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The advantages of home gardening

Gardening Ghana S009f.jfif some people tend to associate gardening with bored older folks

Thu, 11 Feb 2021 Source: Cyril Tetteh

The recent lockdown forced us to dig deep into ourselves, find strengths that we thought we didn’t have, find new ways of doing things that we never thought we could do and as the saying goes, in adversity man finds himself.

Well, in lockdown we found out that we could put to use that small extra space in the backyard or those empty containers which compete for space to grow our own food. The benefits surprisingly go beyond that fresh smell or ripe vegetable; there are amazing health and financial rewards too... Let’s remind ourselves why we all need to get that garden in place.

Gardens add to property value

Are you putting up your property on the market to rent or sell? Guess what; it has been proven that a home adorned with fresh and sweet smelling flowers or gardens with vegetables growing has a positive psychological effect on the outlook of the prospective home hunter’s senses.

A home with greenery and gardens adds extra value to the property in the home hunter’s mind, making him or her more receptive to asking price. So, if you want a quick deal on that property of yours, you know what to do, get out there and get some seedlings.

Source of a fun workout

For some reason, people tend to associate gardening with bored older folks. Well think again, if you have to drag yourself out of bed for those few laps or go to gym grudgingly, gardening provides a fun way out to work out without focusing on the physical exertions.

The entire process of carrying bags of mulch, pushing a wheelbarrow, hoes, picking weeds, planting seeds, shoveling manure, moving pots etc. can lead to you even shedding as much as 330 calories per hour!. See, right there, you have a whole new perspective on gardening. Step in the sun and come out fitter.

Vitamin D Boost

More than ever, in these times of the Pandemic, we need vitamin D more than ever as recommended by medical experts. According to studies, when you’re outdoors and your skin is exposed to the sun, it prompts your body to produce vitamin D.

Note that it is not the sun itself that is giving you vitamin D, so please don’t go sitting out for long hours in the sun trying to avoid COVID-19. Just get some useful activity like gardening and kill 2 birds with one seedling. This vitamin also helps your body absorb calcium, a mineral essential for bone formation.

Control over what you eat

Gardening gives you complete control over the chemicals and products used during the food growing process. Lately, there has been a whole storm created over genetically modified (GM) foods which are foods derived from organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally.

Growing your own food gives you access to organic vegetables and fruits that are healthier for your body hence making your body less susceptible to diseases. You are also able to make some financial savings as organic produce typically costs more at the grocery store. Another great plus for home gardening is that, the produce retains more nutrients when consumed shortly after harvesting, making your homegrown vegetables a healthier option.

Positive environmental impact

According to studies, “garden provides the opportunity to make a positive environmental impact. A compost pile allows you to recycle certain kitchen and yard waste products into a nutrient-rich additive for the garden. This reduces the waste you produce and provides natural fertilizer for your plants.

If you choose to avoid or limit chemical use, you reduce pollution and groundwater contamination from your gardening activities. Garden plants often help reduce erosion by holding the soil in place. Mulching around plants in your home garden further reduces erosion and runoff”

So you see, you have more reasons than one to get out into the sun and get your hands dirty, trust me the benefits far outweigh the physical exertion. Shall we? ready? Soil, seedling, sun!

Columnist: Cyril Tetteh