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National Backyard Day – March 19, 2023

National Backyard Day falls on March 19 and on this day we celebrate, embrace, and enjoy our backyards. Whether right behind your home or in a neighborhood park, backyards are a place for relaxation, happiness, and freedom. Gardening, cookouts, scavenger hunts, backyard camping, taking a nap, and homemade obstacle courses are a few of the creative ways that people use their backyards. These green spaces provide solace and creativity that is much needed in today’s busy pace of life. National Backyard Day is marked in celebration of the special backyard memories we share with friends and family all year round.

History of National Backyard Day

For many years, American backyards were purely functional. They were mainly used for gardening since there were few corner stores and market produce. However, after World War II, people had more disposable income and migrated to the suburbs. This brought about a significant transformation in the treatment of backyards. People focused more on the aesthetic appeal of these spaces and introduced ornamental plants and garden features.

Also, there was a surplus of materials such as aluminum and concrete, meaning that it was affordable to build patios, pools, and lawn furniture. The backyard grew into a place for leisure and entertaining guests and became an extension of the living space.

The establishment of Earth Day in 1970 renewed people’s interest in growing produce at home. Landscapers started mingling vegetables and fruits with ornamentals in formal garden designs, and “edible landscaping” became increasingly popular. Urban community gardens became more widespread and people picked up an interest in organic gardening once more.

Similar to the dooryard gardens of early America, today’s home gardens contain edible plants and herbs. People also include flowers and native plants to add interest to these utility spaces in distinctly American ways.

ZYRTEC®, a brand that makes oral antihistamines, has always believed in the power of the backyard. On the anniversary of backyards becoming the nearest green space of escape, ZYRTEC® officially designated March 19, 2021, as the first National Backyard Day.

National Backyard Day timeline

1700s
Home Gardening Begins in America

American colonists rely on productive home gardens for food crops and medicinal herbs.

Early 1900s
Changes in Gardening

Interest in edible gardening drops as jobs draw Americans to urban areas.

Late 1900s
Back to Their Roots

Edible gardens make a comeback as Americans become more health-conscious and desire more fresh, local food.

2009
A Presidential Garden

The White House plants its first vegetable garden since WWII.

National Backyard Day FAQs

When is the best time to water my backyard plants?

In the evening or early in the morning works best since the soil is cooler and less water will evaporate than during the heat of the day.

Why is home gardening important?

It contributes immensely to daily food needs.

What seeds sprout the fastest?

Radishes, melon, and squash plants. For flowers, consider zinnias or marigolds.

National Backyard Day Activities

  1. Sit in your backyard

    Take some time to relax and unplug. Leave your phone in the house, lay on a lawn chair, and enjoy the sights and sounds in your backyard.

  2. Invite others

    Invite your friends to spend time with you in your backyard. It could be something as simple as catching up over a few drinks, or more elaborate like an afternoon of barbequing.

  3. Tend to your backyard

    Inspect your yard to see if any weeds need pulling or if there are flowers that may have been neglected. Giving your backyard some tender loving care on this day will benefit both you and the garden.

5 Unknown Facts About Backyard Gardens

  1. Flowers as clocks

    The naturalist Carolus Linnaeus discovered that certain plants/ flowers opened at specific times of the day, such as Hawk’s Beard at 6:30 A.M., Hawkbit at seven A.M., and the Ice Plant at 11 A.M.

  2. More than gold

    The tulip flower was once worth more than gold, especially, the white variety.

  3. Rich backyard soil

    Studies show that there are more microorganisms in one teaspoon of soil than there are people on earth.

  4. Plants have ears

    Research has shown that vibration (like music or the sound of your voice) can affect plant growth.

  5. Sweet tomato recipe

    Regularly sprinkling baking soda into your tomato plant's soil can help reduce acidity which makes the tomato crop sweeter.

Why We Love National Backyard Day

  1. It’s a day to relax

    It's so easy to get caught up in life's busy pace. But on National Backyard Day, we get into chill mode as we unwind in these havens of serenity.

  2. We get together with loved ones

    Good things are always better when shared. National Backyard Day gives us a chance to bond and relax with our loved ones.

  3. We connect with nature

    Backyards have so much beauty that we often overlook. On National Backyard Day, we slow down and enjoy the smells, sights, sounds, tastes, and textures in nature.

National Backyard Day dates

YearDateDay
2023March 19Sunday
2024March 19Tuesday
2025March 19Wednesday
2026March 19Thursday
2027March 19Friday

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