice – but when used in recipes, use at least one or two for maximum benefit.
Use garlic in whole clove form, raw, chopped, powder, or pressed. Be sure to add it at the end of your recipe’s cooking cycle to derive the maximum benefits and flavor. Garlic can transform any dish into an aromatic and highly flavorful meal, boost your mood and counteract your high-stress levels.
Beets are coming back as a food-trend and being used in many different ways to ensure we get them in our diet plan. The arsenal of nutrients found in beets has an extremely beneficial effect on our nervous and immune systems.
Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties called betaine, beets also help to detoxify the body by stimulating liver cells and cleansing and protecting bile ducts, which carry waste through the system.
Betaine is an amino acid which acts as an antidepressant and stimulates the production of dopamine (the neurotransmitter which controls the pleasure points in our brains). An added bonus to consuming beets on a regular basis is the caloric count – approximately 40 calories per (average size) beet.
Beets are stocked with nutrients we sometimes lack, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber, niacin, biotin and iron. Together, these nutrients help to increase our levels of dopamine.
Low levels of dopamine cause us to be sluggish in our motor movements and may affect sleep cycles caused by stress. Recently, low dopamine levels have been connected to restless leg syndrome – the disorder that occurs often in seniors and keeps us awake at night.
Lowering blood pressure is also a benefit of beets. Some studies indicate that beets may help increase energy levels and stamina when you need it most. If you’ve never tried beets or beet juice, you’ll be amazed at all the ways you can use them in recipes or simply cut them up and include them in a leafy green salad.
Check out beet recipes and ideas online or in cookbooks and begin to use this superfood to boost your stress-reducing dopamine and nutrient levels.
If you’ve ever suffered from a stress-related headache, you know how debilitating it can be. Your own garden can be a source of food that can help alleviate the dreaded headaches caused by too much stress and anxiety in your life.
Certain foods can also cause headaches. Included in the list are cheese, red wine, chocolate, and caffeine. Many foods containing MSG (monosodium glutamate) can sometimes trigger the intense migraine headaches, so it’s good to avoid those foods when you can.
Foods that are known to prevent headaches can be grown in your own garden. Even if you don’t have a garden space in your backyard, many of these foods are easily grown in containers or hydroponically.
Some herbs are natural enemies of headaches and you can easily grow them and have them on hand whenever needed. Lavender, for example, emits a scent that encourages relaxation and is great for stress-related headaches.
Lemon balm is another easy-to-grow and fragrant herb that’s helpful to relieve tension and those headaches caused by anxiety. It also acts as a mild sedative if your headache is preventing you from getting much-needed rest.
Sage and rosemary are excellent stress-headache relievers. Rosemary also improves circulation and can stimulate the nerves – helping to relieve tension and cluster headaches. Use rosemary in your favorite recipes to give them an extra zing.
Sage is also an easy growing plant and a great addition to any garden type. It’s a herb that can turn a recipe from boring to amazing and also stimulates digestion. Tension and nerve-caused headaches may be relieved by the aroma of this amazing herb.
Many of these herbs are great for tinctures to add to beverages when you feel a headache coming on. Tea or infusions with some of the herbs can effectively stave off the onset of tension and nerve type headaches.
Cantaloupes and potatoes can be easily grown in your garden space or even containers and contain natural statins and anti-inflammatory properties which can help lower high blood pressure and alleviate the pain of stress headaches.
Low levels of magnesium may cause stress to morph itself into the form of a headache. You can get this essential mineral in dark, leafy green plants such as spinach and kale – easily grown in any type of garden.
Add spice to your foods to relieve headaches by growing peppers in your garden and add these to recipes. They’re especially good to add to stews and soups. Spicy peppers help to relieve congestion and sinus pressure and may also act to open blood vessels which may constrict during times of stress and anxiety.
Just the activity of gardening can do much to relieve stress. If you don’t have a large plot in your yard for a garden, consider another method such as container and hydroponic.
If you have enough space in your garden area, arrange a place for meditation and relaxation. Perhaps add a water feature and some aromatic herbs and flowers for complete relaxation and a way to get rid of those annoying stress-related headaches.
Boy, I bet you never dreamed there was such a variety of roses. You still look a little overwhelmed from all that we covered from the last chapter. With such an array, how do you decide which rose is right for you?
Allow me to help a little with that. First, you’re probably tempted, as I was in the beginning years of my rose-growing days, to just run down to your local nursery and buy the species of rose that you feel is the most beautiful. I can’t blame you there.
But you should place more thought than that into it. After all, you do want to get the absolute best results you possibly can from both your investment in money and the future investment you’re making in time. You know, the tending to the flower, the watering, the fertilizing, and the talking to!
Even though your heart is saying run out and buy the first rose you see, your mind is saying, “Let’s do a little research.” Listen to your mind on this one.
And let’s start with just a few traits you should look for when you’re purchasing a rose.
Think about these questions before you buy your plant:
1. For what purpose do I want the rose?
By this question, I mean where in your garden are you planning on putting it. Will it be in a container? Will it be part of a flower bed or border? Or perhaps you’re thinking more of creating a hedge with the rose or having it stand as an arbor.
2. Am I going to cut the flowers for arrangements?
3. How much space can I realistically devote to the flower?
If you have a smaller garden, then you’ll be considering purchasing what’s called “compact” roses. This will keep the roses in an approximate scale with all your other plants.
If your garden is larger, than, of course, you want the larger varieties of roses.
4. What colors would I like?
Are you searching for bright colors in your plants, like the reds, the oranges, the golds or even the stripes? Instead of bright, you may opt for the flowers in the pastel range.
5. How important is the fragrance of the rose to me?
For many people, the fragrant scent of the rose is important. For others, they cherish the look. Would you be disappointed realistically speaking, if the rose you chose didn’t have a strong, aromatic scent?
6. Realistically, how much time am I willing to invest in the maintenance of this flower?
You may have the time and the energy to get intimately involved with your rose plants. If that’s the case, hybrid tea roses would be a good choice. This particular type of rose requires careful attention. It’s prone to disease and needs pruning.
But don’t give up on roses if you don’t’ have the time or energy for the “fussier” plants. Instead, search out a few that are easier to tend to. Believe me, they’re out there.
7. What are the growing conditions like in my yard?
Objectively evaluate your climate. In fact, when asking this question, you can turn to the USDA Plant hardiness Zone Map. This will help you make your decision about the type of rose that will thrive in your climate.
Up Close and Personal.
While a picture may be worth a thousand words, you certainly don’t want to choose your rose through leaving through photos on the internet or in books. I really don’t care how great of quality those photos may be, you’ll want to get up close and personal with the roses before you make your final choice. After all, when was the last time you “smelled a picture”?
Rose displays are available for the public in many metropolitan and botanical parks. And the advantage here is that the roses themselves are usually meticulously identified. Once you’ve spotted a rose that peaks your interest, you can jot the name of it down and see what kind of attention it needs. This way you can see if this rose actually suits the climate of your area and more specifically the needs of your particular yard and garden.