Summer Gardening

A plateful of healthy, homegrown veggies is a welcome part of any diet. And it’s no surprise that loading up on fresh produce is a nutritious boost for your body.

But consider this. Just the time spent starting and tending to your own garden yields amazing health benefits too – even if you don’t eat your harvest.

Which of course you will – you grew it!

Getting outside and working in the dirt will give you a nice shot of vitamin D, which is great for your bones, your immune system and so much more. And even a little dirt under your fingernails will actually make you happier too. 

Did you know that working the soil exposes you to a form of good bacteria that boosts serotonin and reduces anxiety? It’s true!

A little “elbow grease” setting up a garden is great for hand and grip strength, and a low impact strengthener for your heart and cardiovascular system. 

And even if you don’t think you’re a natural when it comes to gardening, seeing the result – and picking fresh tomatoes, greens, beets or whatever you’re planting – feels good

It’s a great feeling of accomplishment, and a shot of self-esteem. Plus, it’s a nice way to get to know your neighbors, by sharing your bounty with them. 

I know I always go from no tomatoes to more than I can handle almost overnight. And a bag of fresh grown produce is a welcome gift or ice breaker – most everyone appreciates them.

If you’re ready to get started, you need to start with the right seeds, preferably hearty, heirloom varieties that you can harvest again and again. 

Once they’re planted, give them some love, by tending to them, weeding around them, and be sure they have sufficient water. Twice a week will do it, if you give them a good soaking. 

But try to do it in the morning. Evening watering actually encourages the growth of fungus. And you don’t want your hard work lost to that! 

Keep a close eye on your garden, and if it needs some shade in the heat of the summer, a good idea is to plant a small tree nearby. It adds a little beauty, and your tender plants will appreciate the break from the summer sun. 

Big or small, short or tall, your own garden is its own reward.  

Planting it is good for body and soul, and once it starts to grow, you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor for weeks and months to come. 

What are you waiting for? Let’s get planting!

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