With limits on outdoor time in place across the country, those of us lucky enough to have a garden are doubling-down on making it summer-ready. It’s easy to sit inside and indulge in the best TV streaming services at times like these. However, it’s important to get time away from your computer or TV screen and stretch those legs. Fresh air is proven to be beneficial for your mental and physical health, not to mention, your yard will thank you.
Recent research has shown that Americans have finished with stockpiling toilet paper, and switched their attention to buying fruit and vegetable seeds. Even if you’re not looking to create your own cabbage patch, it’s clear that isolation has us switching the school run and morning commute for new hobbies and outdoor time. Perhaps you’re thinking that now is the time to tend to neglected flowerbeds or lawns, or you’re looking to indulge in some home luxuries with outdoor leisure investments. We’ve rounded up the top five ways to make your garden summer-ready and optimized for isolation, to bring the park to you.
1. Get mowing
Is your yard looking a little overgrown? Step one to giving your garden some TLC is mowing the lawn. Not only does mowing your lawn make it look a whole lot nicer, it also stimulates your grass to grow thicker and healthier and keeps weeds from getting out-of-hand.
The Spruce has specified the importance of mowing your lawn in a handy article, which says that: "Mowing the lawn is about more than just keeping your lawn's height under control, so that your landscape does not look like a mess. If done properly, mowing stimulates the grass of your lawn to lushness and better health."
It can be a little time-consuming to mow your lawn, so if you’ve got a lot of garden your hands you should consider investing in a high-power lawn mower, such as the best gas lawn mowers, which will quickly power through tough terrain. If you’re lucky enough to have an immense outdoor space, the best riding lawn mowers are also a good option.
2. Create an outdoor living space
Whether it’s for outdoor, al fresco dining or simply sitting back with your morning coffee, now’s the right time to appreciate your garden for what it is - another area of living space. Adding thoughtful touches such as garden furniture and planters is a great way to maximize your living space. This is especially useful if you're isolated with your family, as it can create a different zone for work, play and learning. Loungers are also a great buy if you want to catch some sun or relax outdoors.
When isolating, it's important to be mindful of the importance of spending time outdoors. Research has shown that "a decrease in contact with nature results in a number of health and behavioural problems, especially for children". Some have even referred to this as a 'nature-deficit disorder'. It can be a little tricky to be at one with nature right now, but spending more time outdoors to listen to birds and take in the fresh air is certainly a start.
3. Dust off the gas grill for a family barbecue
Coronavirus cannot ruin the humble barbecue. Sure, you might have a smaller turnout thanks to social distancing, but your household can live it up in true summer fashion with the best gas grills for perfectly cooked food.
75% of U.S. adults own a grill, so this is likely something you can achieve without having to spend any money whatsoever. However, there are some great excuses to invest now if you're one of the 25% going without.
According to Forbes, the five most popular days to barbecue, in order are: July Fourth; Labor Day & Memorial Day (tied); Father’s Day; Mother’s Day. All five of these days are yet to come, and it looks like we could still be in lockdown when many of them arrive, meaning you may not be able to celebrate at a restaurant if that is your usual routine. Consider the size you’ll need and your budget, and get grilling!
4. Bring the spa to you with an at-home hot tub
It’s no surprise that the best inflatable hot tubs are selling out fast right now. They are the perfect low-cost solution for those looking to de-stress from the garden, and many can be ordered online or collected curbside. If you want a more permanent solution, investing in the best hot tubs or even best swim spas can bring a host of great fitness and wellbeing benefits.
Warm water immersion has been bringing people relaxation for hundreds of years, and recent hot tub models even feature massage jets to ease back pain and tension. Costing $134 billion, back and neck pain was the most expensive health issue in America last year, and if you're working from home at a makeshift desk, it's highly likely that you're suffering from it. Regardless of the size of your available space or your budget, there’s bound to be an option to help you relax from home.
5. Try gardening
In the US, 117 million people, (that's one in three), participate in gardening as a past-time. It's no wonder the hobby is so popular, as research from ScienceDirect has shown that gardening increases life satisfaction, vigor, psychological wellbeing, and even cognitive function. So if you’re on the hunt for a new hobby, it’s the ideal time to take up gardening. Not only is it a sustainable way to provide fresh and healthy food for yourself, you can also grow beautiful flowers and totally transform your living space.
If the soil quality in your yard isn’t quite up to scratch, a raised garden bed is the way to go. It keeps the parameters of your flowerbed or vegetable patch clearly defined and saves you turning over soil and weeds, so you can get straight to the fun part.