15 Reasons To Start A Garden
Have you ever stopped to think about all the reasons there are to start a garden? From the health benefits of gardening to the homegrown tomatoes, the reasons abound.
If you’ve been wondering what all the fuss is about and why gardeners are so obsessed with their hobby, read on for 15 benefits to starting a garden of your very own. And if you are a gardener, and have a favorite reason of your own, share it with us in the comments!
15 Best Benefits Of Gardening
#1 – The food from a backyard garden is amazing!
As a gardener with a goal to grow most of my own food, I had to make this the number one benefit of gardening!
The taste of freshly picked produce far outweighs what you will find on the grocery store shelves. The nutritional profile is far better, as well, since you are able to pick things at the peak of freshness and consume them shortly after harvest.
Additionally, you know exactly where your fruits & vegetables came from, the quality (read: nutrient density) of the soil they were grown in, and what pesticides were used. The quality of the food/produce, to me, is a huge factor in why I garden.
I will never forget the first time I tried a salad made with homegrown lettuce. I was blown away! Store bought lettuce has paled in comparison ever since.
#2 – Gardening is relaxing
There’s something about leaving your cares and stress at the door, and wandering out to the garden that brings a feeling of calmness and relaxation.
Flowers don’t fuss, they just smile at you with their beautiful faces.
Tending your plants is a great distraction when you have a lot on your mind. Even pulling weeds can be a mindless task while your sort through decisions and responsibilities in your mind.
Along with that, the sounds of nature and a gentle breeze are quick mood lifters.
Even a few minutes in the garden each day can fight stress and bring some peace to your daily life.
#3 – A garden pushes you to get outside
There are numerous benefits to getting outside every day, many of which I’ve included in this list.
Adding a garden to your yard, even a small one, can give you that extra push to get outdoors.
I have even noticed this with my teenagers! When the weather is nice, they like to take a blanket and a good book, and lay next to my flower gardens. They watch the butterflies and dragonflies, take the dog for a walk to smell all the smells, and just enjoy the sunshine and beauty of the garden.
Having a beautiful garden also adds a nice element to hosting parties or get togethers with friends. People are naturally drawn to beauty and nature, and having a garden is a natural way to pull people outdoors.
#4 – Gardening is good for the local ecosystem, and the planet
I think we can all agree that supporting the planet is an important job for all of us.
One small, easy way to do that is in your very own backyard. By adding native trees, shrubs, and perennials, we’re supporting local wildlife. When we use organic methods and choose plants that naturally thrive in our local climate, we lessen the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals.
Planting a garden can help the environment in all kinds of ways and support the ecosystem instead of harming it. That’s an important benefit of gardening for all of us.
#5 – Gardening helps you connect with nature
Number 5 goes hand in hand with number 3. Gardening pushes you to get outside, and that, in turn, helps you connect with nature.
I never learned to recognize bird calls or stop to watch a dragonfly zip around my yard before I became a gardener. Now I look forward to those things when I venture outside, and I find myself choosing plants that encourage the songbirds to visit.
The more time you spend wandering around the garden, the more you will notice nature all around you. It’s a great experience for kids, too, who love to watch wildlife and are constantly learning from the environment around them.
#6 – Gardening helps you stay fit and healthy.
Whether it’s hauling wheelbarrows full of mulch, or digging holes for new plants, gardening is a physical activity. It uses a wide range of muscle groups, and at times requires a lot of strength.
Even light gardening, such as weeding flower beds, can keep you active and moving, which can be good exercise for older adults.
Gardening has a positive impact on your physical health that can’t be ignored.
I’ve never been one for structured exercise and gym memberships, but I’ve been known to spend hours in the garden hauling bags of topsoil and moving wheelbarrows of mulch. Combined with the fresh air, it’s a great way to stay active and healthy. Spending extra time in the sun also helps improve vitamin D levels, which can improve your overall energy levels.
#7 – Gardening has a positive affect on mental health.
Not only does gardening get you active and moving, which can help lower stress levels and produce endorphins, but it’s a great way to clear your mind of what’s been weighing on it.
I’ve found that when I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed, spending a few hours in the garden can help reset my mind.
Even the simple act of weeding will do it for me. It’s an easy task that can be a mental distraction, and when I’m done, I have the positive affect of seeing the work I accomplished.
The garden is also a relaxing place to sit and unwind, setting my worries aside for a bit.
Finally, for me personally, I’ve found that heading out to the garden and tackling a project helps me have a sense of control when I’m overwhelmed by other things in my life.
Years ago, my oldest daughter was in a car accident that required months of care and recovery. The following spring after her accident, I tore up our entire front yard and redesigned the entire landscape. It was incredibly therapeutic and helped me heal from the emotions of watching her struggle and recover and being her full time caregiver. I’ve been hooked on gardening ever since.
#8 – Gardening is a great way to be a part of a community.
The gardening community is large, and can be found all over the world.
There are as many different types of gardeners as there are people, and a group of gardeners for everyone. From community gardens to extension master gardener volunteer programs, to local gardening groups, there is a gardening group perfect for you.
You may also find that you connect with people in your personal life in a new way, when you discover a shared love of gardening.
Additionally, there are online gardening communities. My Learn To Grow Gardens Facebook group is full of supportive gardeners who like to discuss and share all things gardening related, and there are communities on Instagram and Tik Tok. Your garden tribe is out there, waiting for you to join them!
