Gardening: One of life’s most simple pleasures. That is, until pain overrides the joy. For most Seniors living with arthritis, high blood pressure, or diabetes, gardening is often a fine past time left as a memory. However, with just a few changes, you too can get a beautiful pain-free garden. The Tips outlined below are just a starting point to your own imagination.
Tip #1- Say goodbye to your aching back. With just a few minor modifications, a garden can be an easier place to work. Think raised flower beds. Instead of bending over and planting in the ground, build raised beds level to a more comfortable height. Stand with your arms to your side, where the tips of your fingers hit is the perfect height for the top of the flower bed. Either enlist help in the building of the flower bed, or make sure to wait till later in the day when the sun is not so hot. ALWAYS have a water bottle and a proper straw hat.
Tip #2- A centralized water bucket keeps you from lugging heavy containers to water your plants. Fill a larger container and carry smaller waterpots to where your plants are. Or, if economically feasible, consider installing sprinklers. The ease of use will far outweigh the cost.
Tip #3- Think perennials, shrubs, and trees instead of annuals. With a proper mulching program to stave off weeds, perennials are a plant-it-once-love-it-forever plant. This cuts back on your replanting season after season. It also gives you a budget friendly way to expand your garden. Also, native plants are a good idea to make sure the plant is properly suited to your area and will be easier to grow. This is both convenient for you, and better for your environment.
Tip #4- Mulch is not merely to bring a decorative touch to your property. It’s meant to keep plants cool, to conserve its water, and to help provide a barrier to weeds. A small layer of newspaper under the mulch of choice will also provide an organic biodegradable landscaping fabric. Mulch will break down over the season and will help enrich the soil. It’s a win-win necessity for any garden.
Tip #5- Propagating the perennials you’re considering in Tip #3 will yield a multitude of new plants each year. Go online or consult a gardening manual in your region to gain the proper times to take cuttings or do divisions of the plants you purchase. Consider a single daylily, one clump will easily provide you with over ten new plants each year. This shows you the wealth of plants you can have in just a few short seasons.
Tip #6- Invest in the right tools for your garden. Have oversized rakes and shovels with the ergonomic padded handles. Investing in proper tools will be cheaper in the long run than purchasing tools that hinder your movements, break from cheapness, or fail to work without pain to you. Less strain for your hands will make you able to work longer pain-free. Also, a large-wheeled cart will help you move plants and mulch around without having to carry it. Make sure your car has large wheels that rotate 360* and are not locked into a mere front to back motion. This makes it much easier to move around without binding.
As you can see, with just a little foresight, most senior gardeners can bask in the glory of a wonderful colorful garden without putting stress or strain on their body. Getting older doesn’t mean you have to lose out on the things you love, or risk putting yourself at risk. By following the above tips, you’ll be sharing floral arrangements with the neighbors in no time.