Video: Beginning a Garden - Gardening with Dr. Weil

Beginning a garden is one of the healthiest choices you can make and a great way to get fresh fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. Dr. Weil provides some tips on how to get started and what you can do to have a happy, healthy garden for years to come. Read more on starting a vegetable garden.


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Video Transcript: Start A Garden With Dr. Weil

I think the best way to get into gardening, if you have never done it, is to associate with somebody who knows how to do it and spend time with people who garden, work in their gardens, have them help you set up a garden of your own. I think that’s much better than reading books or trying to get information other ways. You just work with people who know how to do it and you’ll pick it up from them. You know, for a basic garden I think the main thing is to have a space in which you can do it. So that means finding a space in the right location, protecting it from animals and pests, getting the soil right, getting the right kinds of plants and seeds and starts for your area and the time of year for your space. And having some basic tools like a trowel and a claw, a bucket and a hose, and some basic soil amendments and fertilizers.
I think growing a garden does require some patience, but that is part of the fun. Watching things develop, planting seeds; some seeds may take ten days or more to germinate and it can be frustrating if you have never done that. You go out and there is nothing happening, then one day you see these little sprouts come. Watching plants grow and watching fruits ripen; it’s really an interesting exercise. With fruits, often the fruits we get in stores have not been left on plants until they actually ripen and when plants are removed prematurely they don’t develop the full sugar content and other nutrients. So with fruits, berries for example, you can tell by the texture when they begin to feel soft, they lose their gloss, and you can taste them to see how they do. With vegetables, I think it depends on each individual vegetable. Carrots – you check around the soil to see the diameter of the developing carrot, same with beets, radishes. Lettuces – you can pretty much tell by the size and fullness of the head. Broccoli – you want to get when the heads are full and compact before the little yellow flowers start to open. You know, I think the main benefit of gardening is that you get the absolutely freshest, most healthy vegetables and fruits. Many people have never tasted really fresh vegetables. When I cook for people, people are often amazed at how good things taste and the real secret is that I have absolutely fresh vegetables that come right out of the garden, and those really fresh vegetables probably have the highest content of nutrients, micronutrients. And I think your health benefits from eating them. In addition, working in the garden often gets you outside. It can be aerobic activity, its good bending and lifting and carrying. It’s getting your hands in the dirt, its being connected with nature. So there are all those other side benefits, as well. Gardening is just really good activity. It’s good any way that you look at it; it’s good for mind, body, and spirit. And in addition, you are doing something very productive and you are getting the rewards of that.

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