Growing and maintaining a garden may sound like a huge undertaking, but its rewards and benefits extend far beyond merely having a hobby. As spring turns into summer and summer rolls into fall, these are some of the amazing benefits of gardening – with whatever space you have!
Gardening and Exercise
If you’re like most people, a little more exercise throughout the day sure wouldn’t hurt. Gardening is great exercise, from stooping over to lifting and digging. Chances are that when you spend time growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs, you’ll feel a bit obligated to eat them too. Fresh fruits and veggies are easily at your fingertips and on your dinner table when you’re a gardener.
Gardening and Mental Health
Not only is gardening great for physical health but also for mental well being. Gardening is a great way to de-stress and focus on just one thing at a time. And who doesn’t need to take a step back from the chaos and take a deep breath now and then?
It’s a great way for adults with office jobs to step away from the screen, and a great way for older adults to keep their minds agile and their hands busy. Gardening also teaches kids about the value of hard work, caregiving, and healthy eating.
Gardening and Your Budget
Growing the healthy foods you love at home is a great way to save money at the market each week. Just keep in mind that it may take a while to notice the cost savings, especially if you’re a beginner gardener with a struggling green thumb. Make sure to read about the weather and soil conditions in your area and plant foods that will have the best chances of success.
Gardening and the Environment
If you’re looking for new ways to lessen your carbon footprint, then gardening may be the perfect hobby for you. When your grocery shopping trip rarely takes you beyond the backyard, you prevent wasteful short trips to the market via car. It’s a great feeling to know exactly where the foods you eat come from, and if you’re controlling their care, then you can eliminate the use of chemicals and pesticides in your diet.
Small Space Gardening
Just because you don’t have a backyard to call your own doesn’t mean you can’t have a garden! Windowsills are perfect for herbs, rooftops are great for tomatoes, and balconies work well for lettuce. If fruits and veggies aren’t your thing, flower and fern gardening is great for small spaces too. Beautify your personal space and reconnect with nature on a daily basis.
Community Garden Volunteering
If you travel a lot or just can’t commit to a full-time garden of your own, one of the best ways to learn about plants is by volunteering at a community garden in your neighborhood. Many large cities and small towns have community gardens that donate food to the less fortunate and are always in need of helping hands.
Other community gardens rent out small plots of land so you can grow what you like for your own personal use. If you live in the states, a great place to start is the American Community Garden Association, which has a search feature to locate a community garden nearby.