Whether it is your hobby or you just garden for the beauty it brings—or the yummy tastes—gardening is known to be therapeutic. The important thing to remember is that gardening is scalable. You can start with a single plant. Or just a few plants in small containers on the windowsill, a porch or patio to begin with.


Gardening reduces stress levels. Researchers in the Netherlands found that stress hormones known as cortisol, are reduced when your fingers are in the dirt. Just the smell of dirt can bring back pleasant memories of good times long ago. And digging down to where the soil is cool and moist produces a calming effect.

Studies strongly indicate that gardening can play an influential role in reducing the risks of dementia and other brain diseases. Working on a garden, according to one study, reduced the chances of dementia by up to 36%. This is likely because gardening is a holistic activity involving physical and cognitive activity.

Finally, gardening will introduce you—or reintroduce you—to bacteria. You may think of dirt and think—bad bacteria! But some bacteria you encounter while playing in the dirt and maintaining good hygiene can help build your immune system.

There is even a bacterium that can make you happy. It’s called Mycobacterium vaccae and it’s known as the happiness bacterium. Rubbing elbows with this bacteria, an antidepressant, makes you feel happier by increasing the production of Serotonin.

Gardening can reduce stress, decrease your chances of dementia, boost your immune system, and possibly increase your happiness. So what are you waiting for? Don your gloves, put on your sun hat, and harvest some great time in the dirt this year.