The warm summer temperatures mixed with the occasional rainstorm creates a perfect environment for a vegetable garden. You plant the seeds and crops, and with some help from nature, the conditions can bring you much more than simply delicious vegetables.
Over the past 4 years of gardening, I have discovered the following 7 ways a vegetable garden can increase your productivity.
1. Rising Early. Getting an early start each day can help you focus with quiet time before your schedule gets too busy. Early mornings are the best time to water your garden. Water the roots, not the leaves.
By rising early you have time alone in the garden to relax and listen to nature around you. I often inspect my garden in the morning for any harmful insects and pick vegetables that are ready to be eaten.
2. Healthy Nutrients. We are what we eat! Consuming healthy vegetables and herbs can have a great impact on our bodies. A fresh tomato or cucumber from
a garden far exceeds the quality of vegetables on a shelf in the local grocery store. When we eat healthy, we feel better, which leads to greater productivity.
Click here to download a PDF of Nutritional Facts for some Raw Vegetables from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
3. Convenience. A garden can save you time and money. Instead of driving to the grocery store to pick up some spinach, pepper, or other vegetable, you can step outside in your yard, on a porch, or balcony. Even if you don't have a yard, there are still creative ways you can grow some crops to enjoy healthy eating. Some examples include:
- Planting in 3 or 5 Gallon Buckets
- Planting a Straw Bale Garden
- Planting in a Shoe Organizer
4. Sharing with Others. When you have more than you need, share! I gave away 12 cucumbers recently to 5 different people including family, friends, and neighbors. Sharing vegetables with others is a fun way to learn more about people. I know what vegetables some of my neighbors like because I have had the opportunity to share with them. It takes little time to bring such pleasure to others. It's the small gestures that mean so much.
5. Growth. The more your garden grows, the more you grow! Each time you begin planting your garden, try something different such a vegetable you have not planted or a new variety of a crop. Take time to review seed packets and plan out what you would like to plant. By expanding your knowledge of crops you will learn more about the food you eat.
6. Creativity. From designing the layout of your garden to preparing meals with your vegetables, there is an abundance of creative opportunities. Discover what areas you like best about gardening and let your imagination go! Maybe you enjoy trying new recipes, experimenting with different soils, or trying different varieties of crops.
7. Appreciation. Each stage in the development of a garden is critical. From preparing the soil, selecting the seeds and variety, planting, watering, to harvesting. Maintaining a garden has given me much appreciation for the importance of gardening and farming. There are amazing nutritional benefits from growing your own food. The work is worth it!
These seven areas are a short list of how we can all benefit from vegetable gardening. To keep our minds and bodies productive we need to eat healthy, have quiet time, share with others, expand our knowledge, engage our creative skill sets, save time and money, and appreciate the importance of nature. The next time you are in your garden or visiting a garden, think about what aspects of gardening may contribute to your productivity.