Gardening Guides

10 Important Gardening Benefits that Improve Overall Health

Why garden and raise your own animals? Why not just buy pre-packaged, ready-made stuff? Because it’s damn wonderful and because gardening benefits are real! As avid planters and gardeners, we can come up with plenty of reasons for you to grow your own flowers and vegetables.

For starters, gardening can give you an inspiring sense of purpose, and it’s one of the main reasons we want to share our knowledge with the world through this blog. Read on to discover all the other benefits!

planting in the garden
planting in the garden

Some of our planters find gardening and landscaping extremely relaxing while the main reason for others is to eat homegrown organic vegetables and fruits.

Whatever your reason might be, you're doing well for yourself and the world by planting one seed at a time. Here’s what we mean when we talk about gardening benefits.

Gardening Benefits to Inspire You

There are only a few things in life better than the simple pleasure of gardening.

No matter your age, you can take up the spade and shovel, play in the dirt, water your plants, show them care, and reap the benefits of gardening in the process.

Don't know where to start?

Plant a few pots of flowers in your patio, grow a small backyard vegetable garden, or volunteer at the local community garden.

person using the shovel to plow the soil
person using the shovel to plow the soil

You can also start with some easy-to-grow succulents like aloe vera and jade to tap into the many health benefits of gardening.

1. Improve Your Physical Health

Nothing is better for the body and mind than getting yourself outside and moving in the fresh air. While working in your garden, you will be doing both anaerobic and aerobic exercises.

Gardening is considered moderate- to high-intensity exercise.

According to the CDC, you can burn up to 330 calories during one hour of light gardening and landscaping work.

Imagine the calories burning off when you are doing high-intensity work like mowing the lawn or pruning trees.

You can burn more calories this way than lifting weights for the same amount of time!

Not only that but being outside in the sun will help boost your vitamin D levels which helps the body absorb calcium.

gardening benefits health
gardening benefits health

In turn, calcium helps keep your bones strong and your immune system healthy.

The bottom line: Gardening is a great way to boost your physical health. If you’re living a sedentary life, it can help you get into shape. If you’re already in good shape, it can help you maintain it.

2. Boost Your Mental Health

While it may sound a bit hippie-dippie, Anna Ranieri, Ph.D., suggests practicing mindfulness while you garden to lower stress.

A study on mental health gardening benefits found that just 30 minutes a week spent planting outside on your vegetable patch can boost feelings of both self-esteem and mood by dissolving tension, depression, anger, and confusion.

Contact with soil can also trigger the release of serotonin, the feel-good hormone. Researchers found that certain soil bacteria affect our brain in the same way antidepressants do.

dirty hands while harvesting turnip
dirty hands while harvesting turnip

But that’s not all. Getting your hands dirty, tending to plants, and watching them grow is therapeutic and can put your mind in a state of bliss.

Other gardening benefits for mental health include greater self-satisfaction and a sense of purpose. These come from having a living thing to care for and seeing it grow.

Tip: Combine mindfulness and meditation with gardening to turn your mind into an oasis of calm.    

3. Grow Cheap, Healthy, Organic Food

Growing your own fruit and vegetables will not only let you experience better-tasting food but you will also save money on the prices you might pay at organic farmers' markets or even the supermarkets.

If you concentrate on growing crops that you enjoy eating and particularly on those that are more cost-effective to grow (like broccoli, tomatoes, or lettuce), you will save money.

All when you’re in control of what you put in your body, you avoid non-organic pesticides as much as possible.

gardening vegetables health benefits
gardening vegetables health benefits

Because you are monitoring the process from A to Z, you know your food is healthy and authentic.

You don’t even need to have a lot of space to grow your own food. You can adapt vertical gardening, hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics to your needs. You can even do indoor gardening.

The bottom line: Growing your own food is one of the best reasons to take up gardening, in addition to the health benefits of gardening.  

4. Connect with Others

While many people struggle with loneliness, gardening is a family-friendly activity that helps build stronger bonds.

From watering seedlings to picking ripe tomatoes, starting a vegetable garden is a great way to get the entire family to work together.

