Well, you’ve survived 7 months of a global pandemic, congratulations. I think we’re all beginning to acknowledge that things are not going back to normal any time soon, and perhaps they shouldn’t. COVID-19 has shaken up this year in more ways than we can count, but if we’re looking at the positives here, maybe one thing it has shaken up is your confidence, or at least curiosity, in your green thumb. When the pandemic first hit and stay at home orders were set in place worldwide, many people found a little bit of extra time on their hands and sought out some quarantine hobbies. We may be biased, but we think the best one is starting your own indoor vegetable or herb garden. Read on for some tips on how to get started, but first, let us attempt to prove it to you.
#1: Indoor Gardening Is an Opportunity to Level Up Your Space
If you’re home all the time, you may as well really feel “at home.” Starting an indoor garden or simply adding some green to your space is a great way to liven up your living space and bring in a new dynamic. Seeing something green and being in the presence of nature inside will help ease any tension and bring some peace to your space. Plus, you’ll get some really great Instagram content. ?
#2: Growing Plants Indoors Gives You Something To Do With Your Hands (Other Than Scroll)
When you’re in a pattern of uncertainty (something we all understand too well this year), it is important to have stability in at least one area of your life. When you begin to plant a garden, you know that when you plant a seed, it will turn into a seedling, then a flower, then a fruit. There becomes a rhythm or predictability to the madness of the mundane – something to depend on. Planting a seed is a way to literally ground yourself and feel some kind of steadiness amidst the chaos.
#3: Tending To Houseplants Provides A Sense Of Control
In a situation you otherwise have very little control over.
In an article highlighting people that have gone greener since the pandemic hit, a man is quoted to say that “gardening gives [him] something to do and is also something [he] feels [he] can have control over during a time when so many things are out of our control. It’s also taking care of another living thing.” We couldn’t agree more. Plants, especially edible varieties simply because they require more attention, give us a sense of purpose and something to take care of. To quote the man from the article again: “We’re getting the escape value and we’re getting the chance to feel we’re doing something positive. We’re having positive control over our little environment and it’s indoors as well as out. If you were in my home, you’d see about 85 plants year-round for a number of reasons. It’s nice to know you can have positive control by beautifying and by creating lush plants and nurturing them. These things translate into psychological well being for us.”
#4: Raising ‘Plant Babies’ Creates A Feeling of Resilience and Self-Sufficiency
The explosion of homesteading and growing a garden during this time contributes to a greater feeling of empowerment. You become more self-sustainable, and a bit more resilient to the things you cannot control. Victory gardens resurfaced, as food shortages became very real. There is something powerful about growing a garden and having your very own lettuce, greens, herbs, and more. You can say “I don’t have to buy lettuce, I’m growing all the lettuce I need. I am providing for myself and my family,” and that is pretty amazing.
#5: Surrounding Yourself With Indoor Greenery Provides a Sense of Community and Resilience
There have been many stories of neighbors sharing their own backyard bounties, through socially distant vegetable drop-offs and stoop hangs (only New Yorkers will get that one). There is a communal triumph surrounding the growing of plants, especially when you get one that begins to fruit, or you pick your first harvest. You can exchange tips with neighbors and friends and even share the food you’ve grown. You can stand on the porch watering your herb pot while waving to the next-door neighbor standing on her porch doing the same thing. It feels like you are doing something that’s bigger than yourself and that is no small feat.
#6: Indoor Plants Are Good for Your Mental Health
According to the Journal of Health Psychology, gardening is a great stress reliever. Just 30 minutes of gardening lowers cortisol hormones, the fight-or-flight response, according to the study. This is so important with many of us working from home, and using extra tech, which can mess with our mental health (has anyone seen the Social Dilemma?). So next time, instead of those 60 extra minutes of binge-watching Netflix to numb the anxiety, pick up your gardening tools, and see how you feel!
So there you have it. If you weren’t convinced about the benefits of indoor gardening before, we hope this has swayed you! And if you are discouraged by the prospect of starting a garden in the middle of October, don’t worry, there is still so much you can plant in the fall.
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