Gardening is always a great idea, whether or not you’re coping with a crisis, because it is one of the healthiest hobbies you can develop.
Benefits of Landscaping and Gardening
Gardening invites you to get outside, interact with nature and take charge of your own need for exercise, healthy food, and beautiful surroundings. If you’re digging, hauling, and harvesting, your physical health will benefit. But gardening can also cultivate feelings of empowerment and creative calm, among many other mental health benefits.
A steady supply of food
Every season, the culinary benefits of gardening will overflow into your kitchen.
As gardeners consume more fruits and vegetables as they are products of their work, so they take in more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than those who do not garden. As a result, they eat less junk food.
Gardening requires a moderate amount of exercise through digging, kneeling, and lifting equipment repetitively. These movements increase blood flow and heart rate while also working the muscles and increasing range of motion. Although this is not a high intense workout, it makes it perfect for those who are undergoing physical rehabilitation or have any other movement limitation.
Reduced utility bill
Gardening can also lower your heating and cooling costs by landscaping specific plants that can act as a shade for your home which can help to significantly lower your Eversource CT utility bill.
Builds hand strength
As we age, we lose dexterity and hand strength. Gardening conditions those hand muscles and by alternating between the right and left hands, both hands maintain their dexterity.
Increased levels of vitamin D
Even though gardeners may have a steady supply of nutrients with their harvest, very few foods actually contain vitamin D that they get while actually doing the work in their garden.
Gardening is shown to improve mood and decrease the levels of cortisol- the stress hormone. Less stress leads to more relaxation and this boosts the immune system function and higher productivity.
Boosts immune system function
While gardening and landscaping may not seem to be the cleanest activity to participate in, the dirt that gets stuck beneath your fingernails is actually benefitical due to friendly bacteria that has been found to alleviate symptoms of psoriasis, allergies and asthma.
Horticultural therapy can be customized to one’s own personal preferences. Aim for a combination of fruits and vegetables as well as scented and flowering plants to nourish all your senses, including visual appeal, refreshing scents and nutritional ingredients.
Looking back at your gardening achievements will make you feel proud and satisfied.
Gardening Tips for Beginners
What usually breaks one’s garden fantasy is failure. Like in life, you’re either harvesting or you’re learning. Failures should just be seen as an opportunity to learn, so here are a few tips to motivate beginners.
Start small but not too small
It takes 1.5 minutes per square foot a week to maintain a garden so make sure you take the time out of your schedule to nurture it. Don’t make it too small either over-tending your garden because you don’t have enough to do or even get disinterested because your plants aren’t changing enough. 15–25 square feet is a good place to start as a 25-square-foot garden will require about 40 minutes a week to take care of it.
Don’t succumb to garden envy
You will see many photos on Instagram of dreamy gardens, but even those took time to grow into all that beauty. A beautiful garden does not happen overnight. If you want a quick solution, focus on leaves like herbs instead of fruits as fruiting happens later in a plant’s life.
Your garden should be full of things you actually eat.
If you’re not sure what you want to plant, the best place to start to plant the ingredients you use in your kitchen.
Use the three-second rule when watering.
For most edible plants, you want to water the soil as getting water all over the leaves can even contribute to more diseases. You want to make sure you water enough, but not too much, so the rule of thumb is to do it within three seconds. How often you need to water is more complicated. But, plants will tell you when they’re thirsty when their leaves are dropping.
Takeaway – In order to become an expert in gardening, you will likely have to kill some plants and deal with diseases. You just have to learn through a lot of trial and error, but you’ll get there. Once your beautiful creation flourishes, it will all be worth it.