Other gardening benefits include the opportunity to connect with others and becoming more sociable. Garden centers and community gardens are sprouting everywhere.

connecting with people through gardening
connecting with people through gardening

They not only encourage individuals to have more social contact but also foster feelings of connection. This makes gardening a great tool for socializing and meeting like-minded people.

Looking to begin a community garden? Here’s how to get started:

  1. Talk to your neighbors and organize a committee.
  2. Find a site that could work for your garden.
  3. Draw up a map before you begin planting.
  4. Set the budget and rules (such as funding, membership, maintenance, etc.).
  5. Start gardening.

5. Learn New Things

Lifelong learning is good for the brain and a garden is an outdoor classroom where you can connect with nature.

Digging, sowing, and growing your own food will not only promote healthy eating habits but it will also help you better use nature’s limited resources. That’s why gardening is also great for kids.

gardening with kids
gardening with kids

Gardening demands time and effort and is perhaps the best teacher of the value of hard work, patience, responsibility, and selflessness.

When you do work in the garden, you can also stimulate your imagination.

Whether it’s selecting your plants and their placement and arrangement or directing their growth, there are limitless options for you to showcase your creative side.

That's one of the most underrated gardening benefits, but one you should know about.

6. Sharpen Your Memory

Gardening is more than just a healthy workout, you know. It can be used as a therapy to sharpen the mind, increase balance, and improve cognition.

For those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, gardening is fantastic because it increases the ability to perform cognitive tasks and focus while also boosting self-esteem.

old man gardening
old man gardening

Research shows that gardening every day can lower the risk of dementia by 36%. Colors, textures, and smells can awaken the senses.

Tip: Working in the garden can also improve attention span, memory, and communication.

7. Get Into an Altered State of Being (Without Harmful Drugs!)

You can find your “Zen moment” in the garden. Simply breathing in the fresh air, tending to your plants, and hearing the birds chirp can put your mind in an altered state of consciousness.

Similar to yoga and chanting mantras, gardening can make you experience that spiritual place within you.

zen of gardening
zen of gardening

Cultivating intuition, consistency, and gratitude while forgetting the notion of ego are other notable gardening benefits.

8. Give the Gift of Health to Others

There’s nothing new about offering store-bought gifts to your loved ones. And gifting a colorful bouquet from the florist is quite common.

But when you tend to your own garden, you can start using some of your harvests as gifts. That means you can give the gift of organic vegetables to others.

pumpkin harvests from garden in autumn
pumpkin harvests from garden in autumn

Imagine receiving a gift that the other person had planted, nurtured, and grown themselves! Precious, isn’t it? Here are some garden gift ideas to consider:

  • Put together a basket of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Bake or cook items from home-grown food
  • Arrange a vase of flowers freshly plucked from your garden
  • Make your own bouquets to honor and celebrate your loved ones

9. A Beautiful Garden to Enjoy

Being in control of your garden or terrarium means you can not only grow your own plants, but it also means you can be a part of what comes into your gardens like the birds, insects, and animals.

Growing the right garden plants can attract beautiful creatures like butterflies or hummingbirds to your garden for everybody to enjoy.

hummingbird in a garden
hummingbird in a garden

Planting the right flowers in your garden or yard will bring color to the garden all year long. All of this will have a positive effect on your overall health.

Birdsong, in particular, improves your state of mind, makes you more tolerant of others, and has other benefits, too.

Tip: In winter, you can grow evergreen species such as Daphne, Buxus, Lavender, Fatsia, Camellia, and Euonymus.

They are all easy to take care of and will add a beautiful touch to your garden. How special is it to be able to create your own wonderland, and mix it up whenever you like!

10. Create a Better World

Even a small patch of kitchen garden can have a positive impact on the ecosystem, which in turn will support your health and the health of the people around you.

The vegetation will reduce greenhouse gases and help purify the air. Tree and plant roots absorb water, reducing erosion and runoff.

butterflies in the garden
butterflies in the garden

Plus, your garden can provide a home for birds, bees, butterflies, and insects. Your contribution to creating a better flora and fauna helps the earth become a better place.

