Gardening offers a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. Here are some of the key advantages:
- Physical Exercise: Gardening involves various physical activities such as digging, planting, weeding, and watering, providing a good workout. This can help improve cardiovascular health, strength, and flexibility. These days, we like to go to gym or Yoga to do exercises, but we don’t know that gardening is not only free to do, but also make us strong, physically and mentally. We get fresh herbs, vegetables, juicy tomatoes and if we have enough space, then also we can grow some fruits. When we work outside, we get sun, fresh air, which make us healthy and strong.
- Stress Reduction: Spending time in nature and engaging in gardening activities has been linked to reduce stress levels. The combination of fresh air, sunlight, and physical activity can contribute to a sense of well-being and relaxation. Whenever I feel stressed, I go outside in my backyard and start working with my plants, immediately I started to feel good and uplifted.
- Mental Health: Gardening has been associated with improved mental health outcomes, including reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. The act of nurturing plants and witnessing their growth can be therapeutic and rewarding.
- Growing your Own Fruits & Vegetables: Growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs allows you to have fresh, nutritious produce readily available. This can encourage a healthier diet rich in vitamins and minerals. The vegetables, which we buy from grocery stores, they look fresh, but they are not fresh at all and also they come from other countries, especially here in Canada. So it is very important to grow as much as you can, at least you can grow some herbs.
- Sunshine and Vitamin D: Exposure to sunlight during gardening activities can help the body produce vitamin D, which is essential for bone health, immune function, and overall well-being. “Having exposure to natural light can help immensely with keeping your body clock on track,” says Dr. Stefanie N. Howell, senior neurologist at the Centre for Neuro Skills, who has researched sleep-wake disturbances and served as a reviewer for the Journal of Sleep Research. Unfortunately, here in Canada, we don’t get good weather in winter due to lot of snow, and I can feel the difference by staying all day inside. We don’t get enough sun, it is so cold and almost all outside activities stopped(of course gardening too), that’s why I feel frustrated inside in winter.
- Cognitive Benefits: Gardening requires planning, problem-solving, and attention to detail. These activities can stimulate cognitive function and may be particularly beneficial for older adults in maintaining mental acuity.
- Community and Social Interaction: Gardening can be a social activity, whether it’s working with neighbors in a community garden or sharing gardening tips and produce. Social interaction is important for mental and emotional well-being.
- Sense of Accomplishment: Watching plants grow and flourish as a result of your efforts can provide a strong sense of accomplishment and boost self-esteem. When people come to my home and praise my work, I really feel so good and then, I do more work for garden.
- Connection with Nature: Gardening allows individuals to connect with the natural environment, fostering a sense of appreciation for the cycles of life and the beauty of the outdoors.
- Aromatherapy: Many plants have pleasant aromas that can have a calming effect. Fragrant flowers and herbs in the garden can contribute to a sensory-rich and enjoyable environment. Oh, I love the smell of tulsi, mint, rose of Sharon(flowers) and red hibiscus, they don’t only look stunning, but also smell amazing.
- Mindfulness: Gardening encourages mindfulness, as individuals focus on the present moment, engage their senses, and become attuned to the rhythm of nature.
- Improved Sleep: Physical activity, exposure to natural light, and the calming effects of gardening can contribute to better sleep quality and sleep is so important to stay healthy.
Overall, gardening is a holistic activity that addresses various aspects of well-being, promoting physical health, mental clarity, and emotional balance. Whether you have a small balcony garden or a spacious backyard like I have, cultivating plants can be a fulfilling and beneficial endeavor.
Everyone is not lucky to have a garden, but no worries — you can still benefit from adding indoor plants to your life. You might not get the same exercise as outdoor gardening, but the meditative and relaxing process is about the same. Having several plants indoors (and in your bedroom) helps clear the air and makes it easier to fall asleep at night.
When here in Canada, we can’t work outside with plants, then I always have some indoor plants. At least something is better than nothing. I enjoy them having inside all long winter.
- Peace Lily
- English Ivy
- Bamboo Palm
- Gerbera Daisies
- Mony Tree
- Money Plant (pothos)
How to become a gardener?
Becoming a beginner gardener is a rewarding and enjoyable journey. Here are some steps to help you get started:
- Start Small: Begin with a small garden plot or even container gardening. This allows you to manage and learn without becoming overwhelmed.
- Choose the Right Location: Select a spot that receives adequate sunlight and has good soil drainage. Most plants thrive in at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.
- Understand Your Climate: Learn about your local climate and growing zone. This information is crucial for selecting plants that will thrive in your area. Rest we learn by doing.
- Select Easy-to-Grow Plants: Start with plants that are known to be beginner-friendly, such as herbs, tomatoes, lettuce, mint, basil, oregano. These are generally more forgiving for novice gardeners.
- Prepare the Soil: Ensure your soil is well-draining and rich in nutrients. You might need to amend your soil with compost or other organic matter.
- Learn Basic Gardening Techniques: Understand the basics of planting, watering, and fertilizing. Each plant has specific needs, so it’s important to learn about the requirements of the plants you choose.
- Watering: Be mindful of proper watering practices. Overwatering or underwatering can be detrimental to plants. Water deeply and consistently, and adjust based on the needs of your specific plants. Indoor plants need very less water comparatively outdoor pot plants.
- Mulching: Mulch helps retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Apply a layer of mulch around your plants to benefit their overall health. This is my first year, that I used natural mulch for my backyard garden, after applying a thick layer of natural mulch, my plants growth was really good.
- Pest Control: Keep an eye out for pests and diseases. Regularly inspect your plants and take appropriate measures if you notice any issues. This might include using natural remedies or, such as soapy water, organic home made spray.
- Educate Yourself: Read gardening books, watch online tutorials, and join gardening forums to learn from experienced gardeners. The more knowledge you gain, the better equipped you’ll be to handle challenges.
- Patience is Key: Gardening is a process, and it takes time for plants to grow and flourish. Be patient and enjoy the journey.
- Keep a Garden Journal: Document your gardening activities, observations, and any challenges you face. This can be a valuable resource for learning and improving over time.
Remember, gardening is a continuous learning experience, and everyone makes mistakes. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. As you gain experience, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of your plants and their needs.