Suffolk Mind gardening expert offers advice to help people get outdoors to help their mental health
Our Suffolk Mind gardening expert is encouraging people to get out in the garden or grow produce in their own homes to help their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sarah Manton-Roseblade is the manager of the GreenCare service which is made up of four allotments across Suffolk (Haverhill, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich). Each site offers people the opportunity to learn about gardening and contribute to the creation of a thriving growing space that benefits everyone.
This service is currently unable to run, so we are encouraging people to get growing at home instead.
Sarah said: “Being out in the garden or growing things in your own home is a great way to meet your physical and emotional needs. It enables you to achieve something new, gives you some meaning and purpose and gently increases your activity levels too.”
Here are some handy ideas and tips to help you:
- It is sunflower season – from May you can plant Sunflower seeds directly in the ground where you want them to grow. If you don’t have a garden, from mid-April seeds can be planted in a pot and left by the windowsill. Keep them watered and as they start to grow make sure you use a stick to support them.
- Grow your own veg – it’s a great time to start growing your own vegetables. Easy vegetables to grow are things like lettuce, carrots, sugar snap peas and dwarf French beans as they don’t take up too much space in the garden. You can also grow salad leaves and pea shoots in a pot on your windowsill.
- Herbs grow well on the windowsill – things like coriander and basil (when it’s a little warmer) are great herbs to start with.
- Here are some helpful websites’ to help you grow your own produce: www.gardenorganic.org.uk and www.rhs.org.uk.