"No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden."

Thomas Jefferson, Politician

The Pros and Cons of Gardening

upsides and downsides of gardening

Gardening can be a wonderful hobby, especially in our stressful nowadays society where many of us work quite long hours in the office every day.

 

Gardening can be a nice contrast to these jobs since it involves physical work and is also helpful to lower our stress levels.

 

Even though there are many other additional advantages, there are also some issues related to gardening. In this article, the pros and cons of gardening are examined.

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Pros of Gardening

  1. Gardening is fun
  2. Embellishment of your home
  3. Grow your own organic food
  4. Saving money in the long run
  5. Education for your children
  6. Improvement in the understanding of nature
  7. Reduction of mental health issues
  8. Releasing stress
  9. Focusing on yourself
  10. Your garden could replace going on vacation
  11. Physical workout
  12. Gardening may improve our immune system
  13. Nice contrast for people working in an office job
  14. Gardening can improve your ecological footprint
  15. Improvements in health levels

Gardening is fun

One major advantage of gardening is simply that it can be a lot of fun. For me and also for numerous other people all over the world, seeing your plants grow is pretty interesting and fascinating. This is especially true when it comes to growing from seed to harvest. If you see the small seed you have planted and what will grow out of it, it is just unbelievable. Thus, for many people, gardening is a quite joyful hobby.

 

Embellishment of your home

Depending on the plants you grow, gardening can also improve the appearance of your home. For instance, if you grow some nice flowers in your home, chances are that the overall look of your furniture will improve.

 

Some good examples for nice flowers that are also rather easy to cultivate are plants from the orchid’s family, which you can get from almost every flower shop in your area. Thus, gardening can not only be productive, it can also improve the overall look of your home.

 

Grow your own organic food

Through gardening at home, it will also be possible to produce large amounts of vegetables and fruits. Especially if you have a big garden, you could plant numerous plants and harvest plenty of fruits and vegetables in autumn.

 

You might even harvest so much that you could give away some of them to your family and friends. And the best part of it: You can grow them in an entirely organic manner!

 

This may not only improve your ecological footprint since you do not have to buy vegetables that are shipped over quite long distances from the store, you could also improve your overall health level since organic food is considered to be healthier compared to conventional food that had been treated with plenty of pesticides.

 

Even if you do not have a big garden, you could still grow some organic food on your balcony. There are a variety of options and you will be surprised how easy it actually is to grow your own food at home.

 

Saving money in the long run

Although gardening will cost you some initial investments in equipment, you could still save plenty of money on vegetables and fruits in the long run if you grow them by yourself. By growing your own fruits and vegetables, you will also be quite independent from the organic grocery stores.

 

Say at one point in time, these stores will significantly increase their prices. You could be pretty indifferent about this since you could grow all you need on your balcony or in your garden. Thus, growing your own plants will also give you a significant amount of freedom and independence from grocery shops.

 

Education for your children

Gardening is not only a fun hobby, it can also be quite useful to show your children how vegetables and other plant food can be cultivated and where they actually come from. Many kids in our nowadays society have never seen a plant growing in their lives. They just think that the food comes from the grocery store, but they have no idea how much work had to be put in up to this point.

 

Thus, by growing plants with your kids, you can improve their knowledge. Your kids will also value their food much more since they know how much work it really takes to grow a plant. Once they grow up, your kids are also more likely to engage in gardening, which would further improve their ecological footprint since less vegetables and fruits have to be bought from the grocery store.

 

Therefore, you can make a big positive environmental impact by showing your kids how to grow plants in your garden or on your balcony.

 

Improvement in the understanding of nature

Many people in our nowadays society also lost their connection to nature. They just go to their office job, work long hours, come home late and fall asleep. This steps basically repeat from Monday to Friday.

 

However, through this daily routine, a vast amount of experience and knowledge from our ancestors will be lost. Through gardening, part of this knowledge can be recovered and the connection of people to nature can be improved to a certain extent.

 

Reduction of mental health issues

Gardening can also be a wonderful tool when it comes to curing mental health issues. A big fraction of mental health problems in our current society comes from increasing stress levels and information overload. People often feel that they have to be available 24/7 and eventually burn out.

 

Gardening can be a great measure to mitigate those mental health issues since it could give people a break from their daily routine. People may get a chance to cut themselves off from their thoughts regarding their work, which may significantly improve their overall mental state.

Releasing stress

Many people also feel quite stressed. They work in a demanding job, have to take care of their kids and also have plenty of private stress. However, many people do not actually realize that a big fraction of this stress is man-made and that they could vastly reduce their stress levels by adjusting their priorities.

