5 Reasons to Plant a Garden

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It's that time of year! If you are a gardener a heart, you probably already have seed starts going and lots of plans for filling the growing season with beauty and bounty. For the rest, you are probably weighing the option of planting a garden this year or perhaps the thought hasn't even crossed your mind. Wherever you fall on the gardener spectrum, a garden can enhance your life in many ways.

1. Boost Your Health 

Besides the obvious health benefit of eating lots of fresh produce, studies have shown that gardening brings a myriad of health benefits. You will soak up the vitamin D and get some low intensity exercise while you garden. Eating well and staying active reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and many other conditions.

2. Improve Your Mental & Emotional Health 

Gardening has been shown to help reduce anxiety. It can also provide a sense of accomplishment and a creative outlet. Gardening gives you a chance to build relationships with friends, neighbors, and family members. Healthy relationships tend to enhance emotional well being. 

3. Save Money

Priced per pound, the cost of homegrown produce compared to store bought is often pennies to the dollar. Start up costs can be kept to a minimum - especially if you plant from seed. To maximize savings, focus on crops that you know you will consume, have a high yield, and are versatile. Zucchini checks all these boxes for me. You can use it in baking, grill it, sauté it, or eat it raw. As for yield, you will probably have plenty to share with neighbors. Tomatoes, peppers, swiss chard, leaf lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, and carrots are all great options.

4. Help the Environment

Maybe your backyard plot isn't going to make a huge difference on its own, but add up all the gardens out there and you have some serious oxygen production and CO2 absorption happening. Take things a step further by using kitchen scraps to create compost. That means less waste in your local landfill. Every little bit helps!

5. Impart Wisdom & Knowledge

If you have children in your life - your own, grandchildren, nieces & nephews, neighbor kids - you can use gardening to impart so many life lessons. Teach cooperation, delayed gratification, environmental science, biology, self-sufficiency, work ethic, commitment, responsibility, etc. It is so fun to see a child take pride and joy in something they have grown whether it is beautiful flowers or the perfect tomato. They will learn so much and create cherished memories.

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