Retirees Guide to Safe and Enjoyable Gardening

Safe Senior Retiree GardeningOne of America’s favorite pastime and outdoor leisure activity is Gardening; the seed has been planted and nearly 80 million people enjoy it according to the NGA (National Gardening Association). Gardening provides escapism and a form of reconnection to nature, as well as a sanctuary for your pets and native animals.

Yet many give it up, feeling the need to stop the kneeling, the cleaning of tools, and the lugging of hoses because they hit their senior years. That is the opposite of what people in their later years should be doing, since studies have shown excellent mental and physical health linked with the common gardening practises. It can enrich your spiritual side also, if that’s something you’re needing. 😉 And let’s not forget about the bonding that can occur between you and your loved ones while in the garden. It can be time well spent…

There are some tips and tricks that we’ve encountered or heard of over the years that will impact the senior gardener’s experience and help make it an enjoyable activity.

Build and Design your Garden to suit your needs: “We are the tamers of landscape!” quoted someone in mythological text (I forget whom), but when you’re designing your yard you should consider accessibility and as much comfort as possible. A trellis or vertical garden helps the senior gardener weed, water and plant without bending or stooping over. Raise garden beds if necessary and always have a stool, kneeling pad or pair of foam knee pads at your disposal for the times you need to kneel or get low.

Paint your tools: it is no secret that eye sight degenerates as you age, and for some reason the majority of tools and equipment we’ve used over the years are painted green, brown or blue. There are brightly colored versions out there, but if you cannot find them we recommend using bright tape or paint to help make sure you never loose them in the dirt, grass, or leaf bag. Well, util they come equipped with GPS tracking we cannot guarantee the leaf bag won’t swallow a tool or two.

Use the most ergonomically designed equipment on the market and really do your research. Longer tools prevent repetitive bending and motions that could injure you, or re-aggravate an old ailment.

Choose the best time of day: during Spring and Summer months, depending on your location, can be humid, dry or unbearably hot. Avoiding the times between 10am and 2pm is the usual recommendation as that is midday. Consume lots of water and make sure you are dressed in loose, lightly colored clothing. A few squirts of bug spray or natural remedies to keep the bugs away are recommended if it is the season for pesky flies and insects.

Gloves can save your hands: most gardening gloves are heavy leather materials or a canvas thread, and can get extremely warm and uncomfortable. This piece of clothing is the most difficult to recommend and is a personal choice.

And the most important to some, is to select the plants and flowers that make you happy, have the best aromas and heighten your sense of smell and touch. It will encourage you to spend more time in your garden hideout.