Gardening has suddenly become very trendy. As a keen grower myself, it’s good to finally be part of the cool crowd for a change! Big name celebrities like Kate Moss and Jake Gyllenhaal are big on their own organic veggies and fruits, while millennials are hopping onto the garden train in droves.
But the benefits of gardening have been around longer than its recent revival. If you’ve ever wondered whether you should start your very own patch, here are five reasons why we’re very much in the “Do it!” camp.
It’s More Delicious
Many of us think they know what fruits and veggies taste like. But we really don’t. That’s because we stick to the tasteless products we find in supermarkets, which are basically flavorless and mostly water. Would you like to start growing your own vegetables on the balcony? You can have guidance from Helpful Garden for growing your own vegetables.
Organic fruits and veggies taste better than their supermarket counterparts, period. They grow more slowly, allowing the flavors to truly embed themselves into the crop. The water content is also far lower, which means you get that lovely and intense concentrated flavor. Organic plants are also given the TLC that you just don’t get otherwise, resulting in a superior product.
It’s Not As Difficult As You Think
“I have a full-time job, I just don’t have the time.”
“Money is a little tight, and supermarket food is probably cheaper.”
“I don’t have any experience, I won’t be able to do it!”
Any one of those sound like you? It’s time to shelve the excuses. Starting your own vegetable garden isn’t as difficult as you think. You don’t need experience, and the main skill you need is being willing to water your plants every once in a while. In terms of cost and space, you can easily start off with a simple set of inexpensive pots. These are a few that you can easily grow in a small space:
- Tomatoes. Tomatoes are incredibly versatile, being able to grow in a variety of conditions and pot types, including baskets, boxes, and troughs.
- Herbs. Perhaps the best plants for those that have limited space, think balconies for example. They’re small, require relatively little care, and just a few small bunches can make a big difference in the kitchen.
- Lettuce. The good thing about lettuce is that it grows super quickly, which means you can enjoy the crop several times during the growing season.
Organic Produce = Healthier
Yes, it’s a generalization. But we’re sticking to it. Organic fruits and veggies are, on the whole, better for you. And the benefits of growing them in your own garden are definitely worth it. For example, freshly picked produce has higher levels of vitamin C. They also have higher levels of antioxidants. Not to mention the lack of yucky pesticides.
There’s also the added benefit that growing your own fruits and veggies makes you think about food. You’re more likely to cook healthier foods, you’ll opt for a home cooked meal over an oven pizza or takeaway, and you will learn about what you’re putting into your body. All of this also leads to a healthier diet overall.
If we’re talking the cost of tools, seeds, fertilizers, etc., organic fruit and veggie farming is cheaper than buying the same thing in the store. For example, the guys over at the Real Farm House save over $2,400 a year on their personal patch alone. Their tomatoes save them $60 a year, while thyme slashes $54 off the household bill.
Okay, we haven’t included the time investment. And that can significantly change the math. Dan Allen’s calculations show that you may end up working for less than 2 bucks an hour. But considering the other benefits you get from gardening, we don’t really think it’s a fair representation of value.
It’s Good for Your Mental Health
Gardening isn’t just about the growing of fruits and veggies, with evidence increasingly showing that it also provides substantial health benefits. If you’re going through a particularly rough patch (pun intended!), gardening can help alleviate things:
- Sunshine = serotonin. SAD (seasonal affective disorder) affects a lot of people, and it can lead to anxiety, depression, and lethargy. If you work in an office, it’s possible that you won’t see the sun all winter. Make an effort to get out into your garden for sunshine and some natural daylight, releasing the hormone serotonin. It will help stabilize your mood, giving you productive and positive vibes.
- Step away from technology. Getting out into nature takes you away from the ‘real world’, which can often be a little much, especially when your phone is constantly buzzing and vibrating. Emails, messages, social media, stepping away from it all will give you much-needed respite.
- Nurturing life. When you do gardening, you are literally nurturing life. That can have immense benefits, with gently caring for nature generating a real feeling of wellbeing.
Start Small and Grow!
We’ve given you the why, and hopefully debunked some myths and unwarranted objections along the way. Convinced? Then get out there and start gardening. As we’ve already mentioned, it doesn’t have to be daunting, it’s not expensive, and you can start with just a simple pot. Start small, get the hang of it, and we’re sure you’ll end up growing a large veggie patch!