There’s no question that growing a garden is an enjoyable hobby, but the benefits go far beyond a fun pastime. Tending to your plants provides numerous mental, physical, and emotional health benefits, no matter what age you are. You may think certain medical and physical challenges will prevent you from gardening later in life. But with a little planning and creativity, you can create a gardening space that’s safe, accessible, and enjoyable. Let’s take a look at the benefits of growing a garden at home and why it’s never too late to start.
Why It’s Never Too Late to Start a Garden
There are so many creative ways to adapt your garden space to reduce physical stress on your body. With a little planning and ingenuity, these strategies will allow you to garden for as long as you like, even if you have medical or physical restrictions.
- Garden indoors using a system for vertical farming that allows you to avoid the elements and the need to till the soil, pull weeds, or bend over to tend your plants.
- Create a container garden with window boxes and planters on your porch or patio that’s easy to manage and tend.
- Make a raised garden bed and have the beds built at waist height so you don’t have to bend down.
- Things like retracting hanging baskets and containers on wheels can be used to create planting spaces that are moveable and easy to access.
- Look for lightweight gardening tools that are easier to use and have foam handles for a better grip.
- Use an umbrella to provide shade in your workspace when it’s hot outside.
- Invest in a rolling gardening stool so you can sit down while you garden.
- Use a drip irrigation system for watering and fertilizing your plants to reduce labor input.
The Benefits of Gardening and Growing at Home
Whether you’re considering a vertical indoor gardening space, a patio garden, or a raised bed garden, there are lots of benefits to growing at home. Here are just a few of the advantages you can look forward to as you tend your plants on a daily basis.
1. Growing at Home Is Good for the Environment
Many of us are concerned about the effects of high-intensity agriculture on the environment. Growing at home allows you to move away from conventionally grown produce and reduce your carbon footprint.
Gardening allows you to compost to reduce waste, avoid the use of harmful chemicals, and utilize rain barrels to cut down on water waste. You can choose to use manual or electric tools instead of gas-powered ones or even turn your yard into a welcoming wildlife habitat.
2. Gardening Promotes a Healthier Diet
There’s nothing like eating a garden-fresh tomato or cooking with herbs you grew right on your kitchen windowsill. Growing your own encourages you to eat a healthier, cleaner diet that tastes better, too.
3. Being Outdoors is Good for the Immune System
It turns out humans are a lot like plants. The human body utilizes its own form of photosynthesis using the sun to create vitamin D. Of course, you don’t want to overdo it, but a little sunshine goes a long way. Spending just thirty minutes in the sun can allow your body to produce a full day’s supply, which not only strengthens the immune system and your bones, it also lowers your risk of chronic diseases like cancer, dementia, and diabetes.
4. Gardening is Good for Your Physical Health
Gardening is a great exercise. It builds physical strength, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and supports good sleep. Whether you’re raking leaves or pulling weeds, gardening can work every muscle group in the body.
5. It’s Good for Your Brain, Too
You’re probably heard that exercise is a fantastic way to support cognitive function and improve memory. But there’s also evidence that gardening may promote the growth of memory-related nerves in the brain. And that’s not all! Research also shows that gardening can improve the mental health of folks suffering from dementia.
6. Gardening Reduces Anxiety, Depression, and Stress
Gardening is an amazing mood and self-esteem booster. Spending time in the garden regularly calms the mind, lowers stress, levels, and reduces anxiety and depression. Growing a garden actually lowers the level of stress hormones in the body, which boosts the mood and returns it to a more positive state.
7. Gardening Promotes Creativity and Mindfulness
Growing a garden at home allows you to be creative, whether you’re planning your layout, deciding which plants to put together, or coming up with ways to maximize your space. Gardening is also a lot like meditation. It encourages mindfulness, focus, and being in the present moment.
8. Gardening Can Promote Interaction and Community
Gardening with your spouse, grandkids, or at a community garden promotes interaction and community. Working toward a common goal and sharing your knowledge and successes helps you form new relationships, boosts self-esteem, and promotes a sense of wellbeing. For some, this benefit alone makes gardening enjoyable.
Safety Tips to Keep in Mind
- Read the labels on garden products carefully. Some products, even organic ones, can be dangerous if applied incorrectly.
- Wear protective clothing when you’re using sharp tools, including long pants, gloves, goggles, close-toed shoes, and gloves.
- Wear bug spray, sunscreen, and a hat.
- Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated to prevent overheating.
- Listen to your body. If hauling bags of mulching or pulling weeds is too much, ask for help. It’s not worth injuring yourself and being stuck in bed while you recover.
The Bottom Line: Growing at Home is Good for You
The bottom line is gardening encourages you to be active and interact with people who have similar interests. It allows you to be proactive about exercise and eating a healthy diet in beautiful surroundings.
Gardening builds physical strength, promotes a healthy weight, helps you sleep better, and it’s good for your mental and physical health. Whether your garden is a few pots on the windowsill or several raised beds in the backyard, tending plants is good for you, and it’s never too late to start.
Do you enjoy gardening or would you like to begin a garden? Let’s chat in the comments at the bottom of this page.
About the author: Nicole has been obsessed with beauty and fashion since she was a young girl, always flipping through Vogue and stealing her mother’s cosmetics bag to experiment. She’s a former wedding makeup artist who loves spending her free time trying new products and staying up to date on the latest beauty and style trends. While Nicole’s days are now spent contributing to fashion, beauty, and lifestyle sites from home while raising her kids, she can still always be found putting looks together, even if it’s just for a trip to the grocery store!
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