Gardening Tips for budgets, Mental Health and Soil Replenishment

By Nicole Stocker

Spring has come this year. Once again it is gardening season. According to my chiropractor, working with the dirt is therapeutic in helping with depression. It helps us feel connected to the earth. 

Gardening is a great way to produce fruits and vegetables locally. It is also a great way to cut costs for those odds and ends produce on your grocery list. For those of you living in the Quad Cities, feel free check out your local community gardens and food forests in the area. You can get free produce by simply just pulling a few weeds from the community garden. 

A great way to put nitrogen back into the soil is to plant radishes. Plants like corn that are abundantly grown in the Midwest take a lot of nitrogen from the soil. It is important to research soil nutrients and keep track of any replenishment and needed crop rotation for the best gardening results.

I had a man facilitating a community garden ask me on why his peppers and tomatoes were not replenishing after a few years. I suggested to him to use eggshells and banana peels going the organic route as a compost. Tomatoes take a lot of phosphorus calcium and potassium out of the soil. Peppers need phosphorus and potassium as well as additional nitrogen nutrients to be returned to the soil as well. 

I hope everyone is enjoying the spring weather and happy gardening season!

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