Gardening Benefits and Risks
There are pros and cons of gardening that every gardener should know about. Unfortunately, most people interested in gardening only have a vague idea about the risks and benefits. Which often proves to be even more counterproductive.
This post will shed light on certain important facts that will help you reap the benefits of gardening while avoiding the risks altogether.
Pro: Relaxation and Fulfilment
Gardening provides you with the power to mold a bit of nature and create your own vision, which has been proven to be psychologically fulfilling, and capable of bringing about stress relief. To make flowers bloom, trees grow, And fruits ripen with your own hands is an instinctively blissful feeling, so powerful, that we use the metaphor, “fruits of your labor” to describe righteous joy itself. In simpler words, gardening is a fun and fulfilling stress buster!
Con: Failed Gardening Efforts Can be Disheartening
A dying garden is a depressing sight for most of us, and especially for the gardener. To fail after putting in so much effort is both common and very disheartening. The good news is that this feeling seldom lasts long and, by the time the next season comes around gardeners are usually ready to try again with better knowledge,
In fact, if you invest some time and energy into avoiding mistakes, gathering the correct information, and setting realistic expectations, you might be able to avoid the painful learning experience altogether.
Pro: Gardening Keeps You Fit
Gardening is not an easy hobby by any means. It requires knowledge, experience, and physical labor to succeed. Physical labor can be quite intensive at times as well, which is a good way to stay fit. Doctors and fitness experts always suggest choosing a form of exercise that appeals to you because that makes it easier to continue. If you like gardening, it won’t even feel like exercise to you.
The following precautions should be taken to avoid some of the possible negative effects of working in the sun.
- Always finish your gardening chores early in the morning, well before it can get too hot
- If you spend time gardening when the sun is already shining hot. Always keep the sessions short, hydrate yourself, and wear sunscreen
- If the mornings are not an option, do your gardening during the late afternoon to avoid the blazing heat
Con: Chemical Herbicides and Insecticides Can be Health Hazards
There is a difference between farming and gardening, and it is important that we don’t forget that. You don’t necessarily need to use carcinogenic weed killers and pesticides in your garden since there are natural ways to keep a private garden free of pests and weeds. For example, did you know that mulch nourishes the soil, prevents soil compaction, and even acts as an active, natural deterrent against weeds?
As far as dangerous insects such as aphids, spider mites, hornworms, thrips, Asian stinkbugs, flea beetles, cutworms. And the like are concerned, the following natural remedies are known to work without endangering humans or pets:
- Saltwater spray (2.5 tablespoons in 4 liters of water) is effective against most insects, larvae, and worms, but they will need to be sprayed directly
- Add seaweed to your mulch to keep the slugs and snails away from your plants
- Azadirachtin in neem oil is effective at both killing and repelling at least 50 different types of harmful insects
- Garlic water acts as a reliable insect repellent, but it is even more effective in killing fungal growths on plants
- Well-placed birdbaths and birdfeeders can attract wood-warblers, reed warblers, goldfinches, and other birds that will destroy pest populations
Finally, you should also consider making your garden snake-friendly! Strange and scary as that idea may sound, the likes of garter snakes, gopher snakes, and rat snakes are harmless to us but extremely beneficial for the garden, as well as the ecosystem around them. The nonvenomous kingsnake keeps us safe by eating rattlers. But they have had almost no record of biting humans, even when provoked.
Pro: Gardening Increases the Value of Your Property
A well-maintained backyard garden with blooming flowers and lush grass does not only make the exteriors look good. But also raises the commercial value of your property. People looking to buy a home are usually willing to pay extra for a property containing a well-maintained garden, rather than paying less for a property with an untended yard.
Gardening is not easy, it demands regular attention, and it can even turn out to be a costly hobby.
The pros far outweigh the cons, mainly because the problems can be easily avoided, while the advantages are worth the effort.
At the very least, you can always get started with potted plants before you build up enough confidence to start gardening.