Why You Should Start a Garden This Year

Explore the incredible benefits of cultivating your own vegetable garden. From enjoying the freshest produce to saving money and reducing your carbon footprint, discover all the reasons why you should start a garden this year.

If you would have told me ten years ago that I would become an avid gardener, growing pounds and pounds of fresh produce every year while also trying my best to convince others to do the same, I would have called you crazy!

Ten years ago, I couldn’t even keep a simple pothos plant alive. But that is exactly what happened.

This year marks my eighth year of gardening. What started as just a tiny corner in the backyard has grown to over 1000 square feet of gardening space.

Over the years, I have become plant-obsessed. Digging in the dirt and growing my own food is one of my absolute favorite things to do!

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Woman standing in the garden with seeds in her hand.

Why You Should Start a Garden This Year

There are so many amazing benefits to having a backyard garden, and I wanted to share just a few in hopes of inspiring you to start one this year.

So here are a few reasons why you should start a garden this year!

Homegrown Food Tastes Better

Anyone who has ever tasted a just-picked strawberry or tomato will tell you that it is far more delicious than anything you will find at the grocery store.

Grocery store tomatoes can be anywhere from 2-6 weeks old. And tomatoes are actually one of the freshest types of produce that you will find at the grocery store.

Other fruits and vegetables are stored even longer than tomatoes before reaching the grocery store shelves.

Freshness has a significant effect on flavor. The fresher it is, the yummier it tastes. And you can’t get any fresher than fresh-picked produce from your own backyard.

So, if you have kids who are super picky about eating fruits and veggies, or maybe you are the picky one, try some homegrown produce. I promise you, you will taste the difference.

Homegrown Food is Better Quality

Most of the produce sold in grocery stores is sprayed with pesticides. Even after washing, most of that pesticide remains on the produce.

Every few years, scientists from the CDC measure the number of pesticides and other chemicals found in Americans’ bodies. In the most recent study, close to 44 different pesticides were found, including DDT breakdown products, even though the chemical hasn’t been widely used in the United States since 1972!

Many of these chemicals have been linked to learning disabilities, reproductive issues, congenital disabilities, cancer, and more.

When you grow your food at home, you have complete control over the products used in your garden. You don’t have to worry about your food being sprayed with dangerous chemicals.

You Can Grow Food You Can’t Get at the Grocery Store

This may sound really dumb, or maybe you can relate, but when I first started gardening, I had no clue that yellow tomatoes or purple carrots existed.

I always thought tomatoes were only red and carrots were only orange because that is all I saw at the grocery store.

Nowadays you can find a little more variety of produce at the grocery store thanks to the growing demand for heirloom and organic produce.

But there is still a whole other world of fruits and vegetables that don’t get the attention they deserve.

This year, we are growing golden zucchini and lemon squash, which I had never heard of or seen at the grocery store before. We’re also growing yellow tomatoes, white tomatoes, purple tomatoes, orange tomatoes, and many other varieties.

So my point is, when you grow your own food, you have the opportunity to eat food you might otherwise not have known existed.

My hands-down favorite place to buy heirloom seeds is Baker Creek Seed Company.

Gardening is Good for your Mental Health

You probably already know that the sun is the best source of hormone D. Did you know vitamin D is actually a hormone, not a vitamin?

Working in the garden is a fun, productive way to get the hormone D your body needs.

Hormone D can help to regulate your mood and ward off depression.

Read this post – The Power Of The Sun: Healing Benefits Of Sunlight – to learn all about the other amazing healing benefits of the sun.

Gardening is also a great way to distract yourself from worries or stress. A 2010 study confirmed the stress-relieving effects of gardening. Click here to check out the study.

Gardening is Great Exercise

Gardening involves a lot of physical labor. Weeding, digging, pruning, and raking are all great calorie burners.

Gardening is a great way to move your body, especially if you prefer something other than the gym or traditional workout methods.

Gardening Can Help You Save Money

There are varying opinions regarding whether or not gardening actually saves you money. Gardening can cost you a lot of money if you decide to go the raised bed route or buy plant starts instead of growing your plants from seed.

But if you grow from seed and stick your plants straight into the ground rather than using beds, according to my math, you can save a lot of money.

For example, the average cost of organic heirloom tomatoes in my area is $4 a pound. A tomato plant produces an average of 10 pounds of tomatoes, so if I plant 10, I could potentially harvest up to 100 pounds of tomatoes.

Purchasing 100 pounds of heirloom tomatoes from the grocery store would cost me around $400! Of course, you must factor in the cost of the seeds, water, and other items needed to help grow the plants.

But even after you add up your total gardening expenses, I guarantee it will be nowhere near $400. So I truly believe you can save a ton of money gardening.

If you don’t care about heirloom or organic tomatoes, the cost difference between purchasing them from the grocery store and growing your own isn’t going to be quite as significant.

However, if you are not interested in growing heirlooms or organic produce, you are missing out on some of the best benefits of growing your own food.

Also, it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention the time investment because, like they say, time is money. Gardening can take a lot of your time. Especially at the beginning of the season and during harvest time.

Some people would rather spend that time working to make money and then use that money to help buy better quality produce at the grocery store. I totally understand, and it definitely makes sense.

But I view the work involved with gardening a little differently. I actually don’t consider it work at all.

When I’m in the garden, I get sunshine and nurture my mental health (which I always need desperately). I get exercise, and it’s also where my husband and I reconnect, talk, and hang out.

So I would much rather be out in the garden growing food than working extra hours to make money to buy food.

But with all that being said, not all types of plants will be a giant money saver. Some plants require a lot of time and attention and only produce a little. Plants like that may not be worth growing if your main goal is to save money.

But if your goal is to save money, I highly recommend growing tomatoes, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, and beans. These plants usually produce a ton of food without requiring a lot of work or time.

Gardening Will Help You Eat Healthier

Everyone knows fruits and veggies are so good for your body.

When you grow your own food, you never want your hard work to go to waste (plus homegrown food is super yummy, too), so you usually eat all of the fruits and veggies you grow, which, of course, can be extremely beneficial to your health.

And if you grow organically, you avoid all the nasty herbicides and insecticides used to grow most of the produce at the grocery store, which is even better for your health.

Everyone Should Know How To Grow Food

Food is essential for life. We need food to live. But we have really lost our way as humans when it comes to food, especially in America.

So many kids think food comes from the grocery store. They have no clue how food is grown.

There is just something so amazing about how one teeny tiny tomato seed can produce a giant plant that can then grow pounds and pounds of tomatoes.

Also, each tomato that the plant produces has hundreds of seeds inside that can grow a hundred more tomato plants.

I think that is so cool!

And I personally believe that knowing how to grow food is one of the most important things to learn and to pass on to our children.

Gardening and growing food isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it’s important to learn at least how to do it. You may never be in a situation where you need to grow your own food, but if you ever do end up in one and you don’t know how you’re in trouble!

So, I truly believe learning how to grow food is one of the most important things you can learn to do in life!

Well, I hope I’ve convinced you to start a garden this year. As you can see, growing your own food has so many incredible benefits. Gardening is one of the most life-giving, soul-nourishing things you can do!

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