 

For instance, if you are stressed on a constant basis, you should consider to cancel some private meetings and go for gardening instead. Plants have a calming vibe and you will see over time that you will be much more relaxed.

 

For sure, gardening will not be a magic bullet. You also have to make some other changes in your life to lower your stress levels. However, gardening could support this process.

 

Focusing on yourself

Many people, especially in our Western world, have completely lost the connection to their true self. If you ask people what they want to do with their lives, they are often not able to give an answer to this question.

 

Many people often live their life solely on the standards society had told them to be the right way to live. By engaging in gardening, it will be much easier to focus on yourself since there are no other people distracting you from your true self and your real thoughts.

 

Thus, it will be much easier to figure out what you really want in life and how to get there. Therefore, gardening can also be a great tool for self-improvement and general character development.

 

Your garden could replace going on vacation

Since gardening is quite relaxing, it can also replace the need to go on vacation in remote places for many people. This would not only save you plenty of money, it could also vastly improve your ecological footprint since you do not have to go by plane for long distances.

 

Instead, you could just stay at home in your garden, which would imply zero emissions. Thus, for people who like gardening, there might actually be no need to go on vacation too often.

 

Physical workout

Gardening can also be seen as a kind of physical workout. If you have many plants in your garden, you will have to work many hours in order to keep everything intact.

 

Thus, in this case, your gardening work may be sufficient to keep you fit and healthy and there may no longer be the need to go to the gym.

 

Therefore, especially if you hate the gym, gardening could be a great way to assure a high fitness level even without going to a fitness center.

 

Gardening may improve our immune system

Since there are plenty of microbes and bacteria in the soil, chances are that you will get in contact with those microorganisms. This can improve your overall health level since your immune system may become stronger and may be better able to fight all kinds of bacteria. For instance, your body might be better able to defend against the flu if you frequently engage in gardening since it will develop some antibodies over time.

 

Nice contrast for people working in an office job

Many people also enjoy the physical work that is associated with gardening, especially if they work in a regular office job. It is in our DNA to work in a physical manner since our ancestors did so in order to survive. Thus, only working in an office job may feel unnatural to many people and they need physical exercise to stay mentally healthy.

 

Gardening can improve your ecological footprint

Since you can grow vegetables and fruits on your own, you do no longer have to rely on buying this food in grocery stores. This also implies that the large transportation distances that are related to most of our food can be avoided, which in turn lowers air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, by growing your own food, you can significantly improve your ecological footprint.

 

Improvements in health levels

By growing your own vegetables and fruits, you may also experience an improvement in your overall health level. Since your self-grown food will be entirely organic, your body may get in a better physical shape. Moreover, due to the physical exercising in the garden, your fitness level may also increase. Thus, gardening may also significantly improve your health.

Cons of Gardening

  1. Significant initial costs
  2. Significant maintenance costs
  3. Confined space at home
  4. You may be afraid to make mistakes
  5. Gardening may interfere with local laws
  6. Increased chances for certain diseases
  7. Physical effort can be exhausting
  8. Minor wounds are rather common
  9. Requires plenty of time
  10. You have to monitor your plants frequently
  11. Selection of suitable plants can be difficult
  12. Some plants are quite sensitive
  13. Significant crop losses for beginners
  14. You may have to find solutions for your vacation trip
  15. Illegal plants may cause you serious trouble

Significant initial costs

Even though there are many pros of gardening at home, there are also some downsides to it. One issue with gardening is that it can be quite costly. Especially at the beginning, you have to get plenty of equipment. This can seem quite daunting.

 

However, over time, you will have to buy less material since your pots and other things will last for a quite long time.

 

Thus, even if the initial investment seems to be quite high, do not worry about it too much! It will amortize sooner or later once you are able to grow plenty of vegetables and fruits on your own.

 

Significant maintenance costs

Also the maintenance costs of your garden might be significant. You may have to spend plenty of money for fertilizer or for the protection against all kinds of pests. For instance, you do not want to lose your salad to some hungry slugs, do you? 😉 Thus, depending on the number of plants you grow, the maintenance efforts and costs may add up to a significant amount of money.

 

Confined space at home

Depending on your home, there might also not be enough space for gardening. For instance, if you live in a house with a huge garden, you will have plenty of space to grow your own vegetables and fruits. However, if you live in a small apartment and do not even have a balcony, your opportunities to grow plants at home may be quite limited. Thus, gardening may not be suitable for some people due to space constraints.

 

You may be afraid to make mistakes

Some people are also quite afraid to make mistakes in life. This is also true when it comes to gardening. I’m sure many people would actually enjoy gardening a lot. However, many of them are too afraid to make mistakes and will never actually begin with it.

