The nationwide “stay at home” order may have most of us feeling stuck at home, but that doesn’t mean we’re indoors. Despite less than ideal circumstances, many are making the most of their time by hitting nurseries and garden departments nationwide to focus on their homes and yards.
And those who are responsible for the higher than usual lawn and garden sales across the country may be on to something more than increasing their home’s value (other than the fact that April is also National Lawn & Garden Month). Here are the top 3 reasons why you should consider starting a garden if you haven’t already.
1. Gardening does wonders for mental health
There is growing evidence to suggest that gardening has the ability to improve our mental health – and what could be more necessary during a time where many of us are forced to stay home? Being outside in the fresh air and especially the sunlight can also help combat feelings of depression and anxiety.
Additionally, people who work in gardens are shown to have the ability to focus more easily and detach from emotional pain. Gardening can also reduce cortisol levels in the body which alleviates stress (like say, being stuck with family for an indeterminate amount of time.)
Caring for and nurturing something other than yourself while having the ability to see the results of our hard work can also improve feelings of self-confidence and perseverance. With benefits like these, it’s no wonder people are turning to gardening during such an unpredictable time in our nation’s history.
2. Having a garden creates a positive environmental impact
Although circumstances are unfavorable, if there is one positive thing that can be said about having most of the world population stay at home it’s that it has been shown to dramatically decrease air pollution in many parts of the world.
Satellite images released by NASA and the European Space Agency show and especially significant drop in nitrogen dioxide and other pollutants in China and similar findings have been recorded in nearly every major metro area in the US since the lock down. Not only has the lock down been responsible for reducing carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and other harmful air pollutants, it has also increased the amount of ozone in the atmosphere.
Likewise, because plants use carbon dioxide to produce oxygen, gardening only increases the quality of air in our environment while decreasing the amount of pollutants. Additionally, depending on what you decide to grow, your garden can help sustain wildlife and reduce soil erosion that would otherwise end up in streams, roads and storm drains.
3. Vegetable gardens promote self-sustainability
Along with flowers and trees, many are taking this time to invest in creating their own vegetable gardens – while others are even contributing to community victory gardens in their local areas to alleviate strain on food supply. A secondary benefit aside from learning a new trade and feeling the empowerment of growing your own sustenance is that you’re also choosing to reduce your carbon footprint. This is because the more food you’re able to produce on your own, the less food needs to be transported from one area to another.
You can also be sure that your homegrown bounty flourishes without the use of harsh, commercial chemicals or synthetic fertilizers that might otherwise negatively affect you and the environment. As a secondary benefit, you may find that growing food in your own yard makes it taste purer without all the extras. And of course, a final pro to growing your own food is the self-confidence in knowing you have the ability to provide for your family despite global concerns over health and safety.
These are just three reasons why you should consider starting your own garden. Even if you can’t start your own just yet, find out if you have a local community garden. As long as you practice social distancing, this can be a great way to facilitate community and teamwork during this difficult time in so many of our lives.
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