There are many reasons to grow edible landscape plants. Here are seven great motivations to get you interested in starting your edible landscaping adventures today.
Edible landscapes aren’t a new idea, but they are a concept that has been overlooked in the recent past. Learning how to grow edibles mixed in with your regular landscape plantings gives you exponentially more ways to provide food for your family, all in the space you already have.
Getting in Touch with Nature
It can be difficult to take the time to get outdoors as much as we should. City living especially makes it a challenge to spend time in nature. The rewards for doing so are many and we should put in the necessary effort required to make it happen.
When you grow plants in your edible landscape, you are creating your own oasis and ensuring that you will spend time there. Tending plants does not have to be time-consuming if you are smart about the planting.
We all know that being around plants is a great way to de-stress. Spending time among your trees, plants, flowers, and herbs will allow you to unwind and put aside your daily worries on a regular basis.
Growing plants is a great way to let go of everything that makes you feel tense. There are even plants that have anti-anxiety properties.
The sensory experience of gardening “allows people to connect to this primal state,” says James Jiler, the founder and executive director of Urban GreenWorks, a Miami-based nonprofit that creates garden and park programs for low-income neighborhoods.
“A lot of people [understand] that experience. They may not be able to put it into words, but they understand what’s happening.” [source]
Saving Grocery Money
Edible landscapes are a great way to improve your economic situation. Although there is a bit of a start-up cost, you will save money in the long run.
These costs can add up quickly, even for a small vegetable garden. The trick to saving money with an edible landscape is limiting the costs while maximizing yield. Growing your own plants from seed or cuttings is a great way to begin saving on your food bill.
Ensuring High-Quality Food
When we buy produce from the store, we are putting our trust in many people we have not even met. Conventional produce is often loaded with pesticides, herbicides, and many other things we may not know about.
Growing your own food is a wonderful way to be aware of what you are putting into your body, as you can make the choice to garden organically. And who wouldn’t want all that tasty produce at their disposal?
Growing your own edibles also gives you additional ways to preserve food for the seasons when food is not as readily available.
Encouraging a Family Bond
Gardening is a great way to spend time with your loved ones. Watering the plants in your edible landscape, weeding and caring for them, gives you something in common as a family.
Spend quality time with your family as you care for your plants and work towards a common goal.
Gardening is a great way to get a workout. Although you may not immediately identify it as significant exercise, it is indeed. All the carrying, bending over, pulling and digging contributes to your physical health.
Gardening has been studied and shown to lower the risk of osteoporosis and diabetes, among other diseases and health conditions.
According to Aggie Horticulture, even the less strenuous forms of garden upkeep – weeding, trimming, raking – can burn off about 300 calories an hour. Spading, lifting, tilling, and raking can improve muscle tone and strength.
You can make an effort to garden energetically, rather than just puttering. Try to work at a constant pace. Use manual clippers and trimmers instead of power equipment. As with any kind of exercise, it’s a good idea to warm up and stretch before you start.
A Healthy Sleep Aid
There are several reasons that growing plants contributes to a good night’s sleep. The amount of exercise is one reason. Another is the fact that you will spend a significant amount of time in the outdoors, soaking up the fresh air and sunlight.
Horticultural therapy has even been used to assist individuals with their mental health… which in turn improves sleeping patterns. What makes a garden therapeutic? The basic features of a therapeutic garden can include wide and gently graded accessible entrances and paths, raised planting beds and containers, and a sensory-oriented plant selection focused on color, texture, fragrance, and usefulness.
There are many great reasons to grow your own edible landscape and the plants it contains. You will have your own list of personal reasons that inspire you to go for it, as well as many on this list.
Decide what is important to you, and what benefits you wish to experience in your landscape, then you will enjoy the rewards of your hard work as you literally reap what you sow.
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