5 Reasons We Think Everyone Should Grow a Garden

Beginner Gardening

At Sow Right Seeds, we love gardening for so many reasons. We enjoy watching the miracle of seeds germinating, watching plants grow, nurturing them, and tasting the harvest. But there are also many other reasons to garden that just may surprise you!

Here are some of our favorite benefits of gardening.

#1 Grow a Garden for Unmatched Taste and Variety.


In our opinion, there is no comparison in taste to homegrown vegetables and herbs. It’s so disappointing when you put effort into preparing a meal with healthy vegetables only to have a lackluster taste. What’s the point of eating healthy if it doesn’t taste good?



hand holding garden grown tomatoes

Many people think they don’t like vegetables because they’ve never eaten a truly fresh vegetable. Instead, they’ve eaten one packaged in plastic and shipped across the country. Then it sat in a warehouse where it was pumped with ethylene to ripen chemically. 


Fruits and vegetables develop their best flavor when they are allowed to ripen fully on the vine. Part of the intense flavor of homegrown vegetables is the freshness. Unfortunately, studies show that fruits and vegetables start deteriorating as soon as they are picked.


If you have an extended shipping time between you and your food, there can be flavor loss and nutritional loss. Over time, commercially grown food has been narrowed down to the varieties that will ship well. Not necessarily the ones that taste best.


You won’t find a wide array of heirloom vegetables at the grocery store. This is especially true with tomatoes. Just take a look at all the variety available when growing from seed. Also, some of the most intense flavor differences between garden-grown and store-bought is experienced with tomatoes. If you’ve never eaten a tomato ripened in a garden, you are missing out on the authentic flavor of the food.


Growing from seed allows you to grow exotic or rare vegetables you would never find in the store. For example, you may only find one or two kinds of cucumbers in the produce department, but there are so many unique varieties out there! Have you ever tried a Lemon Cucumber Jericho Lettuce? Or, Blue Hopi Corn, or Sweet Chocolate Peppers? These are just a few of the wonderful heirloom varieties available when planting from seed.



#2 Grow a Garden to Cut Your Grocery Bill.


You can save a lot of money by growing your own vegetables. While we may joke about growing a $100 watermelon, gardening is a great way to eat delicious healthy food for a lot less. Any upfront costs you have to set up a gardening spot will be recouped over time. For example, you could purchase one butternut squash for about the same price as a packet of seeds. But each seed has the potential to produce multiple squashes. Your savings will add up in the fall when you harvest lots of butternut squash from each plant.



Tomatoes, along with lettuce, kale, and other leafy greens, are much more economical to grow than purchasing from the grocery store. The amount of tomatoes you can get from one plant is many pounds more than you could buy for the price of one seed packet. And again, there’s absolutely no comparison in taste.


Fresh organic herbs are another place to save money. Growing your own herbs is inexpensive and will give you convenient access to the flavors you enjoy. Growing perennial herbs will increase your savings even more because they come back every year.



There are also many ways to preserve your harvest to continue the cost savings of growing a garden, such as canning and freezing so you can enjoy your produce in the off-season.


#3 Grow a Garden To Become More Self-Sufficient.


With all the uncertainty we’ve been through in the last few years, it’s comforting to have the ability to provide for your most basic needs. Being able to supply food for yourself and your family has long been a reason for home and community gardens. Of course, there is a learning curve to gardening, but it’s also fun and rewarding. Gardening can be a hobby or a way of life. It can be as big or as small as you want it to be. 


Making your own salsa, pickles, sauces, and more is delicious and makes you more self-sufficient and prepared. And being self-sufficient means you can share what you have. When your garden has an abundance, you can always share your harvest with neighbors or a local food bank, or preserve your harvest by canning, dehydrating, or freezing your surplus to use later.



#4 Grow a Garden to Benefit the Environment.


Both vegetable and flower gardens do a lot to benefit nature. Growing herbs, vegetables, and flowers improves the habitat for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators and beneficial insects. A beautifully green lawn takes a lot of maintenance and does little to benefit nature. But a flower garden full of heirloom varieties will improve the habitat for our most important pollinators while creating a beautiful landscape as well.



cabbage fresh from the garden

Once you start gardening, you’ll notice the natural world in a new way. For example, you’ll discover that you have a ready use for compost with a garden, which will change how you approach “yard waste.” And sustainable gardening methods, like utilizing compost as a fertilizer, will improve the soil without adding more harmful chemicals, which benefits our health and the rest of our natural world.


When you grow and harvest your own produce, you will reduce carbon emissions from packaging and transportation, reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides, and improve the diversity of plants in our world.


#5 Grow a Garden to Become Healthier


Along with all the other benefits, gardening has a positive impact on our physical and mental health. Studies show that spending time in nature contributes to a greater sense of well-being. Gardening adds another layer as a sensory experience while interacting with the natural world.


Gardening can also increase levels of physical exercise and increase vitamin D from sunshine. This, in turn, can improve mental and physical health. 


Another health benefit of gardening is improved nutrition. We know that eating more vegetables is linked to better physical health, and growing a garden gives you a variety of vegetables to eat. With improved taste and ready availability, most people increase their vegetable consumption when they grow a garden.


Eating fresh is always better for your health. Growing your own food allows you to harvest and eat your produce when it is most nutritious. Fresh off the vine or out of the ground is when the vegetables will be at their freshest and have the most vitamins and minerals.


Growing your own food allows you to determine what to grow and how to grow it. By having an organic garden, you will enjoy food without pesticides and contamination, which is better for your overall health.



Why Growing a Garden Will Change How You Eat

When you grow a garden, you may notice your meal planning changes. Instead of trying to decide what you want to eat each day, you will look at what is ripe in your garden and plan a recipe or menu around that, which can lead to a healthier and more varied diet.

zucchini growing in the ground

Plus, children who plant and pick their own vegetables are more likely to eat them. Let your children pick out colorful and unique vegetables to grow. For example, growing interesting varieties such as purple beans that turn green when cooked adds an element of surprise that kids love and will increase their interest in eating food that’s good for them (and you!). 


Another healthy benefit of gardening is getting to know your neighbors and making friends as you share your harvest or donate your abundance to food pantries, shelters, and ministries.

 

These are just some of the benefits of gardening. What things will you notice and appreciate as you grow a garden?


Happy Planting!



Written by Beverly Laudie