Home gardens take on many forms, from a few plants in containers to large garden plots in the backyard. Beyond the reward of homegrown produce, the benefits of gardening as a hobby include health, environmental and enjoyment advantages for the gardener. The benefits of a home garden make the physical exertion and costs of gardening worth the effort.
Easy Access to Produce
A home garden gives you instant access to fresh produce, so that you’re not forced to visit the grocery store or farmers market to find it. You save time and money on gasoline rather than driving somewhere else to buy your produce. Depending on the type of vegetables you plant, you’ll also save money on the food itself.
Growing vegetables at home does cost money on seeds and supplies, such as fertilizer, but a single plant often produces lots of produce, so that you often save money by growing your own. A backyard garden opens up new flavoring options or recipes. For example, if you feel like serving salsa but don’t have a jar on hand, you can use tomatoes, peppers and onions from your garden to make your own.https://smartasset.com/embed/depositrates?
Among the benefits of gardening for students and kids, The University of Vermont notes that those who grow their own food tend to eat more fresh produce. Having a hand in the production of fruits and vegetables increases the likelihood that kids will experiment with new foods.
Control over Inputs
Growing your own food gives you complete control over the chemicals and products used during the growing process. Organic produce typically costs more at the grocery store, but you can grow your own organic fruits and vegetables at home by skipping the chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
A home garden allows you to pick the produce when it is ripe, unlike produce at the store that is often harvested before it is fully ripe. The flavor and quality of the freshly picked produce from a home garden is superior to store-bought produce with unknown chemicals that was likely picked several days or weeks before being sold. The produce retains more nutrients when consumed shortly after harvesting, making your homegrown vegetables a healthier option.
Less Environmental Impact
A garden provides the opportunity to make a positive environmental impact. A compost pile allows you to recycle certain kitchen and yard waste products into a nutrient-rich additive for the garden. This reduces the waste you produce and provides natural fertilizer for your plants.
If you choose to avoid or limit chemical use, you reduce pollution and groundwater contamination from your gardening activities. Garden plants often help reduce erosion by holding the soil in place. Mulching around plants in your home garden further reduces erosion and runoff.
The importance of gardening at home extends beyond human health and diets. Planting native species and plants that provide food and shelter for wildlife helps support the birds and other animals that live among us, notes PennState Extension.
Benefits of Gardening as Hobby
For many homeowners, planting a garden provides enjoyment. Watching your garden go from bare ground to ripe produce or beautiful plants offers a sense of satisfaction. Some gardeners find the activity relaxing and stress-relieving, for overall mental health benefits.
Caring for the plants gives the entire family a chance to work together. If you have neighbors who also garden, the activity sometimes offers social interaction. Gardening also offers a form of moderate outdoor exercise.