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20 Reasons You Need a Vegetable Garden in Your Life This Year

By Edited Jun 10, 2016 2 2

Have you ever looked out over the grassy expanse of your backyard or that barren bit of concrete on your patio and felt like something is missing? It is, and that "something" is a vegetable garden. If you have never grown a vegetable garden before, then 2016 is the year to start. Food prices are constantly on the rise and we find ourselves paying more and more for produce that barely tastes like anything at all. Why pay for poor quality produce when you can easily grow your own right in your own backyard?

20 Reasons You Need a Vegetable Garden in Your Life This Year

Starting a vegetable garden may seem like a daunting task, with many not knowing where to start at all. However, if you start small this year, you will definitely find yourself expanding your garden area next year.

But why start your own vegetable garden?

It Tastes Better

I grew up with vegetable garden veggies so I have always known this dirty little secret, but for those who have never experienced anything outside of supermarket produce, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Even Farmer's Market fare doesn't hold up to a home-grown tomato fresh off the plant.

Seeds Are Cheaper than Produce

You can go to the supermarket and get a single onion for about 60 cents, or you can get 100 onion seeds for about two dollars. It pretty clear which is the cheaper option there. You have to wait on grow time, but you'll have an abundance of any vegetable in no time that will start to save those dollars and cents.

It Is a Step Towards Self-Sufficiency

You don't need to start raising your own livestock to get a grasp on a little self-sufficiency; a vegetable garden will do just fine. If you can't make it to the supermarket for some produce, you will have it growing right in your own backyard. Having a little freedom from supermarket mark up is never a bad thing, at very least.

organic garden

It Is as Organic as You Want It to Be

Don't care about GMOs and pesticides? Well then you can keep the pests away any way you want to, but if you are trying to go all organic, then a vegetable garden is the best way to do so. It will also free up funds for that expensive organic meat, too.

It takes some trial and error to find natural ways to enhance the soil and keep pests away, but on small crop vegetable gardens, the methods are pretty easy.

Guaranteed Freshness

Vegetables start to lose both flavor and nutritional value the minute that they are picked. This is why fresh vegetables from your garden outclass the Farmer's Market as well as the supermarket. If you want to get the most out of your vegetables, they need to get to the table as soon as possible.

digging in the garden

Gardening is a Great Workout

Weeding, lifting, and digging in the hot summer sun is hard, sweaty, and dirty work, but it burns those calories away as moderate cardiovascular exercise. You'll be exhausted, but gardening is exercise that doesn't feel like exercise. Isn't that what we all want?

It's Educational for the Kids

Kids these day, am I right? They have no idea where their food comes from, but with a backyard garden, they will begin to learn. Not only will you be able to enlist a helping hand to do some of the weeding, but by involving the pups in the garden, you are teaching them about the natural growing process. It is also a good lesson in responsibility since if you don't care for a garden, it will die.

It's Education for Adults, Too

You don't have a need to learn about crop rotation, soil nutrition, and natural pesticides without a garden, but you sure will know all about it after a few seasons of growing. It is a good skill set to have.

giant pumpkin

It Is Something to Be Proud Of

When was the last time you felt really good about the produce you picked up from the grocery store? Probably never, unless you found a really awesome sale. A vegetable garden is a "visible" achievement, one where you can actually see (and eat) the fruits of your labor.

colored carrots

It Can Expand Your World of Vegetables

When was the last time you nipped down to Walmart or Kroger and saw red carrots? Kolrabi? Yellow Tomatoes? Grocery stores don't stock those odd niche vegetables because there is not a demand for them, but in your backyard vegetable garden, you can grow whatever the heck strange vegetables you want!

An Effective Form of Stress Relief

The majority of our modern life involves a lot of "direct attention" activities; these require us to focus and try to avoid distractions. However, as anyone who has tried to focus for a long period of time will know, you get burned out from it. Gardening is an indirect attention activity. You can let your mind wander to the birds chirping around you or what your dog is digging up by the fence. It's soothing, and, while physically tiring, it is mentally refreshing.

It Can Be an Art Project

painted crop marker

Whether it is making a cute fence to help keep out nosy rabbits or painting rocks to use as vegetable markers, your garden can be an art project for your family to put their effort into. Worse case, you can always create vegetable markers by yourself at night while binge-watching House of Cards.

It Helps the Environment

You're cutting down emissions by taking fewer trips to the grocery store. You're not encouraging or using pesticides that seep into the water table. You're preventing soil erosion in your yard. The environmental benefits of a backyard garden are myriad.

beautiful vegetable garden

Beautify Your Yard with Vegetables

Sure, corn is no Peruvian lily or blossoming lilac bush, but a vegetable garden helps add depth to an area where there was once nothing but boring grass. The complex greenery accented by dots of red tomatoes or the changing hues of your pepper plants is beautiful in its own right.

An Excuse to Get Some Sun

Vitamin D is closely tied to our own personal happiness. It is the one vitamin that we can both ingest and produce by being in the sunlight, and a lack of it is why we are so sad in the winter. You can go sit out on the patio and absorb some rays, but why bother when you could just watch some TV, right? Gardening gives you a good reason to go outside.

It Provides Food to Share

Always wanted to talk to that new neighbor, but now it is months later and you are not sure how to break the ice? Give them some veggies from your garden. They are the best icebreaker and a good way to earn a little good karma with friends, family, and neighbors.

It is a Way to Prevent Fussy Eaters

It is a Way to Prevent Fussy Eaters

No one wants a fussy eater, but once your kids discover Cheetos or Oreos, it is an uphill battle. However, with a vegetable garden, you gain a secret weapon in the war on good nutrition. Try getting them involved in the growing process because it is pretty hard to beat tasty snow peas fresh off the vine, plump cherry tomatoes, and super sweet strawberries.

It is Addictive

It starts with onions and potatoes, but before you know it you have green beans growing up the trellises, a whole area for strawberries, and a melon patch that threatens to take over your yard. A planting addiction is the best addiction to have.

rabbits

It's a Hub for Wildlife

Birds, bees, rabbits, even deer will be coming to your yard in droves to enjoy your produce. Of course, deer and rabbits stop seeming so majestic when they start to eat your fresh sproutlings, but they are nice to look at until the veneer wears off.

You Can Reap the Benefits All Year Long

No matter whether you take up canning or simply start yourself a winter garden, your backyard grow space is a gift that keeps on giving all year long.

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Comments

Mar 16, 2016 4:06am
LeighGoessl
Loved your article. I'm terrible at growing things but keeping at it as we're eliminating GMOs as much as possible. Last year we had some decent success - adding a raised garden made a big difference. This year I plan to add two new ones. My long-term plan is to use the backyard as one big garden. The swampy grass area where the rain collects we put milkweed in last year.

I love your rocks idea. I have a kidlet that brings home rocks constantly and I keep finding boxes of them hidden all over the house. I wanted her to make a rock garden outside, but no go. This she might go for - thanks!
Thumbed and pinned, good stuff.
Apr 8, 2016 10:25am
HLesley
An excellent article! Now that the weather has improved up here I have to get back out in the garden!
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