In Autumn, we particularly reap the culinary advantages of gardening. The fruits on our shelves and glowing tomatoes in jars are evidence of the harvest from our gardens. However, the benefits of a garden aren’t limited to the attractive organic fruits and vegetables in our kitchen. By gardening, you also get to enjoy a sense of well-being, and so much more.
Other benefits of gardening include;
- Stress-relief and increased self-esteem
A Dutch study divided the participants into two groups. One group was asked to read indoors, while the other was gardening for half an hour. Results showed that the gardening group showed better moods and low cortisol levels.
Cortisol is a stress hormone which affects moods and more. Cortisol is linked to immune function, obesity, memory, and cardiovascular disorders. Gardeners have low cortisol levels and show high self-esteem scores.
- Healthy heart and less risk of suffering from a stroke
By engaging in garden activities, you can meet your target of moderate intensity exercise. Usually, a garden offers rewarding motivation, compared to a gym. A study in Stockholm showed that standard gardening minimized the risk of getting a stroke, or heart-related issues, by as much as 30%, for senior adults.
If your garden has raised beds, it can save your joints, and even extend the gardening years for older adults. This is possible through the benefits of Vitamin D (which are enjoyed without application of sunscreen to the limbs). Low levels of vitamin D pose a double risk of suffering from heart diseases.
- Increased hand strength
Usually, our dexterity and strength in our hands diminish as we age. The reduction in hand strength minimizes the activities one can engage in. By gardening, the hand muscles remain active and strong.
A research done on stroke victims showed gardening to be satisfying, and an ideal exercise for rebuilding strength. If you are a stroke victim, don’t push yourself too far. Do a simple warm-up, position you ergonomically, and change activities regularly, to prevent the activity from becoming too strenuous.
- Immune regulation
Gardening exposes you to sunlight. Sunlight is a source of vitamin D, which helps you fight off colds. As you garden, your hands will come in contact with dirt. The soil has a friendly bacteria which you absorb through inhalation. The bacteria have proven effective in alleviating symptoms associated with allegories, asthma, and psoriasis.
Benefits to the owner
You will be in charge of the garden. By growing your own crops, you decide on the farming method; organic or chemical, water quantity and so much more.
- Nutritious produce
Vegetable or fruits you harvest from your garden aren’t the same as those you get from the grocery store. At the grocery store, the product loses moisture and nutrients, which is out of your control, unlike the freshly harvested produce that is rich in nutrients.
- Beautiful home
A well-tended garden adds life, beauty, and color to your yard. Depending on what you grow, the scent of the flowers, or the appearance of healthy vegetables will send a warm invitation to anyone.
Having your own garden will make you save. You can buy seeds with the money you would have spent buying vegetables. The seeds will yield a lot of vegetables, saving you a significant amount of money.
- You will have a common ground for interaction if you have friends or neighbors who garden. Thus, gardening brings you closer to others.
- Community gardening involves sharing in decision making and solving problems, which increases skills among the members.
- Through community gardening, you meet and interact with new people.
Benefits to the environment
- Reduction in carbon emissions and waste
Having your own garden allows you to grow your own food, which translates to less reliance on grocery stores. Usually, produce brought to grocery stores sometimes comes from far places. Therefore, during their transport, they not only lose their freshness, but dangerous amounts of carbon are emitted for the groceries for the convenience of it being in your local store.
By having your garden, you reduce the amount of fossil fuels burned, and this is further improved by the fact that plants use CO2.
- Avoid carcinogenic chemicals
You get the control to decide the fertilizer you feed the soil and crops. Commercial farming is profit oriented, thus uses harmful chemicals. In your garden, you can opt for organic farming techniques. Your produce will be free of potentially cancer causing chemicals.
The above are the main benefits of a garden. There are so many other benefits that you will get from having a garden. You can enjoy great time during Summer especially if you have installed large patio umbrellas where you can relax with friends and family.