Gardening is a fantastic hobby to adopt into your everyday life. There are numerous health benefits to be garnered from a green thumb, as well as the satisfaction of seeing your hard work flourish before your eyes. We’ve put together nine reasons why we think you should start gardening - you’ll be keen to pick up your trowel and get digging after reading these!
Mental and physical health benefits
Did you know that gardening does wonders for your health? Toiling in the dirt for an hour helps you burn between 300-400 calories, so it’s a great way to stay fit and active. With all the digging and planting that gardening requires, as well as spending all that time in the fresh air, it will have a wonderful impact on your physical health.
Gardening is also incredibly beneficial for your mental health. There are several studies which show how gardening can help to lower anxiety and alleviate depression. In fact, there’s even a handy bacteria that naturally occurs in soil - Mycobacterium vaccae - which has been proven to raise serotonin levels. Gardening is a great way to unwind, and a fantastic activity to give you some much-needed me-time.
Gardening is a wonderfully therapeutic activity. There’s something very satisfying about looking out of your garden window and being able to think to yourself, I did that, when you see your greenery.
You’ll be able to see your hard work pay off over the next few weeks as flowers blossom and vegetables flourish - any produce you grow yourself will taste all the better, too! That gratified feeling you get when you look out the window at your beautiful garden will make all the effort worth it.
You can meet new people through gardening
An allotment is the perfect way to meet new people with similar interests to you. You’ll be able to talk about all the things you’re looking forward to growing over the next few weeks, or even ask some advice from your allotment neighbours if you’re new to the hobby.
Even if you have your own garden, there’s no reason why you can’t meet new people through gardening clubs and plant organisations. These are a fantastic way to find gardeners wanting to talk about all things green!
If you’re conscious of your carbon footprint, growing your own fruit and vegetables will be a great way to reduce your impact on the environment. Everything grown in your garden will have less distance to travel to get to your plate - meaning less air miles - and it will taste better than the supermarket alternative.
Growing your own food means that you’ll know exactly what’s gone into it, too - you can make a conscious effort to avoid harmful herbicides and pesticides which have a detrimental impact on wildlife. The bees will certainly be grateful for your efforts!
Get connected with nature
Gardening is a fantastic way to get connected with nature. It doesn’t have to be an activity that’s only beneficial to you - the more time you spend tending to your garden, the more of a positive impact you’ll have on your local environment. Try to think beyond your greenery, and create a wildlife-friendly garden.
Encourage hedgehogs to pay a visit, and they’ll pay you back by eating your slug population; add a pond to encourage frogs and toads to hop into your garden; plant a variety of wildflowers to give bees and butterflies a veritable buffet. Any help you can give your local wildlife will benefit your garden immensely, and you’ll be helping to create and sustain ecosystems.
Design your own gardening space
With your own garden or allotment, you can design the space to suit your gardening needs. There’ll be no one to dictate what you grow or when - you’ll be able to plot it all out yourself, and create your dream gardening space. By designing your own space, you’ll be able to put your own stamp on it, and have it exactly how you would like it.
Think about what you want to grow throughout the year, and how much space you’ll need to bring your garden vision to life.
Grow your own produce
Just as homemade cakes taste better than a shop-bought alternative, the same rule applies for homegrown fruit and veg. Fresh food will always taste better than veg you buy from the supermarket - they have more minerals and vitamins in them, which will be far more beneficial for your overall health.
That’s because minerals and vitamins depreciate over time from the moment the produce is picked - homegrown veg will have less travelling to do to get to your table, so will be able to retain those tasty vitamins better than an alternative flown across the globe. You’ll be able to impress your family and friends with your homegrown produce, too!
Homegrown fruit and veg is a fantastic way to save money. By doing some smart gardening, you’ll be able to keep your bountiful crop growing throughout the spring and summer months, meaning you’ll be able to spend less money each time you go food shopping. The great-tasting produce from the comfort of your own garden will be worth the investment!
If you like to adorn your home with flowers, you can grow your own floral displays, too. By growing your own floral displays, you’ll be able to reduce your carbon footprint, and grow seasonal flowers.
Fun for all ages
Gardening can be a wonderfully educational tool for the kids. You can use it as a way to teach them important life skills about patience, sustainability, and independence - your kids will love growing things in the garden, seeing the tangible reward for all their efforts over the coming weeks.
Getting your kids into gardening will be a great way to get them to spend more time in the fresh air, and less time in front of a screen, too!
Are you looking to get started with gardening? Or perhaps you’re an avid gardener already, and you have some helpful tips to pass on to beginners? Let us know over on our Facebook page!
Lead image: AlexRaths via Getty Images.