Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast rose from the dreams of its wintry rest. ~Percy Bysshe Shelley,
"The Sensitive Plant"
Gardening has always been a favorite past-time for hobby enthusiasts. Whether it's vegetables or flowers - a considerable amount of time and effort must go into gardening in order to reap its bountiful rewards.
Gardening 101: Soil, Seeds, Water, Sun and Weeds.
~ Soil needs to be tilled (turned over) to aerate and loosen up. You can analyze for proper ph and determine whether critical nutrients are present or not. Using compost, manure or rich organic top soil will improve the soil's makeup and maximize growing conditions.
~ Planting seeds and seedlings properly help guarantee a bounty of vegetables or flowers. Plant seeds at the recommended depth and spacing per seed packet instructions. When working with seedlings, a "gentle touch" is what is needed. Be careful not to break off new shoots or delicate roots.
~ Watering should be light and consistent with new plantings. Once plants are established, watering less is actually better as it forces roots deeper, resulting in stronger plants.
~ Sunlight is crucial to plant growth and the process of photosynthesis. Six to eight hours of direct sunlight is optimal. Some vegetables and flowers require less, or prefer significant shade. Carefully follow directions on packets or seedling trays before planting.
~ Weed little, but often. Keeping up with small weeds is easier than trying to weed a massive quantity at one time. Mulch, grass, leaves or hay also retard weed growth.
These are just some of the basics of gardening. For more information, or a listing of dates for your gardening zone, visit the Gardening page on The Old Farmer's Almanac
God's Word contains many Scripture passages pertaining to sowing and reaping, seasons, planting and harvesting. Some of them speak of nature, and some speak of spiritual things. Either way - these universal principles apply.
Galatians 6:7-9 says, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
Regarding wisdom in business - Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes 11: 4, "He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap." Verse 6, "In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good."
In Matthew 13:1-23 Jesus tells the parable of the soils. He spoke about the seed that was sown and where it fell. Then He explained to his disciples what the parable meant, ending with the statement, "But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."
The Apostle Paul shares with us in II Corinthians 9:6 the principle of giving: "But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully."
Paul later shares, "Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God." (II Corinthians 9:10-11)
Finally, in Isaiah 61:11 the prophet foretells the coming of the Messiah, "For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations."
What is your favorite thing to do in your garden? What are your most cherished flowers? Do you have a vegetable garden, and what do you grow? How does spending time in your garden renew or restore your soul?
Enjoy Anne Murray singing "In the Garden