The joy and health benefits of gardening

Piles of black dirt are spread on a field.
Piles of dirt wait to be spread into the community garden that Youth Farm is building in north Minneapolis on June 6.
Evan Frost | MPR News file

Is 2020 the year of the garden? Anecdotally, more people are expanding their gardens or testing whether they have a green thumb for the first time.

Garden centers and garden-related industries have reported an increase in seed and product sales during the pandemic. There’s even been talk of COVID-19 “victory gardens,” a throwback to the historical gardens of World War II.

But the benefits aren’t just physical. Gardening, green spaces and plants can boost mental health as well.

On Thursday at 9 a.m., MPR News host Kerri Miller will talk with two guests about the power of plants and talk with listeners about how to make their vegetables and blooms thrive.


  • Julie Weisenhorn is an associate professor in horticulture at the University of Minnesota. 

  • Catherine Grant is the biology department greenhouse manager at the University of St. Thomas.

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