It doesn’t matter what culture, gender, background, or religion you hail from — everyone can have a green thumb. All it takes is some passion and a healthy dose of sweat equity to get a quality garden up and running.
The question is, why should go through all of that effort to grow some fruits and veggies when you can just walk down the street and pick some up at the grocery store? Here are some of the obvious (and not so obvious) benefits to cultivating a garden, however small, in your backyard, front yard, or even on the roof.
Gardening Helps You Stay in Shape
Gardening is often seen as an activity that requires lots of dirty, grungy grunt work. However, one natural side effect of this physical exertion is the simple fact that gardening can help you stay in tip-top shape — and all without having to spend a ton of time and money on a gym membership each month.
Gardening can burn 300 calories per hour, all while you calmly take in the serenity of the activity, build muscle, and keep that heart pumping.
Gardening Eases Your Mind
Speaking of serenity, gardening is also a classic activity that can help ease an overburdened mind. City life can be a busy affair (just ask the country mouse from Aesop’s Fables). If you can cultivate a little paradise as close by as your backyard or your garage, it can create the perfect opportunity for you to unwind and ease that mental strain on a daily basis. Plus, with the right tips from Natural Dwellers, you’ll be well on your way to creating an eye-catching garden that will soothe your eyes after a long day at work.
The exercise and tranquility associated with gardening are both common factors that can help to ease stress and improve mental health. Even the fact that you can sleep more deeply after the physical work of gardening can have benefits on your mind.
Gardening Enhances Your Social Life
If you’re a social butterfly, the thought of spending hours in your backyard alone in your garden may seem appalling. Fortunately, working on a garden doesn’t have to be a solo project. Community gardens are a common staple of modern society, and they provide an excellent chance to rub shoulders with others who share your passion for well-tilled earth.
If you want to find a community garden near you, you can Google “community gardens near me,” call your local town hall, look for local gardening groups on Facebook or Wikipedia, or check other places where community activity takes place. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even start your own community garden. Pick a social circle like your friends, coworkers, neighbors, or fellow churchgoers and then look for a plot of land to work on. This could be located in a friend’s larger backyard, land owned by your company, or even a quarter acre owned by your church or local community center.
Gardening Provides Financial Aid
While it’s tempting to think of gardening as a way to grow a bunch of expensive groceries “on the cheap,” it’s important to realize that this isn’t always the case. If you opt for organic plants, for instance, the costs can increase significantly.
That said, if you choose to garden as affordably as possible, and you keep up on your plants on a daily basis, it’s certainly possible to cut your grocery bills significantly by avoiding the need to get fresh fruits and veggies from the store each week.
Gardening Develops Your Skills
One of the harder-to-notice benefits of gardening is the simple fact that it helps you develop your hard and soft skills. For instance, working in a community garden can help you learn how to socialize better. Researching about plants and how a garden works can increase your knowledge and, by extension, your abilities.
Even the day-to-day operation of simply running an urban garden, in particular, can yield a variety of different experiential skills such as building a frame for a rooftop garden or unclogging a drain to help with run-off from a rooftop garden or an overflowing hydroponic garden in your garage.
Gardening Benefits the Earth
Finally, there’s the benefit that gardening has for the earth as a whole. Not only can growing veggies close to home reduce your carbon footprint, but even the act of growing trees or larger bushes next to your house can help reduce things like your AC usage, which saves both the planet and your wallet in the process.
Gardening for All the Benefits
While gardening is often looked at as little more than a hobby for fanatics, it actually has quite a few positives that can genuinely benefit folks from all walks of life. The best part is, you don’t need a vast, open rural countryside to operate an efficient, productive garden. If you have the commitment and tenacity to see the project through, you can create a garden virtually anywhere — on the top of your apartment building, in your garage, outside of your workplace, at a community center, or even at a friend or neighbor’s house.