4 Benefits of Garden Therapy

“Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity.” – Lindley Karstens

The activity of gardening has been around for much of human history. For some though, gardening has become more than the necessary process of growing food — it serves as a space for relaxation and connection. Today, research shows how gardening and being in nature can improve mental well-being and provide benefits in day-to-day life.

The Biophilia Hypothesis

The Biophilia Hypothesis suggests that humans have an innate drive to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. The term biophilia comes from the Greek “philia” meaning “love of” and translates to “love of living things.”

Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson popularized the term; he argued that humans are inherently connected to nature and emotionally attracted to the natural world. Wilson reasoned that our biological makeup can only fully develop when we are focused on life and life-like processes.

Nature, Gardening, and Mental Health

Thanks to researchers and practitioners that study the correlations between nature, gardening, and mental health, we now know that those who spend time participating in these activities can enjoy an improved wellbeing.

Here are a few ways spending time in the garden can help build your mental and physical health:

  1. Elevate Your Mood – Gardening can make you feel peaceful and content! According to Dr. Charles Hall, a horticulture and economics specialist from Texas A&M University, being around plants has proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Outdoor gardening also exposes people to sunshine and higher amounts of Vitamin D. As an instrument in the synthesis of serotonin (the chemical in the brain that induces happiness), Vitamin D is important in helping you feel your best! 
  2. Community Bond – According to Dr. Hall, interacting with nature around us helps us strengthen our community bonds. For example, a group of children working together to plant and create something meaningful will result in an improved bond between them. We can form higher emotional and spiritual connections with other gardeners who share in our experiences that may even cross over into other areas of our lives.
  3. Connecting to the Earth – Having a garden is one way to experience a deep relationship with the ground we tend, therefore increasing the feeling of responsibility we have towards the factors that affect it. This can promote earth-friendly habits! Experiencing in real time natural processes such as changing seasons can create a more intimate and meaningful connection with the ground beneath us and to world around us.
  4. Physical Activity – Gardening and plant care provides us with an opportunity for physical activity and distracts the mind from things that are stress inducing. Moving your body regularly is an effective way to boost mood and reduce anxiety, and things like weeding, digging, and raking are great exercise. Dr. Hall further states that in addition to having an urge to be surrounded by nature, humans tend to be in a more relaxed state in a greener environment.

Getting into nature is returning to ourselves as we reach down towards our roots once again. Bringing nature inside and nurturing plants outdoors helps remove us from our ego and connect us with the earth we call home. Garden therapy looks different for everyone — children might learn about what it is to nurture and tend to another, adults may learn what it is to slow down and release their stressors. Spending time tending to our plants teaches us mindfulness, encourages patience, provides a space for kindness, and allows our minds and bodies to fulfill their innate desire to meld with the world around us.

At Good Dirt, gardening is our therapy — our lifestyle. We love listening to music while in the yard, caring for the food we plant, harvest, and prepare. The memories we create with friends and family in our outdoor space are cherished for years to come.

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Yes! All our products are chemical-free, non-GMO, vegan, and sustainably produced. Safe to use near kids and pets, safe to use on edible plants, even safe if you have nut allergies.

BogBits® are our proprietary recycled by-product of sustainably harvested peat moss. It provides the permanent porosity that plants need to breathe and roots to thrive.

On a trip to Canada, our founders encountered a naturally occurring phenomenon found in peat moss bogs — ‘sticks’ that could be broken down into a fiber for a new type of potting mix. A kind of mix that would provide a better balance of air space and water retention; a better home for roots to grow and form.

Good Dirt® worked with a team to develop their own special recipe using this new magical ingredient, and BogBits was born.

BogBits are comprised of partially petrified peat from Canadian peat bogs. In years past, this by-product of peat moss harvest would have simply been discarded, or used to pave peat bog access roads.

Now, these BogBits have allowed us to create a rich, fluffy Soil Conditioner and Potting Mix with porosity unlike anything on the market.

Yes, all our products are vegan and plant based. We do not add any animal byproducts to any soil mixes or plant nutrition.

Many companies that add animal byproducts to their mixes or fertilizers are trying to balance the nutrients for plants. However, our Good Dirt Plant Food (included in our potting mixes, as well as sold separately for plant nutrition) does not need these ingredients. Our products are made from plants, for plants. The base of our plant food is derived from oilseed extract and contains everything Nature puts into a seed to reproduce the species. The natural oilseed extract contains NPK, trace elements, and all the organic compounds found in a seed, including all the essential plant amino acids.

Our soil mix recipes do not contain any nuts or peanuts that may potentially be harmful to gardeners with allergies, nor do our facilities process products that include nuts or peanuts. that may potentially be harmful to gardeners with allergies, nor do our facilities process products that include nuts or peanuts.

Our Plant Food is derived from a seed (oil seed to be specific) and contains all the nutrients a seed needs to germinate – for that reason it is great for ALL plants

It is made from plants, for plants. It contains all the compounds, amino acids, and trace elements a seed needs to germinate and all plants to thrive. The recipe is then enhanced with NPK 10-4-3 (which is not salt-based) so it won’t cause roots and leaves to burn.

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