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Relieving Stress with a “Victory Garden”

Many of you may already know that in wartime, governments encouraged people to plant victory gardens not only to supplement their rations, but also to boost morale. Besides indirectly aiding the war effort, these gardens were also considered a civil “morale booster” in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. (Wikipedia definition)

It is also well known that gardening, whatever it may look like, can provide an opportunity to reduce stress and help us to become one with the outdoors, something that most Coloradans like to do.  “Gardening” is a general word that can be as simple as growing herbs on your windowsill or one where you need a rototiller and rake.  We all take pride in cooking, sharing, and enjoying the rewards that come when you pick that first zucchini of the season or make a delicious pasta dish with Italian herbs or even enjoy a mojito on the porch from mint that you grew.

During 2020 there was an unprecedent increase in the purchase of vegetable seeds, which more than doubled then in previous years, and several varieties sold out before the growing season began.  Due to the pandemic, we all began to slow down, read more, walk more, and spend time with the family and friends that we safely could see.  Gardening became another way to enjoy something different while at home.

Sunlight can improve our mood and increase our Vitamin D and the fresh air is good for our health.  Being in touch with the outdoors can help us feel removed from the daily stresses.  The beauty of nature is a great stress reliever and living in Colorado provides us with endless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.

Getting started will depend on your available space, budget and how much time you want to devote to it. Be it containers or in the ground, planting in Colorado brings its own challenges.   Use the appropriate planting and/or potting soil, and with the extreme changes in our weather, having the ability to cover your plants should be kept in mind too.  Most importantly, once you have started, you should find that creating a garden can bring you peace.  Have fun!

By Pam Bailey, Operations Manager

Seed Companies (here are a few to check out):  Burpee, Territorial Seed, Gurney’s, local garden centers, hardware stores, etc.
Denver Botanic Gardens Gardening Resources | Denver Botanic Gardens
Some local garden centers offer free classes so check their websites for more information.

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