April is National Garden Month
Benefits of Gardening
Gardening is a great way to connect with nature and end up with some tasty results, but did you know that spending time tending your garden has many other health benefits? Four great advantages to working in the garden are listed in this article.
We all know how important and beneficial physical activity is for us, but sometimes it’s hard to fit it in to our schedule or find activities that we enjoy doing. Gardening is a great combination of all three types of exercise- cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility! Many people who don’t enjoy “working out” can find pleasure in keeping a garden. Weeding, digging, planting, raking, hoeing, and watering all require you to move your body in ways that you wouldn’t sitting at a desk. One hour of gardening can burn 200-400 calories- at least twice the amount that you’d burn walking for that time.
Growing your own food is a great way to save money on groceries. You can extend this benefit into the winter by preserving your excess produce to eat while there’s snow covering your garden plot. Having your own garden plot can also increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat, keeping you healthier! Staying well can reduce both the amount of sick days you need to take from work and the amount of money you spend on doctor’s visits.
Eating food you’ve grown yourself reduces your environmental footprint. Growing in your own neighborhood eliminates the need to transport food across the country, cutting down on greenhouse gasses from trucks or planes. A healthy, diverse garden is a great habitat for pollinators that help sustain biological health of an area. Supporting or practicing sustainable growing methods are a great way to take care of the planet!
Connecting with nature can relieve stress and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Gardening has been shown to improve alertness, reduce dementia, and regulate hormones- feel good hormones increase, and stress hormones decrease. Psychological benefits of gardening also come from the increased physical activity, connection to the community, and feelings of self-worth. There is also emerging researching that your makeup of gut microbes can influence your mental health, and digging in the dirt is a great way to increase the diversity of your microbiome!
April Gardening Agenda for New England
Wait to plant outside until the danger of frost has entirely passed. April is a great time to clear debris that built up over the winter from your garden plot. It’s also time to start seedlings inside! An egg carton is a great place to sprout seeds that can be transplanted into the ground after it’s warm enough.
Have any questions about starting your garden this year? Send us an email and our resident garden expert will get back to you.