How Gardening Can Help Your Mental Health
Some of the health benefits to gardening is almost just common sense, because if you have more fruits and vegetables growing in your back yard, you are more inclined to start eating more healthy.
However, when you harvest a crop such as a pepper, tomato or aubergine in your garden at the time it is supposed to be picked, you know exactly that you are getting the complete nutritional values. Compare this to how things are done in our standard supermarkets where you are often being fooled into how ripe your food is and how nutritious they actually are, can leave us feeling cheated.
When you tend your garden, it is perhaps the most stress free activity you can possibly do. It can help calm you down and become focused. For many people, a garden is the nearest they get to the natural world thanks to beautiful visiting garden wildlife – it can be a truly magical experience.
How can gardening improve mental & physical health?
Research has found time and time again that nature and plants benefit our physical and mental health. From lowering blood pressure, reducing illness, to decreasing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
A lot of this has to do with the stress hormone cortisol, which is our flight or fight response. Researchers showed that only 30 mins of sitting or walking anywhere outside where participants felt they were interacting with nature significantly lowered the stress hormone levels (Mary Carol Hunter, Frontiers in Psychology, 2019).
Gardening has been shown to improve memory, cognitive abilities, task initiation, language skills and social skills. Furthermore, people with Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s Disease can mentally thrive in the garden.
People known to have dementia that have lost the ability to talk, for whatever reason they don’t loose their understanding that they have with nature, and they can still perform garden tasks and their mind still works that way. Nature still always makes sense.
At Greenhouse Sensation, we think this is such a great way for people not to feel isolated. Gardening should be something that is implemented more heavily in nursing homes, hospitals, communities and even be taught in schools.
The charity, Help for Heroes, who do a lot of work for wounded soldiers and their families, do a lot of gardening and they find that really helps from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Britains much-loved gardener Monty Don, has been quoted saying “there is no question that gardening helps mental health – it’s a healing process”.
The satisfaction you get from gardening
There are things that happen when you garden. You make a commitment when you sow a seed into the ground, you make a vow to take care of your plant, and before its all said and done, something satisfying happens and it completes you.
By the time you have harvested your crop you have given yourself self-respect, self-worth and value, whilst at the same time, working with nature and learning more about gardening.
Gardening answers a whole lot of things. It makes us healthier, because we are taking care of ourselves, its better for the environment as we are not producing all these emissions to get something as simple as a tomato that we can grow in a self-watering planter.
Use a self-watering planter to grow your own food
Some vegetables like chillies and peppers are fussy about watering, which is why you get the frequency of watering correct - otherwise, you're opening yourself up to problems like blossom end rot or root rot. A self-watering planter removes the stress of worrying how often to water vegetable plants.
Most self-watering pots use a reservoir which you fill with water and nutrients, which allows you to water plants less frequently. The top section will be for the plant and growing medium, with a bottom section for water and nutrients.
In some self-watering planters, such as our Oxypot, the roots may hang down into the nutrient solution.
We hope that this article has provided you with a new found love of gardening and how important it can be on your life. Engaging with plants is incredibly beneficial, and its more than just growing your own food, its about learning a sense of survival and learning a part of nature and more importantly yourself.
Check out our website where you can find a brilliant range of award-winning gardening and growing essentials made by our horticulture experts in Great Britain.