How to Create a Budget-Minded Accessible Garden for Seniors
For many seniors, gardening and landscaping is one of the highlights of the day. It enables them to get outside in the sunshine while getting their heart rate up with some mild exercise. The sense of accomplishment after having successfully grown a plant also can provide seniors with a powerful mental boost. However, not all gardening techniques are easy on tired bones, and many traditionally accepted landscaping styles are expensive. Here are a few ways you can design and care for your garden or yard without overstretching your muscles or your bank account and budget.
Make Your Garden Accessible with Raised Beds
If you’ve always wanted to have a garden but don’t want to strain your back by constantly stooping and bending down, there is an option for you. Instead of planting at ground level, why not construct raised beds that make planting, weeding, and harvesting that much easier? Depending on your range of motion, you can get by with beds raised a foot or two, all the way up to waist-high beds, that prevent you from needing to bend down.
All you need to build a simple raised bed are boards, screws, and time, though you can just as easily purchase a do-it-yourself kit or premade bed from a hardware store like Lowe’s, and you can save money to using cashback opportunities and in-store offers. You can also give your garden another dimension by making a point to plant vegetables such as cucumbers and beans that like to grow vertically along a trellis. Vertical gardening makes routine maintenance and harvesting much easier because you won’t need to bend down at all. Remember, trellises don’t have to be complicated and ornate to be effective — you can even build them yourself! With raised beds and vertically oriented plants, your yard will become much more accessible.
Take Care of Yourself in the Sun
Another way you can preserve your body while gardening is by practicing proper habits and techniques. First, you should always stay cool and hydrated. Keep a large bottle of water with you as you garden and have a cool room nearby you can dip into if you start getting too hot. Loose clothing made from natural materials is lighter and much more breathable than tight or synthetic clothing. You can also shield yourself from the sun with a pair of good sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.
Next, you should make sure that you have the correct set of tools and that you are using them properly. Soaker hoses and drip irrigation systems prevent you from having to drag a heavy hose around, and garden carts with large wheels make it easy to move things like potting soil around. When you go shopping for tools like garden forks and spades, look for ergonomically designed tools that will keep your hands and fingers comfortable even when you’ve been gardening for over an hour. While ergonomic tools may be slightly more expensive than traditional tools, you can save money on them, as well as other landscaping supplies, by looking for online coupon codes and rebates.
Also, keep in mind that many money-saving landscaping features can be built yourself. If you’re just getting started with your garden, you may want to start small. Container gardening can be an ideal way for you to get introduced to gardening without the pressure of a yard full of plant life. Containers can also make your outdoor space more accessible, as they can be placed wherever it is convenient for you.
Gardening can be an enriching, exciting hobby, particularly for seniors. Over time, it can help the environment, create an improved habitat for wildlife, and strengthen your mind and your muscles. Plus, you will have the daily satisfaction of seeing beautiful plant life you helped grow.
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