Early Spring Gardening Tips for SeniorsMarch 28, 2023
Gardening can be a fun and rewarding hobby for seniors. Not only does it allow you to be outside and connect with nature, but it also provides a sense of accomplishment as you watch your plants grow and thrive. Additionally, gardening has been shown to have mental and physical health benefits, such as reducing stress and increasing physical activity.
With it finally being spring, both seasoned gardeners and those just starting out can take to their yards and start growing. Before you get started, take note of these early spring gardening tips for seniors.
Make gardening easier from the get-go
Gardening is a more physical activity than many realize. While this makes for a fantastic option for light exercise, bending and crouching can be quite difficult for some seniors. However, there are things you can do when you start gardening to make the entire process easier.
- Install a vertical garden. Vertical gardens are beds of plants growing along vertical supports. It can be grown directly on a wall, or with several hanging containers. They’re a great option for someone with limited yard space and seniors who struggle with bending too often.
- Use raised beds. For those who have more room in their yard, raised plant beds are a great alternative to traditional gardening. These types of beds can be purchased or built, and can even come with a built-in bench.
If you’d prefer to get down on the ground, there are still things you can do to make it more comfortable. A small bench, stool, chair, or padded kneeler can make a world of difference in your overall comfort.
Prepare yourself before stepping outside
Before you do any sort of physical activity, it is important that you take a few minutes to stretch out your muscles. This will help prevent cramping or soreness at a later date which can come with all the ups and downs of gardening.
Dressing the part is crucial to keeping you safe. Make sure you wear closed-toed shoes, long-sleeved shirts, pants, a hat, and gloves when dealing with particularly prickly plants. Wear sunscreen everywhere your skin is exposed to avoid a burn, and always keep water nearby to stay hydrated.
While you’re in the garden, be mindful of any potential fall hazards. Roots sticking out of the ground, wet surfaces, and uneven patches in the lawn could cause a fall. Be aware of these issues so you stay as safe as possible.
Have the right tools
When it comes to gardening tools, there are many options to choose from. However, it’s important to choose tools that are easy for you to use and comfortable to hold. These tools should be lightweight but still quite sturdy with rubber handles for better grip.
Consider using ergonomic tools, such as long-handled cultivators or trowels, to help reduce strain on your back and knees. You may also want to invest in a garden cart or wagon to help you transport tools and plants around your garden.
Clean the garden space early
The sooner you clear your garden space of debris and prepare it, the sooner you’ll be able to start planting! Don’t wait until the weather is perfect for this step, as that’s when the peak growing time is. As soon as possible, pull the weeds, till the soil, and lay your compost and fertilizer.
Start small and simple
If you’ve never gardened before, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is starting with plants that are difficult to maintain. Start by researching plants that are well-suited for your area and that will grow well in the type of soil you have. Then, pick a few options that seem simple to manage. Remember, you can always add variety next year!
If you want to grow a lush flower bed, consider azaleas, hydrangeas, and chrysanthemums. If you’re more interested in growing something you can eat, try carrots, beans, and herbs like mint or oregano.
Find help from an at-home caregiver this spring
While you take care of your garden, get help with your home care needs. A home caregiver can make all the difference in helping seniors live comfortably at home. They provide assistance with daily tasks, such as grocery shopping and meal preparation, and offer companionship through conversation and engaging activities.
If you’re considering a home caregiver to support you in living a healthy and fulfilling life, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 773-274-9262. Our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality care and support.
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