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After a long winter likely spent indoors, getting outside can give the spirit a boost. Gardening is an activity older adults can safely enjoy even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, gardening doesn’t require a large plot of land to reap the mental and physical health benefits.
Health Benefits of Gardening for Seniors
The health benefits of planting and tending to a garden are many. It’s a hobby that is linked to lower blood pressure, better core strength, and reduced stress. Of course, that’s in addition to having fresh flowers to bring indoors all summer long and a bounty of homegrown herbs and vegetables.
Seniors with limited space or a mobility challenge can plant flowers, herbs, and vegetables in containers and raised beds. It’s a great way to connect with nature when the weather in your area permits.
Container Gardening Tips for Seniors
Containers, window boxes, and raised flower beds all lend themselves to senior-friendly gardens. You can make it even easier by choosing resin or plastic blend pots that are lighter to move than those made from concrete or terra-cotta.
Here are a few tips about growing herbs, vegetables, or flowers in containers. These can help you keep your pots thriving all through the season:
A raised or elevated bed is another senior-friendly gardening solution, especially for those who struggle with balance or mobility. These kits can be purchased at a local lumber store or at online gardening sites, such as Gardener’s Supply.
In addition to the tips outlined above, here are a few more suggestions to help you plan your raised garden bed:
One last tip to remember is that container gardens and raised beds will require more frequent watering than in-ground gardens. If it’s tough for you to drag a hose or watering can around, try to locate your garden near a water source.
Stay Safe Gardening
You’ll want to know and follow a few safety precautions. Stay hydrated, especially on hot, humid days. Also, wear sunscreen and a hat that shields your face. Finally, plan your gardening tasks for early morning or evening so you can avoid being outdoors during the hottest times of day.
Whether you decide to grow a traditional garden or to create one in a container, having the right tools matters. The article 6 Garden Tools That Can Help Keep an Older Gardener Safe offers some suggestions you might find helpful, too.