Lent is often a period when people choose to give something up. Some give up alcohol, some give up chocolate, or other sweet treats... but whether or not the period has any religious significance for you, Lent could also be a time not only to give things up but to take up new healthy habits as well. As we move into spring, polytunnel gardeners could use this time to resolve on new, healthier and better habits in their gardening endeavours. Take up these healthy habits during Lent and consider continuing them throughout the rest of the year:
If you do not already do so, now would be a good time to resolve on growing food organically in your polytunnel. Organic gardening is better for the planet and for you and your family. By eschewing the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides, you will be ensuring that your gardening efforts do not harm the environment, and will be making sure that your family is not suffering from ingesting harmful chemicals along with the food you grow.
Again, if you do not already do so, consider composting this year. By composting household kitchen scraps and other biodegradable waste from your household, you can help to complete the natural cycles in your garden and return nutrients to the soil. Successfully composting will help you take care of the soil in your polytunnel for years to come.
Mulching with organic materials and compost will also help to maintain and improve fertility in your polytunnel. Getting into good habits with mulching in the spring will help you to continue those good habits all through the growing season, ensuring healthy plants and a good harvest.
Making your own organic plant feeds at home will also help you to maintain a healthy ecosystem in your garden and polytunnel. Plant feeds can be made from a variety of natural and plant based materials that often found in gardens, including from many plants we consider as weeds, such as dandelions or nettles.
Finally, if you are a polytunnel grower, resolve this Lent to use the produce you grow to cook more from scratch and to reduce your reliance on processed, packaged foods. This will help you to improve your own health, but will also make your lifestyle more sustainable, and kinder to our planet.