Practicing Interdependence

Lisa Niday - Monday, June 03, 2013

By: The Buddhist Gardner

Buddhism practices the art of interdependence. We are all dependent on one another. This definitely holds true in my garden. The plants depend on me for care, I depend on them for lunch. Plants need three things to flourish: adequate light, nutrients, and water.


I think light is the biggest challenge. We tend to put the plants where it is convenient for us, as opposed to where they will be the most successful. Two things you need know: how much sunlight your yard gets, and how much sunlight the plants need. As far as the first, check out your entire yard at multiple times throughout the day -- 8 am, 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm. As for the second, lot of information comes from the planting instructions on the seed packet. If you donʼt grow things from seeds, most seed companies have growing instructions on their website. Find the plants you are growing and reference the instructions. Two that I like: territorialseed  and reimerseeds.


As for nutrients, most come directly from the soil. I do a lot of composting, so I donʼt feed much on top of that. There are, however, plenty of good products on the market for feeding. Growing up, my mother always used Miracle Grow and always had a beautiful garden. There are also a number of organic products on the market. I have used several products by a company called Age Old Organics with good success.


Finally, watering is not as obvious as it seems. Generally, if plants donʼt get enough water they extend the roots deeper in search of moisture, giving them a stronger root system and usually a better yield. This means that over watering on the surface can lead to shallow plants, poorer yield, and a greater likelihood for some type of root rot. I prefer to water greater quantity less often. Give the plants a good soaking, then keep an eye on them and water when they just start to look a little droopy. How often this happens is determined by the heat and humidity of your climate.

Remember, working with the plants in the spirit of interdependence brings peace, harmony, and salad.

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