Grow your own way

How to use music to benefit your gardening this Spring and beyond!

Heading to the Chelsea Flower show this week? Or maybe wish you were? Perhaps you are just a gardening enthusiast who is looking forward to tuning in from the comfort of your home and feeling inspired by the various displays the show has to offer.  And what a year it looks to be!  

The 2024 edition of the Chelsea Flower show is set to be the greenest yet, with sustainability at the centre of many of the garden designs. But that’s not all. According to the show’s manager Gemma Lake, the 2024 event will be “a bumper show, full of our favourite growers, designers, florists and scientists – the Great Pavilion will be overflowing with scent and colour.”¹ 

There will, of course, be displays based on more traditional gardens too, as well as ideas tailored to smaller garden areas – including Balcony and Container Gardens, which are perfect for rented and urban gardeners.  

Whatever your style and preference, this year’s event (as ever) will no doubt leave us all eager to start stocking up on compost, planning out our flower bed displays and nurturing our veggies, as we look to take inspiration from the event and make our space as best it can be – but did you know music can help gardening too?

Music and nature working in harmony for improved mental health.

In our recent survey, 37% of people said that playing music while they garden makes them feel happy, while 25.6% said that it makes them feel calm.²  So, the next time you head out to repot your seedlings or mow your lawn, you might want to consider tuning into your favourite songs to help to boost your mood and improve wellbeing while you enjoy your outdoor space.  

This may mean tuning into your favourite radio station perhaps or popping on a playlist – whatever it is, combining the calming atmosphere of nature, with the relaxing tone of music stimulate the senses and could help to create a feeling of relaxation, calm and positivity.  

As Cecila Hall, from the award winning, Yorkshire retailer, Langland Garden Centre explains, “mental well-being can be supported by both gardening and music. I think our visitors find their experience calming,  and soothing with the combination of the two senses listening to music and looking at greenery and flowers.”³ 

Unsurprisingly though, it’s not just us gardeners who can benefit from the music that is played, but music can help your plants too.

Benefits of music to plant growth

Research suggests that music can help accelerate plant growth by creating a stimulus that plants respond to whilst also helping to boost the health and strength of your plants. 

According to the essay, Effect of Music on Plants – An Overview, by Anindita Roy Chowdhury and Anshu Gupta, music can “facilitate better physiological processes like absorption of nutrients, photosynthesis, protein synthesis, etc. for the plant and this is observable in terms of increased height, higher number of leaves and overall, more developed and healthier plants.”

Growing by genre

But, just as we as humans respond to different genres of music, so do plants – so it is worth keeping this in mind when considering what music to play.  

Soft rhythmic music, for example, is believed to be beneficial and could have a positive effect on the growth, size and overall health of plants, as opposed to loud and unharmonious sounds. 

This might mean tuning your plants into classical music or similar soft, melodic sounds, which have been found to improve the growth of rose plants, compared to rock music. 

Sound or silence?

But it’s not just all about genre, frequency of music plays a part too, with high frequency tones thought to be the most effective. Alyssum seeds, for example increase the rate of sprouting when exposed to this type of music, as opposed to when they are exposed to random, background noise which seemed to have the opposite effect. 

Yet, it’s no sound at all which seems to have the worst effect on plants. In an experiment by Aditi Singh, Akanksha Jalan and Jhinuk Chatterjee it was found that plants grow better when exposed to background noise and violin music than those that were grown in silence⁸ – something to consider if your garden, greenhouse or even your windowsill is situated in a quiet area.

Curious to know more?

These are just a few of the ways music can benefit your garden and help your plants in the coming months ahead.  

Music licensing company, PPL PRS, teamed up with gardening expert, Michael Perry (AKA Mr Plant Geek), to discover more about the effect that music can have on plants and the effect that different genres can have on plant growth.   

To read the full article and find out more visit pplprs.co.uk/metro.

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