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By now it’s clear that the coronavirus pandemic has caused major change all across the world. The way we used to do things is gone, maybe forever. Many traits of the “new normal” don’t seem to be going away anytime soon, so it appears that some of the change we’ve seen is here to stay. Strange and interesting trends have emerged, as well as totally new ways of going about our typical daily routines.
Along with wearing masks everywhere, drinking Vitamin C quarantinis, and taking extra precautions when you go to the grocery store, another trend has emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic: starting a home garden. Home gardening has quickly become more popular than ever as people were forced to stay home to flatten the curve.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the home gardening trend and examine why gardening has become such a popular pastime during quarantine. We’ll also discuss tips for getting started and why gardening is such a healthy hobby. Read on to learn all about the benefits of planting an at-home garden.
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Pandemic garden trend: Why has home gardening become popular during the pandemic?
Gardening has experienced a major surge in popularity in recent months as the pandemic hit the world full-force. Worrying about a food shortage and other dire consequences of the pandemic is likely behind the desire to start a home garden and grow your own food.
An article in Reuters helps to explain the trend: “People around the world are turning to gardening as a soothing, family-friendly hobby that also eases concerns over food security as lockdowns slow the harvesting and distribution of some crops. Fruit and vegetable seed sales are jumping worldwide. … Furloughed workers and people working from home are also looking for activities to occupy their free time, after the cancellations of major sporting events and the closure of restaurants, bars and theaters. Parents too are turning to gardening as an outdoor activity to do with children stuck at home after schools shut.”
Best of all, gardening is easy and affordable enough that almost anyone can do it. At the end of the day, all you really need to grow plants is air, water, sunlight, and dirt. They’re all free! You can either buy gardening supplies and seeds or you can work with what you have. In fact, you can even start growing some plants from your kitchen scraps.
Another article, in the Richmond News, puts it this way: “Unlike many hobbies that require a lot of time and money to get started, gardening can be a low barrier activity … and even those who don’t have a vast amount of space to plant can hone a green thumb.”
With fear in the air and lots more time at home, people see gardening as a way to protect themselves and as a productive, health-boosting outlet for decreasing their stress levels and generating an extra supply of food for their families.
Tips for getting started on a quarantine garden at home
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Want to start your own garden at home? It’s easy and won’t cost you much money. In fact, you’ll likely replace your investment within your first crop or two of fruits, vegetables, and herbs! You’ll likely still have to buy items from the grocery store, but you can certainly cut down on how many trips you have to take and how much you have to buy each time if you’re growing some of your own food at home.
Remember that all you need to start a home garden are the basics that nature provides: soil, sunlight, air, water, and maybe a packet of seeds. Beyond that, gardening tools and supplies can just help to simplify your gardening process and make it more efficient. Visiting a store with a garden center, like Lowe’s, Walmart, or Home Depot, will also set you up with the right tools. You might want to purchase pots, seeds, shovels, enriched soil, or other special items to set you off on the right foot in your gardening journey.
If you’re a beginner and totally new to gardening, the best thing you can do is read up on some of the basics. Any information you might need for a garden can likely be found online, and any obstacles you encounter along your gardening journey likely have an explanation somewhere on the Internet. Refer to a gardening resource like the blog Bloomin Thyme to teach yourself gardening tips and learn how to handle common garden challenges and solutions.
Need more help? Thanks to so much of the world going virtual, there are lots of online gardening classes available now! Many of these online courses are free, though you can invest in a paid class if you’re ready to up your game to the next level.
Joining a gardening Facebook group is another good idea for tips, tricks, and connecting with a helpful community as you embark upon a new life as a home gardener.
As you get better and better at growing, you might even be inspired to start a community garden along with your neighbors. Caring for a garden together can be a safe and unique way to unite with others around you and supplement food for all with just a little input from everyone. After all, many hands make light work. A community garden can be a very enriching experience and an inspiring neighborhood activity that improves the quality of life for all.
Best plants to grow in a home garden
You can grow anything you want in your home garden, but what you choose to plant should depend on the weather and seasons where you live, your home and yard space, and your tastes and preferences. You might want to plant fruits, vegetables, herbs, potatoes, beans, flowers, or all of the above. Start with a small plot and then expand out from there as you learn the ropes and get the hang of gardening.
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Some of the most popular plants for home gardens include lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, peppers, cabbage, beets, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, spinach, and onions. Strawberries are another fun, easy, and delicious crop to add to your home garden plot, and you can always use fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, and thyme to flavor your delicious home-cooked meals. Having a diverse array of plants and delicious foods popping up keeps life in the garden exciting! Many gardeners also love to add marigolds to their garden, which discourage pests and bugs, for a pop of happy color.
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Is gardening a healthy hobby? Gardening boosts your wellbeing
As far as healthy hobbies go, you can’t ask for a much better activity than gardening. Gardening is a mild to moderate aerobic exercise that requires low-impact physical strain, and you can go at your own pace. The plants won’t outrun you!
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Best of all, gardening doesn’t just benefit your physical health. It improves your mental health, too. Those who are depressed and taking antidepressant medications could benefit from the happiness boost that gardening is known to offer. There aren’t too many sad or dejected gardeners out there. Cultivating and nurturing plants gives you something to tend to, and even a sense of purpose while you’re in quarantine and your regular schedule is disrupted.
It’s a rewarding and fulfilling activity that can be inspiring, beautiful, and give you something to look forward to. There’s nothing like the sense of pride and accomplishment you feel when you’re harvesting fruits, herbs, or vegetables that you grew yourself! And these healthy treats taste delicious, too.
An article in Psychology Today states, “Recent studies suggest that daily contact with nature has a long-lasting and deep impact on health, including on depression and anxiety symptoms. … Gardening is arguably one of the most common ways of interacting with nature and indeed is enjoyed as a popular pastime in many countries. … Previous studies have shown that gardening can increase people’s life satisfaction, vigor, psychological wellbeing, sense of community, and cognitive function. Reductions in stress, anger, fatigue, and depression and anxiety symptoms have also been documented. … These studies showed that even short-time (several hours) exercise in gardens can provide an instantaneous beneficial influence on health (e.g. reductions in depression and anxiety symptoms), although it is unknown how long the positive outcomes last after gardening.”
Gardening is an easy, affordable hobby that only serves to improve your life and health. Why not start your own home garden today? Take up the hobby with a friend to keep tabs on each other’s progress.
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