Why is gardening important?

importance of gardening

Gardening provides a very long list of benefits for both humans and the environment. Apart from being enjoyed by everyone, gardening is an activity that everybody can do, not limited by different skills, age, nationality, or economic capability. In this sense, gardening is an activity that empowers people and unites all humans in our one common need to be in touch with nature.

The presence of gardens in our lives can improve our lifestyle, and brighten our daily, modern world that is often obscured by buildings and artificial, man-made structures. People are born with an instinctive need for the natural world.

Therefore, what is gardening and why is it important, for people, cultures, and the environment in general?

man doing gardening

Benefits of gardening

There are many benefits of gardening. It is great for your health, good for your soil, and good for animals. It helps you reduce stress, become independent and learn the values of responsibility. Another advantage is that you can grow your fruit and vegetables, reducing your overall impact on the environment and your carbon footprint.

Gardening is a hobby for many people, who can practice it and nurture plants year after year, no matter their age. There are many types of gardens you can go for, and you don’t need large areas or vast gardens to practice. Indoor gardening or container gardening is something you can perform with limited space and without any large budget. Gardening is a healthy and adaptable hobby. As people, we need that connection for our mind and body.

When starting gardening, either to grow plants, flowers, trees, vegetables, etc, make sure to look at:

  1. Location
  2. Sunlight
  3. Access to water
  4. Soil type and quality
  5. Space and use of containers
  6. Choose plants for your climate
  7. Time of the year
  8. Use of mulch
  9. Feeding
  10. Tools

Why is gardening essential for your wellbeing?

Gardening comes with many researched health advantages. If practising your gardening in outdoor areas, exposure to the sun in moderate levels increases vitamin D intake, which in turn helps the healthy function of your body. Gardening can also be a good form of low and high-intensity exercise, depending on the type of gardening you’re doing.

Lifting heavy pots and carrying soil can be very physically demanding. Gardening chores such as planting, weeding, harvesting, and watering are also great physical exercises. A study by the CDC shows that you can burn up to 330 calories with an hour of light gardening. Considering that is something we enjoy doing, that is very good news.

Psychologically, being around nature and cultivating plants can provide benefits such as reducing the risk of dementia and improving your mood. Self-esteem is also boosted and garden group counselling has, for example, helped children understand the importance of working together and giving them a sense of calmness and happiness.

There are however some important tips to protect your health during gardening:

  1. Have a safe environment
  2. Carry heavy loads safely
  3. Keep children away from dangerous tools and chemicals
  4. Stay hydrated
  5. Use sunscreen protection
  6. Wear protective clothing
  7. Use chemicals strictly as directed
vegetable garden

Importance of gardening to the environment

The human impact on the natural environment is one of the most dangerous phenomena occurring in the last 100 years. The overbuilt and highly populated cities that we sometimes live in are not only damaging to our physical and mental health, but also to the world and to the many animals and wild creatures that have been displaced by people’s constant growth and need for more space.

Gardens, even those that are man-made, have plants and trees that can reduce the level of harmful carbon in the air, whilst at the same time releasing back oxygen into the atmosphere which we need to survive. The roots of plants and trees can also help stabilise the soil and act as a filter for water.

We need to keep in mind that many creatures we might take for granted, such as bees, are critically important to the world and our lives. Without bees, the world’s food production would suffer as a start. Bees, along with birds, are very important pollinators. There are other pollinators including, Butterflies, Moths, Wasps, Flies and Beetles. Having a garden with pollinators is a win-win situation for you and the environment, with amazing looking flowers and an overall flourishing garden.

Why is gardening important for society?

Gardening is not necessarily practised on your own. By doing such a hobby with family and friends, you are creating a sense of belonging and community through a universal love for nature. Doing something you enjoy whilst surrounded by people who care about you will in turn increase your happiness. Community gardens can play an important role here.

Children can also benefit from gardening, as exposure to soil has been shown to reduce allergies and provide numerous health advantages.

bee on garden flower

Growing food

Food that is fresh from the garden tastes better than other products that spent time in transportation and then in a supermarket for days or weeks. However, what fruits and vegetables are the best to grow in your garden?

Try starting with fruit and vegetables you enjoy eating. Easy fruit and vegetables to grow in your garden can include lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and strawberries. Combine these with herbs for a constant supply of fresh cooking ingredients. Also, look out for plant and vegetable companions for a pesticide-free garden that can also improve the taste of your produce.

Gardening makes it easier to adopt better eating habits, as it gives you a constant supply of nutrient-filled fruits and vegetables. Meeting your nutritional needs is easier, as well as eliminating the risk of eating vegetables or fruit that contain toxic chemicals from pesticides. By growing your food, you are also reducing your carbon footprint and any damage to the environment from plastic packaging, which is very common in store purchased products.

Your health, your frame of mind, your community, the environment, your money, nutrition, and environmental footprint. These are some of the reasons why gardening is important. No matter the available area or knowledge, getting yourself into gardening, and enjoying the food you grow, is good for your wellbeing. Happy gardening!

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