 

If you are one of those people, you should know that failing is part of the process of getting better in every area of your life. Thus, don’t be afraid and just go for it! Gardening is quite much fun and it would be sad if you refrained from it just out of self-doubt.

 

Gardening may interfere with local laws

Depending on the country, there might also be some official restrictions regarding gardening. In some areas, it is even forbidden to grow your own vegetables or fruits. Thus, before engaging in gardening, make sure to consult your local municipality in order to make sure that you are actually allowed to grow your food at home.

 

Increased chances for certain diseases

Even though gardening can be considered to be a rather healthy hobby, there are also some health issues related to it. For instance, if you engage in gardening quite frequently, you might get bitten by ticks sooner or later. Thus, always take care to remove those ticks or to consult a doctor whenever you detect them since they could cause serious health issues.

 

Physical effort can be exhausting

Some people also do not like the physical effort that is related to gardening. Some people just want to lay on their couch and to relax instead of working in the garden and growing plants. Thus, for those people, gardening will not be the right choice since it implies some level of physical activity.

Minor wounds are rather common

Since gardening involves plenty of physical work, minor wounds are also quite common. Even though those wounds will not be a serious health issue most of the time, they can still hurt and you should make sure to disinfect them in order to avoid any inflammations.

 

Requires plenty of time

Depending on the size of your garden and the number of plants you want to grow, gardening can be quite time-consuming. Especially if you do not have this time, you should consider a different hobby instead.

 

Gardening will only be fun if you have the time to really enjoy it without having to hustle. Thus, you should also never grow too many plants in order to avoid any stress.

 

You have to monitor your plants frequently

Since plants need a stable level of water and nutrients, you might have to monitor them quite frequently. For instance, many plants will show symptoms if they need additional fertilizer or if they need water. Thus, if you do not monitor them, chances are that these plants will not grow in an optimal way and some of them may even die off if their lack of nutrients and water might become too severe.

 

Selection of suitable plants can be difficult

Especially if you are a beginner, it might be difficult for you to figure out which plants you want to grow. Some plants will grow much better than others due to climatic conditions.

 

For instance, while growing a tomato plant in the U.S. is quite easy, growing a papaya will be much more difficult since the climatic conditions will not allow you to do so.

 

Thus, make sure to check out which plants you can grow in which part of the world in order to avoid unpleasant surprises regarding your plant selection.

 

Some plants are quite sensitive

There are also significant differences in the sensitivity levels of plants. While some plants are quite robust and smaller mistakes might not matter at all, other plants may be quite sensitive and may even die off due to an incorrect treatment. Thus, especially if you are a beginner, make sure to go for plants like tomatoes that are rather robust.

 

Significant crop losses for beginners

Even if you follow the guides for growing veggies and fruits that are out there, there is still a significant chance that you will lose a significant fraction of your crop yields to pests or other issues. However, don’t be discouraged if this happens. It is quite normal and you will get much better over time!

 

You may have to find solutions for your vacation trip

There might also be the problem that you want to go on vacation from time to time. When you are away from home, you will not be able to take care of your plants. Thus, you might need the help of family, friends or neighbors to keep your plants alive while you are away.

 

Especially if you do not know many people in your area, this might be a serious issue since you might not find anyone who wants to take care of your plants while you are away.

 

Illegal plants may cause you serious trouble

You should also always make sure not to grow any illegal plants. If you buy your plants in your local garden center, you should be safe. However, you should refrain from buying from dodgy online shops since you may not be sure if the plants they are selling are actually legal.

 

Moreover, even if the plants are legal, there are also some toxic ones out there. Especially if you have children, make sure not to buy any toxic plants since your children might even die from those plants if they eat the fruits.

Top 10 Gardening Pros & Cons - Summary List

Gardening Pros

Fun factor

Home improvement

Improvement of your ecological footprint

Education for your children

Better connection to nature

Decrease in stress levels

Workout

Improvements of your immune system

Reduction in mental health issues

Organic food

Gardening Cons

Significant initial costs

High maintenance efforts

Space restrictions

Can be physically exhausting

Gardening takes plenty of time

Frequent monitoring necessary

May interfere with local laws

Minor wounds are common

Crop losses for beginners

Vacation issues


Conclusion

Gardening can be a nice and fascinating hobby. It is not only fun, but can also significantly reduce your stress level and also improve your overall health. However, there are also some problems related to gardening.

 

Make sure to check out all the pros and cons of gardening at home in order to make a profound decision whether gardening might be a hobby for you or not. In case you are not sure, just give it a try! Chances are that you gonna love it! 😉

Sources

About the author

 

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

 

As I went to university and got my Master's degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

 

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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