Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

Therapeutic Benefits of Gardening

03/30/2016 | Published by: Kelli Zermeno

Spring has sprung! Soon the sun will be shining again and the ugly West Texas winter will be behind us yet again. Winter can be so dreary – everyone cooped up indoors, ready to burst out the door the minute the weather allows. Spring brings time for new beginnings, new life. What better way to ring in the season than to plant a garden?

Gardening can help you release stress and tension. When you are digging in the dirt, you can feel it melt away. And planting a garden provides a wonderful bond between you and your children. Planning where to put your plants, what you are planting, researching how often you need to water – these all provide valuable learning opportunities.

If you have a picky eater, this can also be a great way to introduce new veggies into their diet. Studies show that if kids are involved in planting and growing vegetables, they are far more likely to eat them. Some vegetables are great for impatient little ones. Radishes and leaf lettuces can be relatively quick growing.

A cutting garden is a really fun project for children who love to give flowers.

My son is constantly stealing flowers to gift to me. A cutting garden with quick growers like zinnias and marigolds provide a fairly quick turnover. Or, if the garden will be a strictly Mom Zone, consider planting species of your favorite flowers. The garden should be a place that makes you happy. Being in the sun boosts vitamin D and serotonin levels and creates feelings of happiness.

You don’t have to be a master gardener to create a great garden. Getting advice from a local master gardener’s chapter, a local nursery owner, or your granny with a green thumb will take you a long way. Here are a few websites that might help as well:

Our warm weather is great for young plants just starting to grow. Find a good spot in your yard and plan accordingly, depending on how sunny of a spot you choose. Get dirty, get some sun, and create some memories.

For additional tips on taking care of yourself, check out the Self Care for Parents of Children with Disabilities on this website.