Should I start a garden?

1 min read

Woman gardening

Gardening gets more fresh air, helps move your body, and allows you to enjoy nature. Learning and practicing gardening can also help promote exercise, improve mental health, decrease stress and even protect your memory. When picking up gardening, keep general safety precautions in mind, and research what plants will grow best in your area to make your gardening experience safe and thriving.


Gardening has a wide variety of benefits. 

Regular, safe sun exposure increases levels of Vitamin D, which can decrease the risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, dementia, and cancer. Additionally, Vitamin D can help to strengthen your bones and immune system to help keep you healthy and strong.

Gardening is also a fantastic way to exercise and improve hand-eye coordination. It involves a series of movements and activities that increase muscle strength and activity levels, boosting independence and mobility. Research has also shown that gardening can help preserve your memory. The critical thinking and physical activity required to plan and execute a garden have even been linked to protecting seniors from diseases such as dementia and Alzheimers.

Safety Tips:

It is vital to prioritize your safety when gardening. While the sun can help increase your Vitamin D levels, the powerful UV rays can also be damaging. To protect yourself from skin damage and sunburns, use sunscreen every day and wear hats and lightweight full coverage clothes for extra protection. Gloves and closed-toed shoes are also recommended to protect yourself, especially when using sharp tools. Listen to your body, take breaks when needed, move to shadier areas to get relief from the sun, and drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

What to Plant:

Know what season and climates different plants thrive in when deciding what to plant. For instance, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower flourish in the spring. In comparison, tomatoes and peppers grow better during the summertime. Plan your garden accordingly and decide what will work best for you.

If vegetables aren’t for you, low-maintenance flowers can brighten up a yard and thrive year-round. We recommend researching flowers native to your area. If you’re ready to get started, use this Native Plant Finder to help you decide what to grow.

Gardening promotes your physical and mental health while enjoying a new hobby. It is very important to stay safe while gardening by prioritizing sun protection, drinking lots of water, and wearing the proper clothes. Pick plants that will grow well in your region to keep your garden both low maintenance and rewarding. There is no wrong way to garden; whether you use a window box, your front yard, or a raised bed, getting active in nature and enjoying the sunshine is a great way to spend the day.

For more information on gardening and its benefits look at these resources:

Health Benefits of Gardening for Seniors

Seed, Soil, and Sun: Discovering the Many Healthful Benefits of Gardening

National Gardening Day

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