Research shows gardening may reduce depression and anxiety symptoms and stress while increasing quality of life and cognitive function.
Gardening can also impact the food choices we make. Studies have shown that gardening improves opportunities for individuals to gain interest and eat more fruits and vegetables.
You don’t need to be a master gardener to get started. Container gardens can be grown in almost any space and any container. You can upcycle and recycle sauce jars, chipped coffee mugs, and even old plastic storage containers.
Starting with a few hardy and easy-to-grow plants is the best way to build your foundation and confidence in your gardening skills.
Tomatoes are one of the most popular and most forgiving plants to grow. Tomato varieties are endless, there’s a tomato to fit everyone’s flavor, taste, and texture preference.
I love to imagine peppers soaking up their heat from the sunshine. Peppers come in vast varieties as well. From snacking peppers to habanero hot peppers. You can grow peppers to perfect any dish.
Herbs can thrive indoors and outdoors. African such as coriander and mint can do well indoors. Italian herbs such as basil and sage thrive in containers. Herbs can be used to infuse oils and make compound butter and salts. Most herbs are easy to begin on your windowsill.
Leafy greens such as kale, chards, and lettuces are an easy gateway plant for newbie gardeners. Most greens grow best in fall or early spring. The summer heat causes the leaves to become bitter. Leafy greens can be grown and harvested in cycles. This will help spread out the times between harvesting.
No container garden is complete without the help of some friendly pollinators. Sunflowers, zinnias, milkweed, marigolds, pansies are not only colorful, but they also attract pollinator friends such as bees and butterflies. Local flowers attract more pollinators and they are incredibly easy to care for.
Check out your local Agriculture Extension for a list of local wildflowers.
The Mother Road Dietitian provides counseling, coaching, and community to help you eat with joy, celebrate your body, and find peace in your relationship with food.