My Top 10 Reasons for Starting a Garden

I’m starting a garden this summer so I want to share my reasons why. My top 10:

1. Prove I don’t have a black thumb- My husband tells me I have a black thumb because I manage to kill almost all the plants/flowers I bring home. At least I’m pretty sure that’s the reason why he tells me I have a black thumb. I want to grow a garden and do it well.

2. Save money on food- You can’t get much more cost effective than buying seeds and then doing the rest of the work yourself. If done right, you’ll end up with a variety of fruits and vegetables that last all summer, for much lower than grocery store prices. Like a lot of people, I eat a lot of produce during the summer months.

3. Learn more about gardening- Since this is the first time I’m growing a vegetable garden, I expect to learn a lot this summer. I’ll use what I learn this year to have an even better garden next year. Although if I’m no longer a veggie garden virgin next year, I’ll have to rethink a new name for the blog.

4. Develop a new hobby- I’ve been a competitive runner for over half my life, until earlier this year. I’ve had knee problems on and off for the last couple years and few months ago, my knees told me enough. (Cue the sympathetic violin music.) So I have to find a new hobby. I don’t know if there’s competitive gardening, but vegetable gardening will do.

5. Make good use of outdoor space-I lived in a townhouse with an 8 X 8 concrete patio for several years. Since moving last summer, I have an actual yard! Now I’ve got enough room to make a go of a proper garden.

6. Exercise- The bending, pulling and movements needed to till, weed and tend to a garden are all good exercise. The best kind in fact- exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise because it’s something you enjoy doing.

7. Enjoy the outdoors- Gardening is a great way to spend time in the sun and enjoy the warmth of summer. Although June through August in North Carolina, summer warmth is really blasts of a hot furnace blowing on you combined with the humidity of a wet blanket thrown over your head.

8. Relax- Gardening is a great way to relax and get lost in what you’re doing. It’s also relaxing to listen to the sounds of nature like birds chirping. And hopefully not the sounds of the non-stop barking dog that lives behind you. Just me?

9. Easy access to delicious, fresh foods- You can’t get fresher than your own backyard. I’ll have access to fresh foods all summer that will be perfect for salads or the grill. All I’ll have to do is walk a few feet from my back door.

10. Take on a new challenge- I don’t know if I’ll be successful at this or not. It will be interesting to see if I can solve problems that come up and become a full-fledged gardener.

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MJ Population Health Division Director

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