Gardening is a fun activity that helps improve your mental and physical wellness! Many people find the act of caring for a living plant very relaxing and calming. It also helps release natural chemicals in your brain that can make you feel happy, more energetic, and put you in a better mood. Maintaining and caring for plants may give people a sense of responsibility, which can be very rewarding.
If you plant outdoors, you’ll be exposed to the sun, giving your skin some vitamin D and help maintain your body’s natural sleep cycle. No matter how big or small your garden is, the attention and care you give it is what makes the difference. This why gardening is great for your mental health, it allows you to focus and relax while working with your hands. Plus, it feels wonderful when you see how big and tall your plants grow. All thanks to your care and hard work!
Anyone can garden and you don’t need any experience to start. It can be a solo activity or something you do as a group. Although many believe that they need a backyard to grow plants, this is far from the truth. You can grow different plants like herbs, vegetables, beautiful flowering plants, or even shrubs, and small trees right in your living room or on your balcony. Another option is growing plants in a community garden which is a large area where several people garden on a shared piece of land. Community gardens are a fantastic way to meet new people and share gardening ideas and tips. Check for community gardens near you!
If you plant outdoors, you can select plants native to your region. This way you can help the local wildlife and use less water. Native plants also provide food and shelter for the animals in your community. Think of the plants you would like to grow and what you will need. Below you will find some useful links and tips.
Types of Gardening:
- Starting Simple: Planting beans is a very simple and accessible way to grow your first plant. If you would like to help birds and pollinators in your neighborhood, you can also plant sunflowers.
- Container Gardening: Learn about some plants that grow well in containers including a step-by-step guide on how to grow and maintain them.
- Urban Gardening: Learn about options for urban gardening.
- Community gardens: learn how to organize, manage and care for the plants with your community in this interesting chapter (pages 33 to 40), in the digital book Environmental Education in Latino Communities: Sharing Experiences (pages 27-33).
- Creating your own Garden for Local and Migratory Birds: Learn about how to create a garden that will help wild birds in your community.
Keeping Your Plants Healthy!
- Light for your Plants: Learn about the light your plants need.
- Water: Learn about how and when to water your plants! Find answers to your questions on the relationship between your plants and their water needs.
- Compost: Here you can learn how to make good quality soil so that your plants grow big and strong.
- Fact sheets about North American plants: Find the name of your plant (common or scientific name) on the list and download its fact sheet containing information about planting, light, watering, soil quality, dangers, and more.
What are you waiting for? One seed at a time you will plant a beautiful garden!
Written by Ashley Calderon and Julia Luna