Why Everyone Needs to Garden in 2021
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t always rely on the things that we’re comfortable with. I knew as soon as toilet paper ran out in March that the supply chain was stretched thin and that other things that we were used to would become scarce. Now, I’m no doomsday prepper. I don’t believe we have to hoard loads of peanut butter and homemade chicken soup to prepare for an impending apocalypse. However, I do believe that everyone needs to be growing something. Whether it’s hard-to-find herbs for your food, plants that create a better air quality in your home, or fruits and veggies to supplement your grocery bill, gardening your own goods can help you in more ways than one.
Obviously, gardening can give you direct access to fresh fruits and vegetables. But there are several other things I’ve found gardening to be good for:
Gardening is a great stress reliever. I originally started gardening because sheltering at home in 2020 made me a little ‘stir crazy’. I find that getting my hands dirty helps to distract me from some of the stressors of life, and to be in control of my garden helps when life around me seems a little out of sorts.
Gardening can get you access to plants or food that aren’t native to your area. Is there something that you’ve been wanting to try that isn’t found in your area? If you’ve done your plant research and think that it can be grown in your conditions, gardening can provide you direct access to it.
Gardening ensures that you know what is going into your food or your home. One of the things that I love about my garden is that I know the conditions I’m growing in. Of course, there’s some margin of error but, generally, I know what dirt I use, what compost I use, what containers I plant in and what fertilizes my plants. I know what homemade remedies I use for bugs and how I treat things like blight. So I feel confident in the fruits and vegetables that I grow and eat because I’m confident in the plant's growing conditions.
Gardening provides you with light exercise and fresh air. I was talking to my teenage son the other day because since we’ve been at home and he’s been doing virtual learning, he hasn’t wanted to go outside. So guess what? I made him get up, go outside, and rake leaves. After he’d finished about half the yard, I went out to help him and immediately noticed how his mood had improved. He was getting blood flowing, getting fresh air, and was working muscles that he hadn’t worked in a while. Gardening is a fun way to sneak some much needed exercise when jumping on a new workout routine isn’t immediately possible.
Gardening gives you a built in way to structure your day. During my gardening seasons, I wake up early to water, I check my plants mid-day (when I’m home), then I check/water them in the evening (depending on the weather). Everything else kind of revolves around that, but it created a structure in my daily routine, when the pandemic was telling me to sleep in and stay in pajamas all day. Well, I still stay in pajamas all day, but that’s another story.
Are you starting a garden for the first time? Want some tips on how to get it going? Read our Starting Your Garden series for your gardening adventure!