Incredible Benefits of Gardening

Author: Happy DIY Home

Editors Note: Amid ongoing pandemic-related restrictions, it’s important to find activities that allow you to stay active, engaged and healthy—activities that can also provide helpful benefits as we continue our grief journey. Consider gardening and learn from the article below how getting in the dirt can be fun, lift your spirits and keep you on a healthy, healing path – right in your own backyard. This article was originally published September 14, 2020 on Happy DIY Home. Read the full article: 25 Benefits of Gardening.

Gardening is much more than a hobby or fun pastime. In fact, there are many proven benefits of gardening that people enjoy. No matter if you’re a hobby gardener or a professional-level horticulturist, spending time out digging in the dirt and caring for your plants, you too can enjoy these various benefits of gardening. 

If you’re considering getting into gardening, either a huge outdoor garden or a small herb garden in your home, understanding the benefits is a great way to feel good about what you’re doing and enjoy it even more. Read on and discover the various large and small benefits of gardening that you can enjoy every time you settle down to tend to your plants.

replanting flowersPhoto by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

1. Gardening Boosts Mood

Did you know that gardening can boost your mood while increasing your self-esteem levels? When you make time to go out and work in your garden, your anxiety levels can go down and you could start to feel less depressed. 

2. Gardening Can Boost Your Immune System

You’re a lot more similar to your plants than you realize, and your body is just as capable of photosynthesis as they are. This is where your plants use sunlight to make their food. Your skin works in the same way by absorbing vitamin D for this benefit of gardening. Vitamin D helps strengthen your bones, boost your immune system, and it can also help lower your risk of developing multiple sclerosis, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. 

3. Gardening Helps Form Connections

Community, family, or school-oriented container gardens are coming up everywhere around the United States. Some of the main factors that drive these types of garden’s popularity have more to do with simple human connections and interaction than the food you get from it. The connections are one of the main benefits of gardening. 

4. Gardening Builds Your Strength

Gardening is exercise because you do small tasks like cutting grass or raking that fall under the category of light or moderate exercise. However, you also dig, shovel, and chop wood to get this level up to moderate exercise. All of these tasks ensure you work your muscles, and this can help build up your strength. You’ll eventually use every major muscle group you have when you work in your garden, and this is one of the major benefits of gardening for older people. 

5. Gardening Improves Hand Dexterity and Strength

Gardening requires you to make precise movements, and this benefit of gardening helps build your hand strength and dexterity. This is especially important as you age, and doctors even recommended rehab programs for stroke patients involving gardening tasks as a productive and satisfying way to build their hand strength and improve how well their hands work. 

6. Gardening Can Help You Eat Better

The cost of fresh produce can skyrocket in the off-months, and this causes a lot of people to turn to canned vegetables. One benefit of gardening is that you can harvest a huge amount of vegetables, and you don’t have to be a professional to do it. There are dozens of easy vegetables to grow, and you can preserve them to eat later in the year. You may even discover new vegetables that you’ve never tried before, and you’re getting food that doesn’t have pesticide or herbicide treatments on it. You can have fresh, organic vegetables and even fruits if you live in the right climate to grow them. 

7. Gardening Can Improve Your Self-Esteem

With your busy life, it’s easy for your self-esteem to drop. This is especially true if you’ve never gardened before and you’re not sure if you’re going to be good at it or not. You plant your seeds, water, weed, and fertilize your garden, and watch it grow. As more plants start to grow, your self-esteem will also improve. It feels great to accomplish new tasks, and gardens give you endless opportunities to learn new skills. 

8. Gardening Helps You Sleep Better

Spending a few hours outside has the pleasant side effect of wearing you out. It also helps you clear your head of all of the anxious or stressful thoughts that are plaguing you, and this can help you fall asleep faster. The moderate workout you get weeding and tending to your garden are other benefits of gardening because it can help you feel more tired. In turn, you should be able to fall asleep quicker, sleep deeper, and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. If you garden every day, you could start sleeping much better each night. 

9. Gardening Encourages Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a state of focusing on the present moment, and you see it a lot with meditation. However, you can achieve the same state by gardening. One of the benefits of gardening is to be able to dedicate your entire attention to the task at hand. This could be making sure you get all of the weeds out, planting everything in the exact right place, or monitoring your vegetables so you pick them at the best time possible. It’s possible to get lost in what you’re doing and spend hours out in your garden making sure everything is healthy. 

10. Gardening Gives You a Sense of Purpose

One final benefit of gardening is that it can give you a sense of purpose. It’s a way to care for something and nurture it from a tiny seed up to a large plant. Sometimes, this is enough to give you a sense of purpose and pride when the plants take root and start to grow. It doesn’t matter if you’re taking on a larger project like growing raspberries or something smaller like keeping a houseplant healthy, the feelings are the same. You can grow plants all year-round to keep this sense of purpose going.