What is Good About Gardening?

What is Good About Gardening? 

Gardening in the great outdoors is a way to clear your head, get some Vitamin D, and develop your green thumb.

The mental health benefits of gardening often outweigh the beauty that you create. Isn’t that wonderful? 

Keep reading this article to learn about all of the benefits of maintaining a floral paradise in your own backyard or even on your apartment or condo balcony! Any space can be suitable no matter how small. So let’s get planting!

What Are The Benefits of Gardening?

  1. Soak Up The Sun! Vitamin D is one of the best things for your mood and your health. Vitamin D helps up your calcium levels and can improve bone density over time. According to the National Library of Medicine, gardening is one of the top ways to absorb Vitamin D naturally. You can also try cycling, walking, or other aerobic exercises but gardening is much prettier and much less taxing on your body. Exercise is hard. We get it. 
  2. Mind-Altering Gardening: A study from the Netherlands suggests that participants who gardened for 30 minutes per day during the study period, showed low cortisol and stress levels. Everyone knows that being in a good mood can alter one’s day but also alter one’s life. Elevated mood coupled with increased Vitamin D sounds like a prescription for happiness, right? 
  3. Exercise Without Realizing It: All of the level changes in gardening will give your legs a great workout. Make sure you are moving your back properly and lifting with your knees when carrying things like mulch. Most gardeners use knee pads to protect themselves from either bruising, scraping, or putting too much pressure on the knees. Make sure you are stretching before and after intense manual labor like planting trees or installing new grass for your garden. Who knows, you might drop a few pounds without even knowing it!
  4. Community: Did you know that most towns in America have a gardening program of some sort? Either a gardening club, society, or environmental group can really bring people together. Most major cities have community gardens that often foster pride and beauty among residents. For instance, the San Francisco neighborhood of Potrero Hill has a lovely community garden. People enjoy walking their dogs, enjoying the outdoors, and gathering to admire the lovely scenery that their neighborhood helped create.
  5. Sleepy Time: The CDC says that gardening is most definitely a calorie-burning activity. You can even throw in stuff like rolling your garbage cans down the driveway or raking leaves as exercise too, therefore; gardening could help you tire yourself out through exercise. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say that people who garden are extremely likely to get a great night’s sleep — clocking in at an average of 7 hours per night. This figure is right in the wheelhouse of good night’s sleep for adults. They even go as far as saying that gardening along with yoga, running, and weightlifting are associated with overall better sleep habits. 

Is Gardening Good For The Environment?

No, duh gardening is good for the environment! We know that you probably are already aware that plants provide oxygen which we need to breathe. So, we’re basically alive because of gardens and plants! Here’s how you can help contribute to a better environment through your garden. 

  1. Soil Savvy: Did you know that the more plants, the richer the soil of our Earth? Plants go through their photosynthetic life cycle and repopulate Mother Earth with vital nutrients so that more oxygen and greenery and animal habitats can form. So, just by planting one flower, you could be saving the life of a little frog or fish or a vital pollinating bee. Regardless, gardening is great for the soil. 
  2. Birds and Bees: We touched on it a little bit but our ecosystem is perilously fragile and requires a stasis between plants, animals, and humans, therefore; we have a critical role to play. If we take care of plants, shrubs, trees, wetlands, watersheds, and our own backyards we can make a huge impact on the world. Making a difference is as simple as planting a flower. Since essential pollinators like bees and hummingbirds survive off the nectar and pollen of many common flowers it’s our duty to make sure there are enough of them to go around. 
  3. Clean Air: More oxygen means less room for harmful chemical and human-made pollutants. The hole in our ozone layer increases with carbon emissions and greenhouse gasses daily, but if we can garden our way through those toxins, we can help make the air better for everyone. The ground also benefits from more plant life as soil enrichens due to the lifecycle of plants and animals. 

What Makes Gardening a Good Hobby?

