6 Benefits of Vegetable Gardening in Retirement

6 Powerful Benefits of Vegetable Gardening - Rebel Retirement

Do you want to add value to your retirement budget? And stay mentally and physically active in retirement? Then, vegetable gardening is your answer!  

Simply sow the seeds, then reap the powerful benefits of vegetable gardening. 

Let’s take a look at how you can do that!

Vegetable gardening is budget-friendly.

If you’ve never had a vegetable garden, you may think it’s not worth it. It costs money to buy seeds, starter plants, soil, and garden implements.

It’s hard work, requiring digging and weeding – often in hot, scorching sunshine; not to mention the fact that grocery stores carry just about any vegetable imaginable.

But, for the small initial investment to start a humble garden, you will have free food for an entire growing season, if not longer.

The best part is that you don’t need a green thumb to start a small garden plot in your backyard, or to arrange a few pots of herbs or tomatoes on your patio.

Carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, peas, green beans, and onions are just a few of the easy-to-grow vegetables that store well or can be preserved for longer shelf-life through pressure canning or freezing. 

Once you realize the many benefits of vegetable gardening, you will be hooked!

Germinating Bean Sprout - Rebel Retirement
A germinating bean sprout from our vegetable garden.

6 Powerful benefits of vegetable gardening for retirees.

Not only will you have a lot of free nutritious food, but you’ll also reap other rewards from vegetable gardening as well.

Let’s take a look at the advantages of growing your own food. 

1. Control

Lots of us cringe at the thought of what goes on with our food before it gets to market. When you are the gardener, you are in control. You decide whether or not to spray pesticides on your crops. Plant heirloom seeds that are not genetically modified and know that the vegetables you grow are safe and healthful.

2. Better Health

It’s well known that vegetables are good for us and boost our immune systems. And it makes sense that gardeners eat more vegetables than non-gardeners. It doesn’t matter at what age you start a vegetable garden, studies indicate that your veggie consumption will increase. Therefore, retirement is just as good a time as any to plant a garden and reap the benefits of better health from eating fresh vegetables.

3. Save Money

Most retirees are on a budget and looking for ways to save money. However, many of us prefer to buy organic produce, even though it costs more. When you plant an organic vegetable garden, you reap what you sow in nutritious vegetables, and enjoy organic produce at a fraction of the cost. What you save in the organic produce department, you can put into other foodstuffs or household supplies.

4. Good Exercise

Don’t be sedentary. One of the things you lose when you age is flexibility and strength. I am not going to kid you, tending a vegetable garden can be a lot of hard work, but the workout you get from it will help maintain your mobility and muscle strength. Also, digging in the dirt is good exercise for your hands.

5. Therapeutic

I like this quote, “Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes”. I’ve always known that gardening of any kind is beneficial to improving one’s mood. Being in a garden setting has a therapeutic effect. Fresh air and sunshine take your mind off of your worries and relieves stress. Plus, there’s an extra bonus to digging in the mud! A study by PubMed.gov concluded that physical activity, including daily gardening, could lower your risk of dementia. That’s because any activity that stimulates your brain can help with memory. That alone is a great motivator to pick up a shovel!

6. Self-Reliance

Instead of simply focusing on building wealth, as most retirement strategies recommend, self-reliance is about living abundantly through independence. If your extravagant lifestyle is no longer affordable or satisfying,  planting a vegetable garden and growing your own food can be a rewarding experience. It can be the first step toward independence and lowering your expenses.

Digging Potatoes - Rebel Retirement
Digging up potatoes in our garden.

4 Vegetable Gardening Must-Haves

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The right tools will make your vegetable gardening season much easier. Here are some essentials that we recommend:

No. 1 – Garden Hose Nozzle – Don’t be cheap when purchasing a spray nozzle. It makes watering your garden fun, easy, and efficient.

No. 2 – Garden Hod – A garden hod or other container with large holes or spaces in the bottom for harvesting your vegetables makes harvesting a breeze. A garden hod is great for transporting larger amounts of vegetables. In addition, you can hose off the dirt right in the container before bringing your harvest indoors.

No. 3 – Wiggle-Weeder – Also known as a Hula Hoe, is easy to use. It grabs the weeds by the roots and is an absolute must for keeping your garden weed-free.

No. 4 – Garden gloves – I didn’t always wear garden gloves. However, I won’t go without them now. They prevent blisters when shoveling and wiggle-weeding. They also keep dirt from getting underneath my fingernails.

Harvesting carrots - Rebel Retirement
Rebel Retiree harvesting carrots from our garden.


Vegetable gardening is a budget-friendly and satisfying hobby for retirees. It provides fresh food and helps to contribute to better overall health.

Do you have a vegetable garden? We would love to hear your tips for success! Please leave us a comment below. And before you go, please take a moment to subscribe to our newsletter, and like us on Facebook!

Last update: 03/23/23 – Removed extraneous verbiage from the introduction. Updated featured image.

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