Gardening, for many, seems like an onerous and arduous task to take part in and one that has no benefits apart from the harvest.
This could not be further from the truth.
There is a myriad of benefits that come with gardening.
(This Begs The Question) Is Gardening A Worthwhile Hobby?
The answer is yes. It is not an irregularity to find that more and more people have begun to take up gardening as a hobby over the last couple of years. All this is a result of the general populace understanding what the benefits of gardening are.
So what are these said benefits?
1. Fruits Of Your Labor
The most obvious benefits of gardening are that, metaphorically speaking, you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor at the end of the day.
The said fruits will depend on what specifically you decided to plant and look after.
However, you can be guaranteed that you will benefit a lot so long as you are consistent and careful when it comes to looking after your plants.
2. Cleaning The Air
It is a fact that plants, during the day, take in C02 in the air and give out oxygen.
This means that bit by bit; they clean the air.
Even smaller plants can do this.
Thus, by planting a couple of plants in your backyard, you will increase the air quality in your compound.
Gardening also reduces the carbon footprint.
As a hobby, you can play a small yet important part in saving the planet by reducing the carbon footprint of your area.
This is especially true if you plant and grow crops such as lettuce and tomatoes.
You will also be spending less money on prepacked and transported foods you would otherwise buy in the grocery store.
It is estimated that the food industry is responsible for emitting 26 percent of the world’s CO2 waste by transporting food from suppliers to grocery stores.
3. Your Heart And Gardening
A couple of years ago, scientists were a bit curious about the effects of gardening and the health of the heart, and they did a study with regards to the said topic.
The results of the study were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The results concluded that gardening is considered a moderate-intensity exercise, and it reduces the risk of heart attacks for people over 60 years by over 30 percent.
Gardening, essentially, is an easy and low-impact exercising activity that can be done by people who cannot or don’t prefer jogging on a treadmill or going to the gym.
4. Meditative Thinking, Stress, And Anxiety
At times, all you need to do is clear your head by being surrounded by silence.
Gardening is quite meditative, and when you will be able to cope with the complex problems that life presents and the emotions you are dealing with.
In many ways, the garden is a calm and peaceful place to get away from the rigmarole that is life.
Dutch researchers have scientifically proven that gardening is far more effective when dealing with stress and anxiety.
Their study confirmed that people who took part in gardening as a hobby have a lower amount of cortisol, the hormone that is related to stress, compared to those who took part in the reading part of the study.
Thus, when gardening, you can be assured that you will relieve some of the anxiety and stress you have developed through the day or in the recent past.
5. Patience and self-esteem
The best way to develop patience is by taking up gardening as a hobby.
Gardening is not something that offers instant gratification, and thus you have to put in consistent work to get the rewards you need.
It is important to nurture the seeds.
The garden beds must be designed and created appropriately, and you must supervise your plants and get rid of any weeds constantly.
All this could take a couple of weeks, and sometimes even months, before you get to see your plants blossom.
All this requires a lot of waiting and anticipation and hard work during the entire period. Patience is key here.
Anyone who has been able to raise a garden knows how great the feeling is when you harvest what you had sown, literally and metaphorically. This offers a huge self-esteem boost, and your confidence increases.
The best way to accentuate this feeling is to incorporate nascent crops into your routine, as this will challenge your gardening skills.
Each year, or over any interval, make sure that you try and plant something that you had not tried before and put in all the work required.
You can rest assured that at the end of it all, it will be worthwhile.
6. Brain Development
A group of researchers published findings from a study they conducted on 3000 subjects over 16 years.
The study found that the participants who conducted regular gardening reduced their risk of developing dementia by about 36 to 47 percent.
This is a massive difference, especially for those that have dementia in their family history.
Even though in comparison to other ailments, dementia and Alzheimer’s remain a mystery, the risk of developing them decreases a lot if you garden regularly.
This is because gardening requires a lot of critical functions such as problem-solving, dexterity, and strength.
7. A Vitamin D Boost
Get out and get some sun; that is the best way to get some vitamin D into your body.
Vitamin D is one of the most essential vitamins, and without it, individuals cannot absorb calcium.
This leads to the formation of brittle bones, osteoporosis, and osteomalacia.
All this can be avoided by spending just 15 to 20 minutes in the sun daily.
Gardening, obviously, takes place outside, and while you are gardening, your skin will absorb some sunlight and convert it to vitamin D.
Two Things To Keep In Mind Beforehand
There are a couple of things that you should know before taking up gardening.
1. What Will Your Soil Grow?
The first thing is that you should have a rough idea of what the soil in your garden will grow.
Different areas have different types of soil.
Plants perform well with certain soils, and some soils cannot cater to the nutritional needs of certain plants.
To know the type of soil in your garden, you have to carry out several studies.
Find a company in or around your area that will be able to do these studies.
Alternatively, if someone else in your neighborhood also does gardening, you can ask them what they plant and what plants are suitable for the soil in your area.
2. What Gardening Tools Will You Need?
Another thing you need to have before you embark on your gardening journey is the right tools.
There are many gardening tools in the market, and you have to know what you want.
When you have identified the tool you need, make sure you purchase a quality one from a reputable vendor.
It is also paramount that you understand the nutritional requirements of the plants that you want to have in your garden.
Granted, some of these requirements can be catered for by the soil itself.
However, there are things that you have to make sure that you provide by yourself.
If your soil is deficient in any way, then you have to get some fertilizer.
Make sure that the fertilizer you get can provide what the plants are missing. If your area is not getting enough rainfall, you have to get an irrigation system in place.
All in all, you have to make sure that, one way or another, the needs of the plant are met.
Gardening is and always has been fun.
The icing on the cake is that many benefits come with gardening, from heath to taking care of the environment.
So why not take up gardening? You can be assured that you will not be disappointed.