The problem for many gardeners, especially those of us who live where winter is winter, is an increase in GRTH symptoms at this time of year. Pronounced like “girth”, Gardeners Reduced Time with Horticulture (GRTH) is a malady whose primary symptom is ironically, an increase in the gardener’s weight.
For several months now, we northern gardeners have not been pushing lawn mowers, dragging hoses around, hoeing the gardens, raking leaves, or digging holes. At best, we may have shoveled snow a few times, but even that we’ve tried to make a more sedentary activity by using snow blowers or having the neighborhood kids do it.
Our primary winter-time gardening activities are studying seed catalogs, reading gardening books, browsing through countless back issues of garden-related magazines and posting on our garden blogs. These “activities” are really “sedentaries” and leave us sitting around quite a bit.
Thus we suffer from an increase in GRTH.
We have to be careful or we will wake up on the first wonderful spring morning, ready to just be gardeners for a day and realize that the symptoms of GRTH are preventing us from being the gardeners we want to be.
Until that first day of spring, some gardeners may refuse to believe that they are suffering from a huge case of GRTH. But on that first spring day, even they won’t be able to deny their GRTH symptoms because their favorite pants for gardening won’t fit.
We know there are ways to avoid a big fat GRTH attack, even cure it once you have it. And the way to avoid it and cure it are the same.
We need to exercise and watch what we eat.
That’s right, we sedentary northern gardeners need to get up off our couches and make sure we are exercising through the winter and eating right. We have to keep ourselves from getting GRTH by walking on treadmills, riding stationary bikes, lifting, bending… exercising.
Then when spring comes, we’ll be ready to go, all dressed up again in our favorite gardening pants.