Understanding Home Gardening: Its Significance, Benefits, and Beyond

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Lifevif Team and JC Franco

As a home gardener, I often feel it is my duty to tell other people about home gardening and its various benefits. Home gardening has become such a vital part of my daily life that I can quite aptly describe it as one of my favorite passions. In fact, if spreading the word will bring even a smidge of the same value and enjoyment to someone else’s life, I would be only too glad to help!

Home gardening is the act of turning an outside space into a productive and functional area for the family, as well as a home for plants and animals that have otherwise lost their homes to urban development. 

Home gardening involves growing fruit, vegetables and herbs for personal consumption, as well as creating aesthetics and diversity for bird and insect life with attractive flower beds. Home gardening requires gardening knowledge, ongoing nurturing of plants, maintenance skills, and consistent improvement.

Many people choose home gardening as a hobby – that is why I started gardening in the first place – but it turns out that there are many other reasons why home gardening is increasing in popularity. For many, home gardening is a way of going green and provides the perfect opportunity to eat fresh, organic foods that won’t cost you nearly as much as the grocery store’s produce. 

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of home gardening, how to create your first home garden, and get a few great tips for enjoying the best possible yields, read on.

How to Start Your First Home Garden | Steps for Home Gardening – A Newbies Guide

How do you start your own home garden? It is actually pretty simple. Follow the steps below:

1. Start small. 

Do not try to create a massive garden from day 1. You might become overwhelmed. Choose a small space to work with and expand as you become more confident and comfortable with your skills. 

2. Finding the proper spot.

If you plan to grow vegetables, you need to choose a spot that gets about 6 hours of full sunshine every day. If you do not know how to tell how many hours of sun your chosen space gets, you can use a sun calculator (which is a device you just push into the soil and leave there for the day). 

Do not place your veggie garden bed next to tall trees as the roots may interfere with the success of your garden. Also, make sure that it is in a position that is convenient for you to reach every day.

3. Access to water.

Make sure that you have access to water nearby. If you do not have a tap that is right next to your intended garden space, you will need to invest in a long hose with a control nozzle. Watering your garden daily is important, and if you plan to do all your watering with a watering can, you might get frustrated with all the back and forth.

4. Preparing the soil.

Next, you have to prepare the soil for the plants. If the soil is quite compacted, you have your work cut out for you. You should loosen the soil so the plants can grow easily and so that it also drains well. Till the soil with a broad fork, a tiller, or a regular digging fork.

5. Add organic compost.

Once the soil is loosened, put in some organic compost. Simply spread the compost on the outer layer of your tilled soil in the areas where you will plant.

6. Create beds. 

Create beds by digging the soil from the intended pathways and placing it in the areas where you will plant. You can build the beds up a few centimeters.

7. Grading of the beds. 

Now, you need to do a bit of grading of the beds. A home garden bed needs to be about 1m wide, unlike farm produce rows, which seem to be much narrower. A wide bed will allow your veggie plant’s roots a lot more space to spread and grow.

8. Water the garden. 

Water the entire garden and allow some time for the beds to settle. It is common for weed seeds to germinate and start to grow in the days to follow tilling – this is normal. Hold off planting for now and rather visit the garden space every few days and remove the young weeds from the beds.

9. Plant your new seeds.

Plant your new seeds into the beds by following the planting instructions on the seed packet. If you are like me and like to scoop seeds out of the vegetables that you eat, make sure that you do a little research into how to grow and nurture the plant for the best yields.

Following these steps will have your first home garden set up in as little as a week. Remember that you will need to spend a considerable amount of time in the garden nurturing plants as well as maintaining the space in the weeks, months, and years to come.

The Many Benefits of Home Gardening

Home gardening is good for a variety of reasons. Below are a few of the benefits to expect if you start home gardening:

1. Food security.

Buying absolutely everything from the supermarket is bound to put you in a grave position if, for some reason, you no longer have access to the supermarket food. You could lose your car, run out of money, or be separated from your food sources by a storm – then what?

Growing your own food is a great way to ensure food security for you and your family. And what could be better than eating a salad that came straight from your garden?

2. Reduced cortisol in the body – less stress.

When the body experiences stress, cortisol is produced. Cortisol is a stress hormone. Gardening is said to help the body relax and reduce the amount of cortisol, thus reducing feelings of stress. 

3. Improved immune system.

Did you know that you can boost your immune system by being in direct contact with dirt? Gardening is, therefore, the perfect way to boost your immune system. 

4. Good workout.

Gardening can be as good as a workout as spending time in the gym. If you want to improve your fitness and do not particularly want to join a gym class, take up gardening. While you are gardening, you will be pushing a wheelbarrow, digging, walking up and down while carrying things, reaching, and cutting – all of these actions are a form of exercise.

5. Reduce your carbon footprint.

Everything we do in life seems to have a negative impact on the environment. Green living is becoming the norm, and people who want to reduce their carbon footprint can do so by putting carbon and GHGs into the soil via permaculture and organic substances. You can also provide a home environment for birds, insects, and other creatures and critters that might have lost their natural homes due to development.

6. Increase property value

When you create a beautiful outdoor space, the value of your property increases, along with its curb appeal.

Tips for Home Gardening

When home gardening, you want to ensure that you save time and money by learning a few tricks of the trade. Below, you will find a few home gardening tips to help you along the way:

  • Keep your pathways weed-free by placing cardboard along them, watering them heavily, and then laying straw over them. This should keep weed growth at bay.
  • Begin with plants that are simple to grow. If you choose the most sensitive or complicated plants to grow in the beginning (while you are still finding your feet), you might struggle. 
  • Create a watering and maintenance schedule to ensure that you do not inadvertently neglect your new growing plants. 
  • Consider making a DIY drip irrigation system to cut back on water wastage and save money at the same time.  
  • Educate yourself on each and every plant that you choose to grow. The more you know, the better care you can give your plants. 
  • Take pest control seriously. If you have wildlife, think about installing a deer fence. If you have bugs and insects, but do not want to use chemical pesticides, make your own environmentally friendly pesticide with Epsom salts and water. You will find a plethora of online recipes for homemade pest deterrents.
  • Have fun! If you make gardening a chore instead of fun, chances are that you will lose interest in it. If you have kids, encourage them to spend days in the garden with you. Grow plants that interest and excite you, and try to incorporate as many veggies, herbs, and fruits in your garden that you and your family regularly consume. 

Home Gardening Can Change Your Life

It is said that people who have a home garden are more in touch with nature and are able to focus on healthy eating with greater ease than those who do not. I strongly agree with this statement. In fact, I can’t wait to get out into the garden right now! If you are thinking about starting a home garden, I hope you have learned everything you need to know to get started. Good luck!

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who share their experiences and knowledge about the "Seven F's of Life".

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco is a New York-based editor for Lifevif. He covers topics like spirituality, philosophy, finance, sports, games, and food. JC earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business with a Marketing Concentration at Mercyhurst University. He is a certified USPTA professional who teaches tennis in the New York City Metropolitan area. He has passed the Level I exam of the CFA program.