Feeling a little sluggish? Looking for something to make you feel alert again? Are you wanting to get in touch with nature a little more? How about tired of seeing all the horror stories regarding food production and the processes in which the fresh produce on your table is grown? Maybe you are tired of spending your hard-earned money on produce that goes soft or limp within a couple of days after purchasing it. Do you need to become more physically active, or burn calories and lose some weight?
If you said yes to any or all of the above questions in your mind, then you are in need of a new hobby that combines the answer to all of the above – you want to start gardening. While some people may think that gardening tends to focus on just flowers, shrubs and other lush plant life; it actually involves more than that and can include vegetables, fruit and herbs. Gardening is a fun activity that encourages your entire family to get involved but most people also get a workout while doing so. The act of gardening is more than just planting a flower into a pot and getting a beautiful result – it’s hard work, sweat and tears that provides a plentiful result.
Gardening is beneficial to the gardener in numerous ways – mental, physical and emotional. Want to know why? Then keep reading!
Gardening can be as small as a few potted and hanging plants that surround your patio (these still need nutrients, light, and water) to gardening numerous raised garden beds that provide a variety of plant life. You might have rows of vegetables, with fruit vines in between that are shaded by leafy oak trees or you might have plots of land devoted solely to your flowers. Whatever the case, you need to get physical to maintain them.
The act of digging in the dirt works your arms, back and shoulders while engaging your core muscles. The squatting position of weeding, harvesting and planting works the core, legs and bum while stretching out the back. The lunging motion required for spreading mulch and compost works pretty much everything. Bet you didn’t know that while you’re doing your garden work, you were also getting a workout in!
The mental benefits of gardening are not to be forgotten either. Those who garden tend to feel less stress and anxiety in their lives; as the act of gardening is repetitive, soothing to anxious feelings. The constant physical effort loosens your tense muscles while digging into sometimes stubborn dirt releases stress. Even pulling up those weeds that just take root is satisfying because you know that you are providing for your plants in the best way possible.
Once the results of your hard work become evident, as those tiny little stalks start sprouting up through the ground, the overall feeling of satisfaction is indescribable.
Having gardens of moderate and up sizing requires a more vigorous maintenance schedule. These plants require watering, fertilizing and weeding on daily intervals to grow plentiful – especially if you are planting fruits and vegetables. This schedule helps you get a dose of physical activity on daily basis and it also helps those who require order and control in their life for their mental health.
But don’t forget! You’ll want the right tools on hand for any and all garden maintenance requirements. You definitely want to have a gardening kit that includes at least the following:
- A wheelbarrow for lugging soil, plants and vegetables that have been harvested. They make it easier than using your own two hands and takes the strain off your back.
- A kneeling pad to protect your knees and reduce pressure on the joints while completing yard work.
- A trowel and steel-topped shovel for moving stubborn dirt clods or rocks from your garden. They are also good when you need to get down to the root of a plant or weed.
- A pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands against blisters or contamination of existing cuts.
- A chainsaw to remove low-hanging branches from trees or turning old wood into chunks that can be broken down for the compost pile. Head over to Backyard Boss to learn more.
- A natural (and homemade if possible) pesticide that deters pests from your garden that can harm the delicate plant life.
Gardening can be for fun, gardening can be for food and gardening can be for your mental and physical health. Whatever the reason you decide to put down the TV remote and get outside (kudos to you for that!), gardening is one hobby that produces tangible results – results that you can feel, smell, taste and touch.
If you are unsure how to start a garden, the best soil for your garden, the nutrients that are required for the species of plant life you have interred in the ground or simply are not sure when to begin your garden; check out the numerous sources at your disposal. You can search through the online web different gardening forums, blogs and posts or you can head to your local library and get some information. Talk to the gardeners and farmers in your area, both amateur and professional to compare notes, gain knowledge and more.
Knowledge is power when it comes to gardening and before you know it; you’ll be one of the gardeners on your block that people stop to admire.
Interesting related article: “What is a market garden? Definition and meaning”