Cost-Friendly Tips for Seniors to Enjoy Gardening
Gardening is one of those rare activities that provide the perfect blend of productivity and relaxation. For older adults, research shows that gardening offers considerable health benefits, including:
- Regular physical activity
- Improved strength and mobility
- Sustained sense of purpose
- Decreased risk of diseases such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and dementia
- Reduced stress levels
Though many gardening tasks are labor-intensive, with the right accommodations and resources, seniors can enjoy gardening well into their golden years.
Prevention is key when it comes to weed control. Pulling weeds is tough on your back and knees, so the more you can reduce weed growth, the better.
Set down fabric barriers that prevent undesired plants from popping up while still allowing water to penetrate and hydrate nearby flowers and trees. Top with a thick layer of river rocks or pea gravel, which last longer than mulch options like wood chips or straw.
Pull existing weeds from the root to get rid of them for good. Use long-handled tools to minimize back strain. If you need to kneel, position a cushion underneath to protect your knees.
Save your energy for tasks that can’t be automated. Set sprinklers on a timer to water your lawn and garden at regular intervals. Try out the wine bottle method for container plants. Using a one-and-a-half liter bottle can provide irrigation for up to six weeks.
Choose Plants Wisely
Gardens filled with native plants and perennials are easiest to maintain. Native plant species will have already adapted to your region’s climate and soil conditions; thus, they’ll require little extra care to thrive.
Perennials regrow every spring, saving you the time, money, and effort of having to replant. Shop for varieties based on your plant hardiness zone. Connect with an expert at your local nursery for recommendations and guidance.
Focus on Accessibility
Even if you’re in tip-top shape with no medical limitations, it’s wise to take precautions to prevent pain and injury. Raised garden beds, container gardens, and vertical planters enable you to work in more comfortable positions.
Use ergonomic tools that are designed to support muscles and joints. Senior-friendly tools are made with easy-to-grip handles that can be adjusted to avoid excessive stooping or reaching. Haul your tools and other gardening supplies in a rolling cart. For bigger tools like hoes and rakes, look for collapsible options that can be neatly stored when not in use.
Hire Affordable Outside Help
Seek assistance with tasks that are too strenuous or dangerous. For basic lawn care services like mowing, enlist the help of a neighbor or local teenager who needs community service hours.
Certain jobs are better left to the pros. In fact, dead trees, tree stumps are big jobs, so they should be completed only by qualified professionals. Costs will depend on your location, the size of the stump, and the complexity of the removal. Expect to pay an additional cost if the root system needs to be extracted. Contact local companies to inquire about discounts and promotions. Some cities and municipalities offer free and low-cost tree removal services for seniors.
Practice Outdoor Safety
Make the most of your gardening time by staying safe. Consult with your St. Paul’s PACE medical care team about any restrictions to physical activity. Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and weather-appropriate clothing, and take frequent breaks.
Keep your beloved hobby safe, fun, and affordable with senior-friendly gardening tools and ideas. Rely on professionals for overly demanding tasks. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or an absolute beginner, gardening is a wonderful way to stay healthy in your retirement years.
About the Author:
Katie Conroy is the creator of AdviceMine.com. She particularly enjoys writing about lifestyle topics and created the website to share advice she has learned through experience, education, and research.
Last updated on November 14th, 2022 at 10:20 am - St. Paul’s PACE website H5629 2102 - Approved on 3/23/2021