The Antidepressant Effect of Gardening

As an alternative to prescribing anti-depressants, doctors in a pilot study are signing patients up for 12 week gardening courses.

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Source –

“…An earlier US study of 600 gardeners…found that those who gardened for five hours or more per week were significantly happier than normal. This study found that the activity had pronounced physical benefits too: on average, the 600 gardeners had significantly better overall health, with fewer chronic health problems and longer life spans”

Happiness Is Colored Green – By Steve Taylor, Ph.D.

Imagine you realize that you’re not as happy as you should be in your life, and decide you need to take some steps to enhance your level of well-being. There are a number of new activities and practices you could take up: meditation, dancing, singing, running, consciously performing acts of kindness, religious worship, and so on. Research has shown that all of these activities can increase well-being. But one of the most effective things you could do, according to research, is to take up…

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6 thoughts on “The Antidepressant Effect of Gardening

  1. This works. Seen more than one person overcome huge things in their lives through gardening. An elderly lady also once told me, the soil under our fingernails is what we lack in our concrete world. Connection with the land.


  2. I’m also a really avid gardener, Pam, to the point of getting withdrawals if I skip too many days. I wish the article had discussed the effect of soil bacteria on the gut microbiome – I’m aware there’s been some research into that as well.


  3. I’m hoping to have my new cinder-block elevated beds ready for planting by the middle of January. I tried it last year and realized I’d messed up with the cedar beds I’d started (only after already planting everything). At least the seeds were cheap and it was an experiment. But now I got some heirloom seeds of all types of stuff and I wanna be self-sufficient as far as fruits and veggies go. The market veggies just don’t seem to taste as good as they used to (especially noticeable in tomatoes, so little flavor).

    But it’s a great excuse to get outside. I need to find some gardening folks around here that could help me out and give me advice. Guess I’d better dig for some meetup groups (hee hee).


  4. It all sounds very exciting, Chatty. I’ll never go back to market veggies now that I’ve tasted my own. I hope you do find some local groups. The best how-to book I’ve read on organic gardening is How to Grow More Vegetables (and fruits, nuts, berries, grains, and other crops) than you ever thought possible on less land than you can imagine) – see

    I’ve also learned a lot from watching Geoff Lawton’s permaculture videos:


  5. Did anyone notice that in the original article he said that gardening was one of the best examples of pleasure from things that are free and don’t involve much planning or organisation – not sure I recognise that description of gardening!! Therapeutic for sure and can be cheap to get started but as for the rest..well he did say he wasn’t a gardener!


  6. Like they say, woolysage, different strokes for different folks. In the area where I live in New Zealand, all the friends and neighbors garden – mainly due to the pleasure it gives them.


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