Owning a garden is one of those decisions that people put off for a long time. Because gardens require time and attention, it’s normal that people shy away from having one.
However, as with most decisions, it pays to evaluate the pros and cons. Understanding the benefits a garden has for you and those around you can help fast-track your decision-making. In this piece, we look at eight reasons why you should have a home garden.
- It enables good, safe exercise.
Although it may look low-energy, gardens require a lot of work. All the digging, planting, and weeding required to grow plants will cost you some calories. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gardening is an exercise.
Activities like raking and cutting grass are considered light to moderate exercises. Shoveling, digging, and chopping wood, on the other hand, are considered vigorous exercises.
For older folks and people with mobility issues, gardening provides an ideal way to exercise. The activities typically engage all the muscle groups in the body and can keep them in optimal shape.
- Gardening reduces stress.
Having a garden can help you release stress in several ways. Sometimes, seating on teak garden furniture as you stare at your beautiful garden is enough to relieve you after a stressful day. The natural ambiance of a garden and supply of oxygen from the trees can help calm your nerves.
If you’re the type that prefers engaging in physical activities to relieve stress, your garden can still come in handy. In fact, one study showed that gardening relieves people of stress better than reading books. Being able to put your mind to work on something you’re growing might just be the trigger you need to calm down.
- Gardening can help improve your mood.
One of the things that makes gardening great at relieving stress is that it improves your mood. When people spend time in a garden, their anxiety levels drop, and they feel better, even if they’re not gardening. If you’re prone to bouts of depression, you might want to move to a home with a garden. Gardening has been shown to improve the mental health of gardeners.
Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise since one of the bacteria found in soil is a natural mood enhancer. M. vaccae is a healthy bacteria that increases the level of serotonin in the body. Serotonin is often described as the “happy chemical” because it contributes to happiness.
- Gardening can help improve brain activity.
It’s well known that exercising improves the cognitive function of the brain. Gardening, being an exercise, provides similar benefits. Feel-good hormones produced by the brain during exercise can also help improve concentration and mental agility.
Exercise helps stimulate the growth of new brain cells, preventing age-related mental decline in the process. This is very important, especially for older people who may need less strenuous activities to keep them mentally sharp. In certain parts of the world, people with dementia engage in horticultural therapy to help them get better.
- Outdoor gardening can keep you healthy.
Although there are advantages to indoor gardening, outdoor gardening has the most to offer. Vitamin D is one of the most critical vitamins the human body needs, and the body can only make it using sunlight. Spending time working in the garden can expose you to more sunlight, which prompts your body to make more vitamin D.
Vitamin D is useful for several body functions, including strengthening your bones and boosting your immune system. It protects the body against several diseases. There have also been recent studies linking vitamin D deficiency with a high susceptibility for Covid-19.
- Provides great bonding activities for the family
Gardening can be done both as a solo activity or as group work. That means you can engage your family in gardening, too. There are always a lot of activities to go around, so you can find something for everyone. You can use gardening as an activity to encourage family bonding.
It’s also highly beneficial to kids. Early exposure to the germs in the sand can help strengthen their immune system and protect them from developing allergies and asthma.
- Helps you grow your own food
Depending on what you decide to plant, you can grow your own food. If you have a large enough space, you can grow substantial supplies for your consumption. This can help you reduce the money you spend on food and join the farm-to-table community.
Having a fruit or herb garden can also help you eat healthier food. Since the food is grown at home, you can regulate the amount of pesticide and preservative used on it. In most cases, home gardeners use eco-friendly methods that don’t require chemicals and are, thus, healthier.
- It’s great for the environment.
The environment is the real big winner in your home garden. Climate change is a real problem that the world is facing, and every little activity helps. Tree planting is a key part of the fight against climate change. Planting in your garden helps, too.
If you’re an eco-conscious person, having your own garden should be top of your priority list. Plants help in recycling the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and releasing oxygen. In addition to that, employing eco-friendly methods in your garden can help the local ecosystem.
A home garden is a long-term commitment you make. It requires a lot of work and attention to detail to grow the garden of your dreams. You’ll learn a lot of interesting things about the earth and other organisms in the process.
Gardening is an activity that caters to the mind and body and is recommended for everyone. Unless you have particular health issues, it’s something you can benefit immensely from. It doesn’t matter how big your garden is. As long as you’re planting and caring for those trees, you’ll enjoy these benefits.