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The sensation in most parts of the country is that winter never made it here this year. The cold season is not officially over but temperatures are almost reaching 70 degrees nationwide. This is a great indication that spring gardening season is here; it is time to get your trowel, pruning shears and rake out of the backyard shed and let’s plant some forsythias, daffodils, or why not, some fresh cilantro.

The first step to take is to give a good spring clean up to your garden by raking dead leaves, pick up debris and cut back your perennials (if you didn’t do it in the fall). Afterwards, sharpen and prune all dead, diseased and damaged limbs but without going overboard. At this point, you are ready to plant starting with your perennials, and if there’re no more chances of a night frost, you can go ahead and plant your veggie seeds.

But what to if you live in an urban environment? AARP offers you useful advice on how to produce your own compost based on organic waste, how to choose and prepare the land for the garden and finally choosing the adequate organic seeds. Keep in mind that eating organic foods gives you and your family a higher amount of nutrients per serving plus you avoid ingesting fertilizer, pesticide and insecticide residues. Another alternative for city dwellers is to volunteer at a local community garden.

Besides using gardens as a source of fresh foods and medicinal herbs, AARP also shares with you tips on how to transform your garden in a place for meditation and rest, a bird habitat or even a perfect place for you to practice your outdoor photography skills.

Did I mention that being surrounded by nature helps you relax and exercise at the same time? Gardening could be a great therapy against depression, high blood pressure and any condition that threatens your mobility.

Visit our gardening section in English and en español. Because there’s so much we live for.

Photo credit: AARP