10 Awesome Benefits of Gardening
Are you thinking about picking up that shovel and getting your hands dirty in the garden? Then check out these awesome benefits of gardening to see why you should start planting today.
What’s So Great About Gardening?
What if I told you there was an activity out there that could improve your health, help you save money, and better the environment? You’d be interested in doing it, right? Well, there is! Gardening!
Gardening offers a variety of benefits that everyone can enjoy. Even better, it doesn’t matter what your age is or where you’re located, you can start a garden. Not sure where to begin? Check out this post on how to start a garden for beginners.
If you want to start gardening with your kids, check out some of these best plants for a children’s garden.
Even if you have a small outdoor space, you can grow these best vegetables for container gardens. Plus, it’s even something you can do year-round with these best vegetables that grow indoors. That’s why I think gardening is one of the most important skills to learn today if you want to homestead.
Are you feeling a little skeptical? Then check out some of these amazing benefits of gardening.
1. Reduces Your Dependence on Grocery Stores
Recent events have made a lot of people realize just how much they rely on a grocery store. Sadly, this won’t be the last time natural catastrophes sweep across our planet and either force us to avoid being in public for awhile or cut off our access to grocery stores.
Don’t forget, it’s not just illnesses that might keep you away from the grocery store. Blizzards, hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters can also wreak havoc on our lives and make it hard to get to the grocery store.
Now imagine if you had a garden that was producing fresh food? Even better, imagine if your garden produced so much food you could start to freeze or can it? You wouldn’t have to worry about not being able to go to the grocery store for a few weeks.
If you’re ready to get your garden producing right away, you can plant these best fast growing vegetables for a quick harvest.
2. Helps You Save Money
Growing your own food can help you save A LOT of money. Consider this: for approximately the price of a head of lettuce, you can purchase a pack of lettuce seeds and grow multiple heads of lettuce.
If you really want to save money, consider growing produce that you can easily store or preserve. Then you can make one packet of seeds feed your family throughout the year.
Related: Urban Homesteading for Beginners
As your gardening skills get better, you can also save seeds from one harvest and use them to grow your next round of plants — effectively creating a closed-loop growing cycle right in your own backyard!
3. Burns Calories
Looking for ways to burn some calories without having to spend time on the treadmill? Turn to gardening! All that turning, pushing, lifting, and walking makes gardening a moderate-intensity exercise.
In fact, you can burn around 330 calories doing one hour of light gardening. Plus, not only will you be burning calories, but you’ll also be working and toning your muscles.
Related: 10 Best Tools Every Gardener Needs
4. Lowers Blood Pressure
Burning calories isn’t the only health benefit you can enjoy when you garden. It can also help lower your blood pressure.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends people get 30 minutes of moderate-level physical activity to help prevent and control high blood pressure. One study found that gardening is just as good as formal exercise when it comes to reducing the risk for stroke and heart attack.
In fact, all of these health benefits are just one reason why one study found that the world’s longest-living people shared gardening as a common hobby!
5. Helps Your Bones
Vitamin D increases your calcium levels. This helps your immune system and bones. While foods like milk and fish are a sources of vitamin D, one of best the ways to get it is from sunlight.
Keep in mind that you only need a few minutes of sunlight exposure to help your body produce vitamin D. After that, you’ll want to put on some natural sunscreen to help protect your skin from the dangers of skin cancer.
6. Relieves Stress
Having a rough day? Head out to your garden! Several studies have found a direct link between gardening and the reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression levels.
One Dutch study asked two groups of people to complete a stressful task. After the task was over, one group stayed inside to read and the other went outside to garden. The study revealed that the group who gardened had significantly lower cortisol levels than the group who read a book.
7. Makes You Happier
When you look out on your garden and see the plants you care for thriving and producing, how does it make you feel? Probably pretty happy and accomplished.
While gardening can certainly give you a sense of accomplishment, there’s also a scientific reason why it makes you happier. A healthy bacteria called M. vaccae lives in soil. This bacteria can help reduce anxiety and increase serotonin levels.
When you participate in outdoor activities, like taking a hike or digging in the garden, you inhale M. vaccae and feel happier.
8. Helps the Environment
There are several ways having a garden can help the environment. First, having more plants around can help absorb carbon dioxide and produce more oxygen.
Plus, when you’re able to grow more of your own produce, grocery stores don’t have to ship in as much. This also helps cut down on transportation emissions.
Lastly, having a garden often means you have flowers for bees. And a healthy bee population is crucial for our environment.
9. Makes it Easier to Eat Healthier
In addition to the mental health benefits and physical exercise you get from gardening, a productive plot can also help you eat healthier by supplying you with fresh fruits and vegetables.
We should consume at least 1.5 cups of fruits and 2 cups of vegetables every day to get the nutrients we need for a healthy life. However, the CDC says only 1 in 10 American adults actually meet those recommendations.
When you can walk directly out your door and find an abundant supply of fresh produce, it’s much easier to meet the recommendations.
However, it’s not just easy access that can make it simpler to eat healthy. Other studies have shown that fruits and vegetables start losing their nutrients as soon as they’re picked. In fact, a University of California study found that some spinach can lose 90% of its vitamin C within 24 hours of being picked.
If you’re eating your produce as soon as it’s picked, you’re getting the most nutritional value from it. To make sure the food you grow is safe and clean when you eat it, be sure to check out this post on how to make a DIY fruit and vegetable cleaner.
If you need some inspiration on how to cook all those fresh fruits and vegetables you’re getting from your garden, check out these helpful posts:
- Over 100 Delicious Vegetarian Recipes
- Easy Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes
- Hearty Vegan Recipes for Fall
- 85+ Tasty Ways to Cook Eggplant
10. Helps You Sleep Better
If you’re looking for natural ways to fall asleep, spend some time in the garden. Research done at the University of Pennsylvania has found that the activities associated with gardening can actually help you sleep better at night.
Since a good night’s sleep can impact everything from our mood to our concentration levels, this is certainly an important benefit everyone can enjoy!
Benefits of Gardening
If you’ve been thinking about starting a garden, now is the time to do it. When you do, you know you’ll be able to take advantage of all these amazing benefits of gardening.
More Eco-Friendly Living Tips
Now that you’ve discovered some of the great benefits of gardening, are you interested in even more outstanding eco-friendly living tips? Then be sure to check out some of our other popular posts:
- Everything You Need to Know About How to Compost
- How to Make Homemade Weed Killer
- Best Indoor Houseplants for Clean Air
- How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally