Did you know that gardening can not only provide you and your family with an abundance of fresh vegetables it also has great health benefits for your mind, body and spirit?
GARDENING IS GREAT FOR YOUR HEALTH
Being outside in the garden gives you great exposure to Vitamin D (also known as the sunshine vitamin). This in turn helps give your immune system a boost and helps increase the calcium in your body. Gardening is a great way to relax and decrease stress. Just 30 minutes gardening can lower the stress hormone cortisol in your blood. Believe it or not gardening is a great aerobic exercise. From pulling weeds to reaching for plants and tools it can be a workout. Plus it “can help with strength, stamina, and flexibility.”
KNOW YOUR ZONE BEFORE YOU PLANT
The first step is knowing when to start your garden. Planting to early in the season can be just as bad as plating things that do not grow well in your neck of the woods. The Urban Farmer breaks this down by state so that you know the perfect time to plant for your zone.
FIRST TIME GARDENERS MAY WANT TO START SMALL
Whether you want to turn a section of your backyard into a garden area, use raised garden beds or pots the key to having a successful garden is to plant with a plan. If you’re new to gardening it’s better to start off with a smaller garden so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Pots and container gardening are perfect for a novice gardener or anyone who doesn’t have a lot of room for a large garden.
EASIEST VEGGIES TO GROW IN YOUR GARDEN
Some vegetables are harder to grow than others. I have never had any luck with broccoli or cauliflower, but these 5 veggies have been a staple of my gardens for years and require the least amount of effort to grow: green beans, lettuce, green, peppers, jalapeño peppers and cucumbers.
TOO MUCH OF ANYTHING ISN’T GOOD. REMEMBER TO STAGGER, STAGGER, STAGGER
Grow vegetables you like to eat and try and stagger the seeds you plant so that they are all not ready for picking at the same time. Of course if you have too many veggies to eat you can always share with friends and neighbors and even ask your local food pantry if you can donate to them.
COMPANION PLANTING IS GOOD FOR YOUR GARDEN
Planting companion plants in your garden such as marigolds next to tomatoes can help keep insects away from your vegetables. This way you don’t have to use pesticides that could harm the beneficial insects such as parasitoid wasps and ladybug larva that “feed on common garden pests.” Not to mention flowers will help bring needed pollinator’s to your garden.