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Niagara-on-the-Lake
Thursday, October 6, 2022
Gardening can improve your physical, mental health
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This is the fourth in a 10-week gardening column series, organized by Niagara-on-the-Lake's Communities in Bloom committee

Charlotte Kromberg
Special to The Lake Report

Ever wondered why you feel refreshed and happier after spending a day outside gardening?

Gardening provides many benefits to help you maintain strong mental and physical health and it contributes to our communities.

Digging through the soil releases healthy soil-borne mycobacteria (such as Mycobacterium vaccae) into the air and your respiratory system. According to Psychology Today, the world’s largest publication dedicated to human mental health, these mycobacteria help to stimulate your immune system and increase levels of serotonin.

In turn, the production of serotonin helps you feel more cheerful, reduces stress and uplifts feelings of depression.

Gardening is an excellent way to stay active and beautify your surroundings at the same time. Pulling weeds, digging holes, watering and mending beds keeps your body moving outside in the fresh air while you absorb vitamin D from the sun.

These activities are known to improve heart health, brain function, memory and your quality of sleep.

Growing your own produce and enjoying food fresh from the garden is part of a healthy diet. And, by sharing your bounty with your friends and neighbours, you form connections and friendships throughout your community.

There are many benefits to gardening, so get out there and plant something beautiful, and improve your health and that of your community at the same time.

In the words of the poet Alfred Austin, “To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.”

Visit jointheconversationnotl.org/garden to check out the Garden of the Week contest, run by NOTL’s Communities in Bloom committee, and submit your garden or garden feature for consideration in one of 10 categories.

Charlotte Kromberg is a horticulturist for the Town of NOTL.