The bees are a buzzing and the flowers are blooming! It’s that time of year to take out your gloves and spades and get to gardening!
Gardening is a favorite pastime all over the world. People garden in different ways and for different reasons. Some garden to beautify their homes – creating curb appeal with beautiful flowers and shrubs. Others create hearty vegetable gardens providing fresh delicious veggies through the spring, summer, and fall. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying the world is in love with gardening.
Why not you too?
If you loved to garden in your youth, chances are you still love to garden now that you’re older. Well, while you are pulling weeds, or repotting a plant, you are also helping your body. That’s right, gardening can be beneficial for seniors because it keeps you active and helps improve motor skills. It may even help reduce Dementia as Five Star Senior Living states, “one study shows it may lower the risk of Dementia by as much as 36% percent.” So why not do something you love to do, that gets you outside and allows you to be creative while simultaneously improving your health. No reason at all; however, it’s important to first make sure you have the correct tools.
So what if you love to garden but you can’t keep up with the bending or digging anymore? We asked Beverly, a garden hobbyist to tell us of her difficulties gardening throughout the years.
“I remember planting Phlox flowers on the side of my home and I had to create eight, 12-inch holes. Because I didn’t have the correct tool, I ended with carpal tunnel syndrome in my right hand. I should have had a post digger to create those holes. But I had used a spade to dig through clay/dirt and ended getting a steroid shot to resolve the carpal. That was the way I gardened when I was younger, but now I realize that having the proper supplies can make the job run smoother and keep me safe.”
What many don’t realize is that as you get older you may need to look into supplies that make your gardening experience more pleasant. The way you used to garden may not be how you will continue to garden in the future. You have to be realistic about what you can and can’t do.
Products to make gardening easier
It might be difficult for those who deal with bad knees or arthritis to go out and work in the garden as they had years before. Don’t fear, there are solutions to help make your gardening process easier. Here are some gardening tools recommended for seniors.
The Garden Kneeler has thick padding for you to place your knees on when you are in your garden bed. It has a steel frame on each side to support lowering yourself to the ground safely and stability for getting back to your feet. What’s perfect about this is that you can flip the frame so that it turns into a bench for those who are gardening with a raised bed garden.
Gardening Table Every senior needs a gardening table so that potting plants is a joy instead of a chore. No bending or stooping while working at a table and your tools, spade, snippers, whatever, are easily accessible. See the Campaign Roll Top Table from Garden Fountains.com. It’s just what you need to create beautiful potted plants.
You can use this table to help you fill in the dirt for you potted plants so you don’t have to bend over. It has open grooves so that the dirt can easily slide back to the ground. It has a pertain oil finish to resist moisture which is great for keeping it outside.
Loppers are a must have item when you want to relieve the stress on your back. Every gardener has a good pair of handheld snippers. However, these loppers help to get into those difficult places and can also help protect you from thorns while cutting rose bush stems. These are also perfect for pruning trees.
Safety is key
Using these tools can help you when gardening but Beverly tells us no matter what tools you have, don’t be afraid to ask for help. “Don’t do anything that could harm you!” Beverly relates to the time she stood on top of a plant stand trying to hang a plant over her patio doors. The stand wobbled and she fell breaking her foot. So the number one safety tip is if you can’t reach something – get help or get a ladder and be sure you have someone there to support the ladder while you are on it.
Lastly, you can have all the gardening tools in the world, but if you don’t know how to use them, they won’t do you any good. Seniors, be sure to educate yourself on how to properly use the products shown here and any others you may acquire.
Make it a family tradition
Gardening is a wonderful way to get all the family together. Start involving your little grandchildren in potting plants. Remember, to them, picking up dirt is fun. Help them plant some flowers or vegetables and when they grow, show them what they helped to create. Make them a part of the process by allowing them to water the plants whenever they come by to visit. Ask your son or daughter to help with clearing away weeds or dead leaves or perhaps they could try creating a small water feature in your garden using a pretty ceramic bowl with colorful rocks. Gardening can be a great bonding activity for the whole family. Best of all, everyone can take pride in the life they helped to create in your garden.