I could write forever about the benefits of gardening. For me, it is the perfect workout and it helped to cure the severe depression I developed after my brother died suddenly. https://writeonejaleigh.wordpress.com/2018/10/10/worldmentalhealthday-how-gardening-helped-me-to-recover-from-depression/
We moved into our new build nearly six years ago and although our garden is big, it is on a slope. The garden was just a mass of builders’ rubble at first and the heavy clay soil meant that we had quite a job to get the soil ready before we could grow any plants. We took advice from the very helpful gardeners at Horsfields Nursery at Pot House Hamlet in Silkstone. https://writeonejaleigh.wordpress.com/2018/07/28/pot-house-hamlet-a-gem-in-barnsleys-crown/ The lady there, told us that we really needed to make our soil as healthy as possible. Clay is awful to work with and we also had the added hindrance of being on a slope, so that when it rained, the soil became even more water-logged.
Horsfields Nursery advised us to grow pumpkins. Pumpkins grow well in clay soil, if they are not permanently wet. Then when the pumpkins have grown and been used for Halloween, we chop them up into pieces and let them rot down into the soil. They really do make the soil more manageable. I grow the pumpkins from seed indoors usually about March or April time. I then transfer them into the garden, once there is no risk of frost and my husband likes to take over the care. Pumpkins grow on vines which can become incredibly large. They need a great deal of water and we also feed them with organic seaweed. This year our crop was not as plentiful as we had a great deal of rain over the space of a week and this can make the pumpkins rot. A pumpkin is ripe when the skin turns a deep, solid colour. It is always worth saving some of the seeds from inside the largest pumpkins to use and grow the following year.