According to some sources gardening in bare feet can be beneficial to both the mind and the body. We know that having a connection with the land can feel therapeutic, but it can also be beneficial to your general physical health. The foot has over 200,000 nerve endings. They are designed to touch the ground. You may want to consider gardening while you are barefoot. You will help stretch and strengthen the tendons in your legs and feet. You will also strengthen the small muscles in your foot. Additionally, you can improve your natural gait by going barefooted.
Walking bare foot strengthens small muscles in the feet that communicate with larger leg and core muscles to stabilize the body - it also stretches the ligaments and tendons in the feet and lower legs. Your natural gait will be restored and your balance will improve by walking bare foot more often and you will be less susceptible to common foot and ankle injuries.
Walking barefoot on natural surfaces such as grass, earth, sand or mud is sometimes referred to as 'Earthing' or 'Grounding' (it's also sometimes simply referred to as not wearing shoes!). But its called earthing because, by being barefoot, we have a direct connection to the earth and its magnetic field. The science behind the benefits is based on the fact that the body absorbs negative ions from the earth through the sole of the foot. Our bodies are in need of negative ions as we are surrounded and flooded by positive ions in today's world (think of everything with a power source that emits a signal). Earthing is a scientifically researched subject - check out this report on how Earthing (grounding) the human body reduces blood viscosity-a major factor in cardiovascular disease - and interest is growing in the benefits of being barefoot (whether in your garden or elsewhere).
A free reflexology session in the garden
Walking about barefoot is a great way to stimulate the reflex points in your feet. Reflexology involves applying pressure to certain points of the foot which are believed to have a healing effect on other parts of the body. Certain points of your feet may hurt when you begin walking about in bare feet, and this could mean that that these points are in need of stimulation and result in the effects being felt throughout your body. Reflexology is thought to help reduce pain, blood pressure and anxiety and to enhance relaxation and sleep.
So time to get rid of the muddy wellies and get your feet stuck in instead!
Bare foot Gardens
Barefoot gardens are not new. In fact, there are dozens of barefoot gardens in Europe. You can create your own barefoot garden by creating areas of different texture with plants (moss, clover, grass) or natural materials such as tree bark, sand, gravel, larger stones, wood etc. Stones are especially good if they are placed is a sunny position.
How to make a clover lawn
Clover lawns can be established by encouraging already existing clover patches in your lawn, by seeding, or a combination of both. Clover is a short-lived perennial and may require reseeding every 2-3 years to maintain an even cover in pure clover lawns. In mixed grass-clover lawns, clover will reseed itself adequately to maintain a consistent presence. Clover is best sown in early spring from mid-March to mid-April. It can also be sown in the Autumn. In the middle of summer, stop mowing to encourage clover flowering and seeding. Once established, most clovers are low-growing and require little or no mowing,
- Stay green all summer with little or no watering.
- Require little or no mowing. Small leaf white clover grows just 5 - 15cm tall.
- Never needs fertilizer. Clover is a nitrogen-fixing legume, a plant that essentially creates its own fertilizer - and fertilizes nearby plants as well.
- Grass that is intermixed with clover will be healthier and greener with less effort than grass planted alone.
- Out-competes weeds and reduces the need for weeding or expensive herbicides.
- Grows well in poor soil and tolerates a wide variety of soil conditions, including the poor-quality subsoil common around many new homes.
- Feels great on bare feet. Clover's leaves and blossoms also have a mild, pleasant smell.
- Is immune to dog patches.
- Great for Bees, providing valuable pollen and nectar.