You don’t have to be a plant savant or work in the dirt for hours a day to achieve a successful garden; and don’t let an expectation of lugging around bags of dirt and mulch intimidate or deter you from beginning your own garden. Start at your own pace. Getting into gardening to plant and sow is an amazing activity with a plethora of health benefits — especially for seniors.
Plus, did you know there are a wide variety of gardening tools for seniors and methods to help you experience and fully enjoy gardening without concerns of pain or injury?
Ready to get your hands dirty and start growing your own wildflowers or vegetables? We hope this article inspires you to pick up a shovel, dig in, and find true enjoyment in gardening.
National Gardening Day
Usually celebrated in mid-April, National Gardening Day was founded to celebrate the hobby of gardening and to encourage new and seasoned gardeners to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with others.
Do you have a vision for a dream garden spot? Remember, it doesn’t have to be on sprawling land. You can even create a garden space on an apartment balcony.
With the weather warming, now is the perfect time to venture outside on a mild, sunny day to begin perusing potential plots that could hold all your budding garden ideas.
The Benefits of Gardening for Seniors
From soaking in the sun to getting your body moving, going outside to begin your gardening adventure offers an array of potential benefits for your mind, body and soul.
Some gardening benefits include:
- Reducing Stress
Getting outdoors has been shown to significantly decrease feelings of stress and anxiety while also boosting positive neurological processes in your brain. This helps to lift your mood and keep you feeling on top of the world.
- Stimulate Your Brain and Body
Activities that stimulate your brain and body, such as gardening, have been shown to lower your risk for Alzheimer’s disease, and help to engage your mind and improve hand-eye coordination.
- Building Strength and Stamina
Tending to a garden can be quite the workout. Gardening can help strengthen various muscles, engage your core, and build muscle throughout your entire body.
Enjoyable and Easy Gardening for Seniors: Top 3 Safety Tips
- Always Use the Proper Tools.
From a garden kneeler (which helps protect your knees and provides proper grips to stand back up after working in the dirt) to rolling garden benches and long handled gardening devices, it’s important to pick the right tools for each job. The right tools help make tasks easier to accomplish and keep you safe from unnecessary risk during your time in the garden.
- Try Vertical Gardening.
Creating a garden that is vertical as opposed to horizontal has a number of benefits. Vertical gardens allow you to stay on your feet at all times and avoid having to overextend your body.A number of plant options actually grow better when trellised, like cucumbers, squash, melons, beans, and many other vegetables.Also, patrolling the garden for bugs, spraying and harvesting are all easier when everything is within close reach.
- Consider Raised Beds.
Having someone build raised beds in a designated area of your yard is a great way to pick the perfect height and ensure a prime location to grow anything your heart desires. Raised garden beds that are 8 to 12 inches deep and sit on top of the soil can be accessed using long-handled tools, benches or kneelers. As long as you fill the garden beds with lightweight soil mixes — that include things like peat moss or vermiculite — working the beds can be done easily from a standing or sitting position.
Community Gardens and Active, Healthy Senior Living at Episcopal SeniorLife Communities
Community gardens are available at several of our campuses, offering fresh fruits and vegetables and the opportunity to develop your green thumb skills.
At Episcopal SeniorLife Communities, we genuinely take pride in providing convenient services and amenities so our seniors can live a healthy lifestyle rooted in outdoor activity and physical engagement.
Our Neighborhood Program promotes senior health and wellness through nutrition education, exercise, and informative presentations.
Contact ESLC today to learn more about our senior living options for an inspirational and truly enjoyable retirement.