Gardening is a year-round adventure. With each new season comes new opportunities to introduce new foods into your garden, but it is no walk in the park. Gardening requires patience, diligence, and hard work. There are a variety of different benefits that come with gardening including mental and physical benefits. Today we will break down the benefits of starting a garden, how best to garden in the fall time, and the foods you should be planting right now for later blooming.
The Benefits of Starting a Garden
- Promotes self-independence: While gardening can definitely be a team effort, it is a wonderful opportunity to participate in a hobby all by yourself. Fostering your own garden can promote feelings of pride and self-worth.
- Promotes happiness and decreases anxiety: Spending time in nature increases the levels of serotonin in your body. It can also be a great activity to do to release stress and anxiety. If you struggle with finding ways to quiet your mind, you should try picking up a shovel and creating your planter box. Take note of the emotions that arise when you are gardening.
- Soak up that vitamin D: Gardening requires time in the sun meaning your body can soak up all the vitamin D that the sun has to offer. Vitamin D helps to support your bone strength and boost immunity. Vitamin D is also an essential vitamin that our body needs in order to thrive.
- Promotes a healthier lifestyle: It is no secret that homegrown food is better for your body than store bought food. When you garden, you are creating the food that will be in your home and that you will consume. You know exactly what is in the food you are eating, which cannot always be said about the foods that we buy in-store.
- Can promote a sense of community: There are hundreds of people who garden nowadays, and with the use of social media, it is easy to connect to other gardeners. The gardening community is filled with love and positivity – a wonderful group to get connected with. If you are struggling with social growth, consider joining a local gardening group.
How Best to Garden in the Fall for Optimal Success
The change in season can act as a moment of reset for your garden. Here are some recommendations on how best to prepare your garden for the transition into fall.
- Clean your environment: Gardening is not a neat process, and throughout time, certain debris of nature might have infested your garden beds. As the start of a new season commences, press the refresh button your garden and clean out any extra debris that might have landed in your garden.
- Plant fall flowers: When people think about gardening, they tend to focus on the different foods one can create, but let’s not forget the several different flowers we can plant in the fall. Tulips and daffodils are great options to plant in the fall.
- Consider the weather: The fall time brings cooler weather, so it is important to protect any foods or flowers that might struggle with the colder weather. You can bring them inside to protect them or use a cover that will maintain them in their natural temperature.
- Evaluate any pest infestations: The beauty of gardening is that it is one with nature, but sometimes this means that pests infest your area. Pests can be detrimental to your garden causing a host of issues. Use the start of a new season to monitor the different areas of your garden to ensure there are no vulnerable areas.
- Clean and update garden tools: Garden tools are going to be your best friend when gardening, and as such, they should be maintained and clean at all times. If there are any garden tools specific to the summer, now is the time to clean and put those away.
- Add mulch: Mulch is a layer of material added to the surface of the soil in your garden to protect it from moisture, harsh weather, and to minimize the growth of weeds. There are certain types of mulch more accustomed to each season, so be sure to research the best course of action for yourself.
Best Foods to Plant in the Fall Season
Planting in the fall can be especially wonderful, because it will allow you to stock up on fresh food before the weather gets even cooler. While the plants you can add to your garden will vary depending on your region, here are some general plants that will be great to plant in the fall season.
- Leafy greens: Leafy greens such as kale, arugula, and swiss chard are great options as they can withstand the colder weather that fall tends to bring. These are also such staples in fall meals. My personal favorite way to use kale is in fall seasonal soups such as in a broccoli cheddar soup.
- Cabbage: Cabbage is another great option to plant in the fall. It is incredibly versatile and can be used to make sauerkraut. When created properly, sauerkraut has many digestive health benefits due to its probiotic content. A probiotic for bloating can give you even more women’s wellness support.
- Onions: Onions are great to plant in the fall to harvest in the early summer. They tend to require little to no maintenance, making it a stress-free addition to your garden. Onions are wonderful to plant, because they can be used in just about any type of meal for added flavor.
- Garlic: The fall time is a great time to plant your garlic to be later used in the late spring. Garlic tends to grow its roots in the fall time and then bloom in the spring. Similarly to onions, garlic offers a burst of flavor to any meal you are looking to whip up in the kitchen.
- Turnips: Turnips are a root vegetable that are wonderful to plant in the fall. The cooler weather increases the intensity of their flavor.