Planting a Healthy Garden This Spring: Tips for Beginners

A woman gardening.

Spring is the perfect time for planting a healthy garden that will yield fresh produce and herbs for your family. There’s nothing quite like eating a ripe, juicy tomato or crunchy salad greens from your own backyard. Why is home gardening so appealing, and how can you get started if you’re not already a regular gardener?

Benefits of Gardening

These are just some of the many ways gardening can do wonders for your wellbeing.

Improves Your Mental Health

A lot of pride and satisfaction comes from planting a successful garden. Think of how you might feel when you show your prized tomato to a neighbor or put dinner on the table that was grown from your own yard. Working in a garden can build self-esteem, reduce stress and make you happy – and it’s a great way to take your mind off any troubles.

Provides Exercise

Garden is work! Your steps increase and you exert energy while shoveling, hoeing and digging. All of this physical activity can add up quickly, and you’ll find yourself strengthening muscles you may have not been previously using.

Provides Vitamin D

Sunlight naturally provides vitamin D, which increases calcium levels and benefits your bones and immune system. Having the sun on your face can also improve your mood. While you’re soaking it up, remember to wear sunscreen to protect your skin.

Nutrition Tips for Planting a Healthy Garden

Reaping the health benefits of your own garden brings with it a sense of accomplishment.

  • Add a fresh salad to your evening meal with homegrown greens and toppings like tomatoes, carrots, onions and radishes.
  • Lean on the vegetables in your garden to create the perfect dinner side dish. Fresh veggies pack more nutrition than fried foods.
  • Grow your own herbs to season your dishes rather than always having to buy some from the supermarket.
  • Preserve your produce by canning, drying or freezing it so you can enjoy it all year long.
  • Turn your extra vegetables into a savory soup and freeze the leftovers for future use.
  • Growing berries? Use them in oatmeal, yogurt, salads and smoothies.

Getting Started with Gardening

If you’re new to gardening, getting started can feel overwhelming, but focus on taking it step by step. Patience is key to reaping a bountiful garden.

  • Decide where to plant by finding the best plot of land to use. Find a space that gets some sun (at least six hours) and is close to a water source for easy access.
  • Use pots if planting an in-ground garden is too overwhelming. This is an especially great option if you are using your porch and don’t have a yard. You can also put a few small pots of herbs in your kitchen windowsill.
  • Take time to plan your garden out. First, make sure you plant something you actually like and will eat. You should also consider the difficulty level of what you want to plant. Fruits are easier for more advanced gardeners, so if you’re new to gardening, you may want to start with vegetables and herbs.
  • Consider starting indoors with vegetable seeds like tomatoes, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. This will give you a jump start on planting while the weather is cold!

Take a leap this spring and start a garden of your own!


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