#9 – Gardening is a great way to be creative.
I’m a firm believer that gardening is a form of art. I say this as a professional gardener, whose job is to make multiple gardens look beautiful and appealing, but I felt this way when I started with my own gardens.
Gardens start with an empty canvas, and each gardener designs that canvas to suit their personal tastes. No two gardens will ever be exactly the same, and there are many different garden styles. Starting with that blank canvas and choosing the color scheme, style, design, and individual plants is a great way to discover the artist within you and connect with your creative side.
#10 – Gardening boosts your confidence and sense of achievement.
Gardening has a learning curve to it, and takes some trial and error sometimes to find success. The feeling of accomplishment after working through a problem and having success is so rewarding, though!
I also love sense of pride and accomplishment you feel after working on a project for a few hours and stepping back to admire my work when I’m done. Even something as simple as weeding a bed can fill you with a feeling of accomplishment! It’s a great hobby for boosting a skill set and feelings of self-confidence and accomplishment.
#11 – Gardening helps you save money
Hear me out, because gardening can also cost you a lot of money if you’re not careful. It doesn’t have to, though.
If gardening is done with cost savings in mind, it can be a great relief to the grocery budget. The cost of growing your own fruits and vegetables can be significantly lower than the cost of buying them at the supermarket, especially if you purchase organic produce.
Take raspberries, for example.
Raspberry canes are such vigorous growers, you can often find them for free from friends and family or at plant swaps. Even if you purchase them, within a few years you can have an entire patch feeding your family for a small investment up front.
Compare that to $3-4 for a tiny package at the grocery store, and your raspberry patch will have paid for itself in a few short years.
Starting vegetables like lettuce, green beans, and cucumbers from seed is also a great way to save money on produce in the summer. If you make your own compost from kitchen scraps and leaves, you’re saving even more money.
Another way to save money is to start annual flowers from seed. The up front cost of seed starting trays and a grow light might have you break even the first year, but the cost drops significantly when you reuse them in the future.
#12 – Gardening is a great way to add curb appeal to your home.
Most of us don’t have thousands of dollars laying around to update the exterior of our house. Updating the landscaping around your home is an easy and inexpensive way to increase the curb appeal of your home.
It can be as simple as trimming overgrown bushes and adding a few flowering annuals.
Brightening up the landscape is sure to give you an instant boost in curb appeal.
#13 – Gardening encourages healthy eating.
Gardening can be a great way to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, simply by growing your own.
When you’ve babied a raised bed through the summer and finally pick the literal fruits of your labor, you’re much more likely to eat your fruits and veggies! Growing your own also allows you to try new and interesting varieties you might not find at the store.
One of my favorite things to grow are pink and purple potatoes and they create quite a stir of excitement in our home!
Plus, homegrown produce tastes so much better than the store bought version, like I mentioned in reason #1. When growing your own food, you can grow for taste and texture, without sacrificing those qualities for the ability to travel great distances and sit on supermarket shelves for long periods of time.
#14 – Gardening expands your horizons with new varieties.
Like I mentioned with the pink and purple potatoes above, gardening allows you to try new and interesting varieties.
I also love my Anne Yellow Raspberries from Stark Bros Nurseries. The raspberries are so delicate, they almost have to be eaten while standing at the raspberry patch, but the flavor is amazing! I could never enjoy this variety from the grocery store, but growing my own supplies more than I need.
The same applies to flowers.
This summer I’m going to try my hand at growing a cutting garden, for an endless supply of fresh flower bouquets. I’ve been having tons of fun scrolling seed catalogs and online nurseries, planning out the garden and the varieties I’m hoping to enjoy.
The options are so much greater than what I would find in a store bought bouquet, including varieties of flowers I didn’t know existed before I became a gardener.
#15 – Gardening can bring you joy.
The final reason for starting a garden is one of my favorite reasons, and the result of many of the reasons we discussed above.
Gardening brings so many positive aspects to your life that it also ends up bringing you joy. It encourages you to get outside and connect with nature, stay active and moving, try new fruits and vegetable and eat healthier. It boosts your confidence and your mental health, and instills in you a sense of accomplishment and confidence.
Gardening is a journey, and a garden is never “done” but the journey you walk as a gardener is one full with joy and hope, and it’s a journey I hope you take!
How To Get Started Gardening
If you’re a new gardener and looking to start a garden from scratch, I recommend this article from Better Homes and Gardens.
If you’ve been gardening for awhile (or even if you’re brand new!) and looking for a community of gardeners to connect with and learn from, I encourage you to join my Facebook group and/or my email list. I send out tips and tricks for becoming a better gardener, seasonal gardening advice, and inspiring gardening ideas. In my Facebook group, we learn from and encourage each other. It’s a great place to share your wins or ask questions if you’re struggling with a garden problem.
If you’d like a more personal approach, I also offer garden coaching sessions. During these sessions, we discuss your current garden and experience level, and what your goals are, and then we form a plan to get you there. I am a certified master gardener and certified garden coach/consultant, along with a professional gardener, and I use my experience and expertise to teach you how to grow the garden you’ve been dreaming off. If you’d like more information, you can read more about garden coaching here, or shoot me an email at [email protected]
I hope this list has inspired you in some way. If you have any additional reasons to start a garden, or have any questions, please share them with us in the comments!