Summer is in full swing and with that means that the gardening season is as well. There are many benefits to gardening. This week we will explore those benefits. Gardening improves your family’s overall health. Eating more fruits and vegetables is the key to a healthy family. If you have them right in your backyard you will eat more fruits and vegetables because you won’t have to run to the store to pick them up. When you pick those tomatoes or peppers you do not need to worry about all the chemicals that may have been put on them because you grew them, you know what you used.

Gardening saves you money at the grocery store once you start to stock up with the fresh produce. A packet of seeds can cost less than a dollar, and if you buy heirloom, non-hybrid species, you can save the seeds from the best producers, dry them, and use them next year. If you have someone that can show you how to dry or can your produce you can enjoy it even when the gardening season is over. Nothing beats fresh produce in the middle of January when the snow is flying.

Do you want to work out today but don’t have the time to drive to the gym? Why not just go outside and spend some time in your garden? Gardening is a great work out between pulling weeds, watering, and harvesting. Keep in mind however, if you pick up something heavy to pick it up properly and to also stretch those tight muscles before and after you spend some time in the garden. Don’t leave your kids in the house while you are gardening, have them help you. Kids love the garden. Gardening is also good for helping you de-stress, relax and unwind from a long day.

Did you know that according to, Americans throw away about $600 worth of food each year! It's a lot easier to toss a moldy orange that you paid $0.50 for than a perfect red pepper that you patiently watched ripen over the course of several weeks. When it's "yours," you will be less likely to take it for granted and more likely to eat it (or preserve it) before it goes to waste. This will reduce food waste.

As you can see there are many things that gardening is good for. Remember, have fun, stay cool and enjoy sometime play time in the dirt.