Gardening is a great hobby because of the aforementioned reasons, but it also has some surprising effects that transfer from the outside in. Contrary to what you may think you can garden anywhere even on a tiny fire escape in crowded Manhattan. If you have one windowsill or a 10-acre property there’s a plant for everyone. 

Here are a few great indoor plants that can turn your curiosity about the great outdoors into an indoor adventure. Did you know that through a hydroponic tower you can even grow lettuce indoors? Here are a couple of suggestions for a successful indoor garden. 

  1. Succulents: Great for forgetful gardeners who always seem to kill plants by not watering them. Cacti are also a great choice.
  2. Aloe: You can crack open one of this spiky plant’s leaves and have pure, cooling aloe better than anything you can buy from the store. These resilient plants can come back to life too!
  3. Monstera: For the bougie gardener the Monstera is a hearty plant native to Panama. It loves humid environments so they’re better indoors than out. With a temperature-controlled home, the Monstera will thrive. Some picky Monstera plants will require a humidifier in addition to a specific temperature. Just check out this Monstera on Etsy, it’s worth $10,000. 

5 Reasons Why Gardening Makes You Happy

  1. Sunlight = Good Mood: Going outside is a great way to get more serotonin in the brain. Experts say that depressed patients who are experiencing prolonged sadness get a mood boost from a few minutes in the sun. Why not try walking out your front door for a few minutes a day. Even if you only take a few steps, that’s better than not stepping at all. 
  2. Connecting With the Earth: Gardening can have a grounding effect both figuratively and literally. When your feet connect with the earth it can help you calm down and reinvigorate your connection to the world. There are some amazing grounding techniques that are proven to help anxiety. If you pick up items near you outside like sticks or flower petals you can relax your mind and enjoy nature at the same time. 
  3. Smells Great: If you breathe deeply out in your garden, odds are it will feel great! Fresh oxygen from plants and your vital carbon dioxide dance together to create better air. Fresh air is known for its calming effects so take some deep breaths and enjoy the scent of your flowers.
  4. Memory Bank: Gardening can actually help improve your memory. Noticing things like where you planted a certain seed or when can determine the life of your garden. So naturally, you want to protect the time and care you put into it. Most gardeners will use labeled stakes especially when growing fruits and vegetables that have to be planted, maintained, and harvested at very specific times to survive and bear fruit. So if you need a memory booster, gardening is perfect! Now, where did we plant those petunias? 
  5. Happier Body: Did you know that gardening can help your body fight diseases through increased Vitamin D? If you have a deficiency for Vitamin D gardening is a natural remedy. Just make sure you’re being monitored by a doctor. Hundreds of functions in our bodies rely on Vitamin D for success. So get out there and garden!

What Makes Gardening So Popular?

Gardening is a natural thing for humans to want to do. Ever since the dawn of humanity, we’ve had to make our own food, gather our own materials, and instinctively we still do that. Gardening is one way we can tend to a “crop,” so to speak. It’s all in our DNA. When you garden, all the positivity that we have mentioned in this article starts to blossom just like flowers. 

Gardening has so many positive effects on the Earth and the soul that it’s almost impossible to not enjoy it. Sure, manual labor is hard, and trying to figure out how to keep a plant alive is stressful sometimes, but the feeling of growing something with your own hands is worth all that.  

Gardening and Mental Health

The ultimate conclusion is that gardening is great for your mental health, physical health, and the Earth itself. There’s literally no downside to starting a garden in or around your home. You can contribute to community gardens, or even just water the Aloe plant on your windowsill. Regardless, every part of gardening is designed to make us happy. And the mental wellbeing described here can be part of your life if you just get outside.

What will you plant first?

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Written By Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas is a Master Gardener who edits and writes content for websites and magazines. Over the past two decades, she has been writing for The Doorstep about houseplants and indoor gardening. Since she started writing about plants, Sarah has been collecting rare and tropical plants. The Berkshire Botanical Garden awarded Sarah a certificate in horticulture in 2017.

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