When you garden, you will inspire others to do the same. We must start doing this sooner than later.

We owe it to our kids and grandchildren to sustain the planet we live on with healthy organic plants and edibles.

Vegetables Garden Health Benefits
Vegetables Garden Health Benefits

The Incredible Gardening Story of Ron Finley

If you are not inspired enough yet to get started then make sure to check out the incredible story of Ron Finley.

Ron Finley describes himself as the “Gangster Gardener”. He plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA—in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs.

He almost got to jail because of his commitment to change community garden, but fortunately, people figure out how sorry some legislation can be and Finley became a gardening hero.

Finley has been promoting sustainable eating since 2010 when he planted his first garden on a strip of land between his house and the street.

Despite an arrest warrant for planting up his berm in LA, he continued to transform many “food deserts” into flourishing edible landscapes.

Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where he says: "the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys."

Gardening Benefits Frequently Asked Questions

As we've seen, there are lots of gardening benefits—it is one of the most rewarding activities, whether it’s to relieve stress or develop a new hobby.

So if you choose to get started on gardening, there are many ways to keep your plants and yourself happy and healthy.

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked gardening questions we get.

What are the physical and mental benefits of gardening?

Gardening is one of the healthiest things you can do for your physical and mental well-being. When you're digging, hoeing, and harvesting, your muscle strength, immune system, and heart health all benefit.

Watching your plants and vegetables go from bare to ripe offers a sense of satisfaction. It will also help lift your spirits and help relieve stress. Plus, what’s better than eating farm-fresh lettuce and cabbage?

What are the benefits of residential gardening?

Residential gardening has gained popularity in recent years with many people turning their porches and backyards into garden plots.

Beyond the reward of fresh, homegrown ingredients for your meals, there are plenty of other backyard gardening benefits.

You can improve nutrition by controlling the use of chemical fertilizers, cut down on your grocery budget, make gardening a hobby, and add color to your backyard.

Why do I enjoy gardening?

It’s only natural to find gardening enjoyable. For starters, it involves a bit of sunshine, water, playing in the dirt, and enjoying pretty blooms after days of hard work.

It’s a healthy way to exercise and release serotonin, the feel-good hormone. Gardening lets us unplug from our busy lives and enjoy a moment with nature.

Is gardening good for depression?

Yes, gardening can help fight anxiety and depression. Whether it’s watering your plants, getting your fingers dirty in the backyard, or simply taking a walk through the garden, gardening can trigger the production of happy hormones that keep depression at bay.

Gardening has also evolved into a form of therapy—smells, colors, and textures can relieve stress and improve mental well-being.

What are the social benefits of gardening?

You don’t have to grow your plants and vegetables in isolation. You can build a garden with a friend or family member to bond better with them.

You can volunteer in the local community to meet like-minded people. Connecting with others helps reduce feelings of loneliness or exclusion. Plus, sharing tricks of the trade and learning new tips from others enables people to feel part of a community.

Start Gardening for the Health of It!

What’s better than getting fitter at the gym? Getting fitter in your garden.

And unlike half an hour on a treadmill, gardening doesn’t really feel like exercise. Plus, your days of hard work will show in the form of a summer garden ripe with flowers and veggies.

As you know by now, there are many benefits to gardening. So put on your gardening boots, roll up your sleeves, and get started.

gardening with a smile
gardening with a smile

There’s nothing quite like the company of nature. Just surrounding yourself with trees and plants will help you relax and unwind.

Rejuvenating your mind, body, and soul are some of the major gardening benefits that can transform your life. But it doesn’t stop there. Gardening is even good for your wallet.

Whether you garden on a windowsill or a backyard, you can enjoy the many health benefits of gardening, eat homegrown food, and make memories with newfound friends.

So, have you started gardening yet? Drop us a comment below and let us know how it goes. We’d love to hear from you, green thumb!

Foter Magazine is a premier architecture, decoration, interiors and design website. We inspire and guide you to make your home a more attractive place.


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