Over the last few years, more and more people found a new hobby in gardening, for many it started with cultivating more houseplants, before getting green-fingered in gardens and on allotments.
For many during the pandemic, it gave them an awful lot, but just because we’re beginning to see the back of that, it doesn’t mean you should stop. In fact, even in 2023 there are so many reasons you should get your gardening gloves on and get productive in the great outdoors.
So, why exactly should you take it up?
It can help reduce stress
A big reason many take up gardening is for stress relief. It’s been scientifically proven to reduce stress, with a King’s Fund report showing the health benefits of gardening to be broad and diverse, helping reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
At a period where more people are suffering from addiction, that can be key. It’s a hobby many take up following an addiction detox, while given the current climate, where we’re living in a cost-of-living crisis, there are worrying times in Ukraine, and we have a climate crisis on our hands, and stress levels are at an all-time high for many. Gardening can help combat those levels.
You can grow your own produce
Of course, continuing along the cost of living crisis theme, we’ve all seen the pinch on our wallets and purses, so getting in the garden and starting your own veg patch will certainly save you some money when passing through the supermarket.
Growing your own produce is not only going to provide you with a sense of accomplishment, but you also know exactly where your veg is coming from, as well as saving you a bit of money.
It’s essentially good exercise!
You have to put the graft in when you’re out in the garden. And it can be difficult work. You can spend hours outside chopping, digging and building, and that certainly amounts to a good workout.
The health benefits of that are huge. Studies have shown that for the over 60s, gardening can prolong life by up to 30%, while it will also reduce the risk of diseases such as stroke or osteoporosis.
You’re also burning plenty of calories as you go, with one hour’s worth of burning as many as 330 calories. It’s fair to say that gardening is great for helping keep you in shape, fit and healthy.
Improved mental health
Studies have shown that maintaining a garden can improve your overall mental health by helping to reduce depression and anxiety, while also increasing feelings of well-being.
Regular gardening has been known to increase self-esteem and make people feel more connected to nature. It has also been associated with improved mood, relaxation, and renewed energy levels, as well as stronger emotional relationships with other gardeners or with the plants themselves.
Activities such as planning, planting, cultivating flowers or plants, and harvesting fruits and vegetables can all be highly rewarding activities for both the mind and body. There is evidence to suggest that being involved in growing something from small seeds into a beautiful plant you can take pride in has a positive impact on overall morale.
Increased sense of accomplishment
Gardening is a great way to boost your sense of accomplishment. Watching your plants grow and flourish can give you a real sense of pride. Even when things don’t go the way you wanted them to, problem-solving and making improvements give you an incredible feeling of accomplishment.
You are learning something new with every experience and becoming an expert in the process. You will soon become familiar with gardening tools, techniques, soil types, etc., which will make it easier for you to become successful at gardening.
Additionally, completing tasks such as planting seeds, harvesting vegetables or even weeding can help remind us of our accomplishments each day – which helps keep motivation levels high!
How to Choose the Right Plants for Your Garden
Choosing the right plants for your garden is an essential part of successful gardening. Each type of plant has its own requirements for soil, sunlight, moisture, and temperature which must be taken into consideration before choosing and planting. The type of plants you want in your garden will determine your success in gardening.
Before selecting your desired plants, research their needs and determine if you can meet those needs given the location you have chosen for them in your garden. Consider each plant’s hardiness zone to make sure they are able to withstand the extreme temperatures or climate variations of their new home.
Also, make sure that they have access to the right amount of sunlight and will receive enough water during dry periods.
Once you select a plant, ensure that it can be grown successfully where you live by selecting varieties that are suitable for your region. Obtain seeds or seedlings from local nurseries so as to make sure they can adapt quickly to the environment in your garden. Planting native species may also aid successful growth as long as you know what conditions they prefer and can provide those conditions in your garden.
Some plants require more regular upkeep than others – decide whether you are willing to spend extra time weeding, pruning, and fertilizing before committing to any one variety.
Additionally, consider how big any given species will become over time so that it does not become intrusive or cause other damage to its surroundings such as disorderly roots through walkways or selected structures throughout garden sections. Once these factors are identified and sorted out, then it’s smooth sailing ahead!
Gardening is an excellent way to reduce stress and live a healthier life in general. It encourages us to get outside and commune with nature while providing us with fresh, nutrient-rich food options. It can also save you money on purchasing fruits and vegetables from the store, as well as provide antidepressant benefits by helping us reconnect with the natural world.
Furthermore, gardening provides a sense of accomplishment that allows us to learn more about ourselves in the process. If you’re looking for a way to reduce stress and anxiety while taking ownership of your mental health, consider taking up gardening today!