Have you always wanted to start a backyard garden? I encourage you to do it this year.
Make use of whatever space you have, whether it’s an area for a raised bed garden or a few small pots on your back porch.
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It takes sunlight, good compost, water and giving the plants space.
If you get them all right, you’ll have an abundance of vegetables and greens!
Here are my top 7 reasons why everyone should build a backyard garden:
1. Lawns are Fruitless
Let’s be honest, the main reasons to have grass are for your kids to play and your dog to poop.
Other than that, it’s no fun to mow/trim bi-weekly throughout the summer. There is minimal reward.
Instead, turn sections of your lawn into a vegetable garden, especially those areas with full sun.
I contained using 4′ x 8′ raised garden beds.
You don’t need to dig. Lay down cardboard over the grass and top with compost.
If it’s thick enough, you can plant immediately!
2. Fresh Picked Food
Most of the food you eat from a large grocery store is picked before it’s ripe.
Then it travels hundreds of miles (or overseas) to reach you.
These foods don’t contain the same nutrition as the day they are harvested.
Plus it contributes to our carbon footprint when we buy foods that are transported by diesel trucks.
With your garden, you can walk outside and use food that was alive 30 minutes ago. It tastes better, too.
Organic food can be expensive, so why not grow it yourself?
3. Lower Your Stress
Gardening is calming.
You get to watch something grow and nurture it along its life cycle (then eat it).
There are bound to be frustrating moments, like when bugs destroy your seedlings or wind gusts topple your tomato plants.
But maintaining your garden provides overall relaxation away from your daily grind connected to your phone.
This study shows that there is a link between lower perceived stress and spending time in a “green” environment within an urban neighborhood.
4. Share with Friends & Family
If things go well in your garden, some plants will produce more than you can possibly eat.
The picture above was a small fraction of the hot peppers I got this past season.
It will make you feel good knowing you can provide your friends and family with homegrown vegetables that are healthy.
Sharing is easy when you pick 6 lbs of cucumbers everyday for a week straight!
5. Connect with Nature
Spending time immersed in nature is an easy way to realize that the troubles you face mean nothing in the grand scheme of life.
You’ll come to learn about plants, bugs, weather, temperature, moisture and much more.
Dirt on your hands is a good thing.
We are indoors too much, and a garden is the perfect excuse to get outside everyday.
6. Daily Exercise
Gardening isn’t intense, but it does require you to stay flexible and active.
Building my raised bed garden along with landscaping provided short-term goals each and every day that would make future maintenance easier.
When I adopted the keto diet, the only exercise I did in those first 6 months was yard work.
7. Less Waste
Eating more fresh food leaves you with organic waste that can be composted instead of thrown out.
Adding this back to your garden keeps your dirt nutrient rich and healthy for years to come.
The easiest way to create compost is mix dry leaves with grass clippings, along with food scraps.
It takes the right combination and daily mixing to heat up to 150°F which kills weed seeds and turns into compost faster.
However, if you choose the lazy method and let it sit over time, it’ll still slowly break down.
Get to your local nursery or garden supply store and see what they have available so you can grow food today!