Seniors and Gardening

Vegatable Gardens

Flower Gardening

Flower gardening is becoming more and more popular every day.  Flowers can brighten everyone’s day, they smell nice, and are a great hobby.  Flower gardening is simple, inexpensive, and loads of fun.  Flower gardening can be done for yard decoration, simply as a hobby, or even professionally.
There are some decisions that have to be made before even flower gardening can be started.  You must decide if you want annuals that live for one season and must be replanted every year, or perennials that survive the winter and return again in the summer.  When buying and planting, pay attention to what kind of flowers thrive in your climate as well ass the sun requirements.
When flower gardening, you must decide what type of look you want before planting.  For instance, mixing different heights, colors, and varieties of flowers together in a “wild-plant style” will give your garden a meadow look and can be very charming.  If short flowers are planted in the front of your garden and work up to the tallest flowers in the back you will have a “stepping stone style”.
You can order seeds for flower gardening from catalogs or buy them from a nursery.  Most people will go to the nursery and buy actual flowers and then transplant them.  After you have prepared your garden area and bought flowers, it is a good idea to lay the flowers out in the bed to make sure you like the arrangement and that they will be spaced properly.
One of the easiest processes in flower gardening is the planting/ if you have seeds just sprinkle them around in the flower bed.  For planting transplants dig a hole just bigger than the flower, pull the container off, and set the flower in the hole right side up.  Cover it with the loose soil and press down firmly, then water.

Maintaining a flower garden is even easier than planting one.  Although they might make it on their own, a bag of fertilizer applied in the early spring is a good idea.  Pinch back any blooms after they start to fade and keep them good and watered.  To save yourself work during the next season of flower gardening, rid your garden of all debris and spread out organic nutrients like peat moss or compost.  Don’t forget to turn over the soil to properly mix in the fertilizer and rake smooth when finished.  If you have perennials planted be careful not to disturb their roots in this process.

Flower gardening is as easy as 1, 2, and 3:  simply decide what to plant;  plant it,  and water,  water, water!

Flower gardening is undoubtedly gaining in popularity and gives anyone excellent reason to spend some outdoors and test out their green thumb.


Although there are many benefits you can gain from gardening, there are also things to consider.  For instance, a senior’s skin is much thinner and more fragile than a younger person and they can get calluses’ or cuts on their hands.  They can also get sunburned quicker and should reapply sunscreen often.

Other concerns include:

  • Falls.  If the ground is uneven, a senior is more likely to fall and break a bone.  The area needs to be free from sticks, rocks, and other hazards. It can also be beneficial for them to use a cane or a walker even if they don’t need one indoors.
  • Overheating. Older people may not be able to regulate their body temperatures as efficiently as someone twenty or thirty years younger.  It is important that they stay inside during hot times of the day and drink plenty of liquids when they are out in the garden.
  • Poor vision. If a person cannot see well, it can be more dangerous for them to be outside in an unfamiliar area than in their house where they walk every day.
  • Forgetfulness. A person with dementia may become disoriented when they are away from the familiarity of their home. This is true even if it is their backyard; they can wander off and become lost.

CantalopeVegetable Gardening Tips

With the costs of living rising all the time, it may be possible to save money and increase your family’s health at the same time by growing vegetables in your backyard.

It’s a good idea to choose your favourite vegetables to grow and plan beds for early, middle of the season and late varieties.

Most vegetables require at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, some need 8.  Some quick growers like lettuce and radish can be grown between the rows of plants that take longer to mature, like beet or corn, thus making full use of the area available.

Throughout dry periods, vegetable gardens need extra watering. Most vegetables benefit from an inch or more of water each week, especially when they are fruiting.

During the growing season watch for insect pests. If you discover a bug problem early it will be much easier, but be careful to not use pesticides once the vegetable are close to being picked unless it becomes an absolute necessity. Organic gardening is one healthy and environment-friendly option. Once you have reaped your crop, put the vegetable waste into your compost pile so that it can be recycled for next spring.

It is important to protect your vegetable garden from wild animals looking for a tasty treat. Make sure your garden is surrounded by a fence that will keep out dogs, rabbits, and other animals. The harm done by wandering animals during one season can equal the cost of a fence. A fence also can serve as a frame for peas, beans, tomatoes, and other crops that need support.

Protection is needed in order for your vegetable garden to yield a bountiful harvest. Hard work will pay dividends if necessary precautions have been made.

How to Make Gardening Safe

Seniors do not need to give up their gardening as they age.  Many things can be modified to allow them to continue to participate in an activity they enjoy.

  • Use patio plants in pots that can be placed at waist level.
  • Create raised beds to prevent back strain.
  • Buy lightweight tools and plastic buckets that are easier to handle.
  • Make sure there is a shaded area near the garden for the senior to get out of the sun for awhile.
  • Have a comfortable outdoor chair near so they can rest.

Many homecare services will allow the caregivers to assist the senior with gardening.  They can be there with them in case they would get sick or need help.

As a family caregiver, you may worry about your parent when they are outside.  You can have them buy a mobile phone to keep with them when they are outdoors.  This way, you can reach them and they can contact you if they don’t feel well.

Make sure any cuts or insect bites are cleaned and treated immediately.  If the person is unsteady, you may suggest that they don’t use power tools or put them away to prevent serious injury.  Encourage them to wear sturdy shoes and protective gear such as gloves when working in the garden.

If you are concerned about your parent spending time in the garden alone, you can utilize homecare services to assist them.  Try to encourage seniors to be active by providing caregivers as a safe resource for them to enjoy an active lifestyle. The caregivers can remind the senior to drink plenty of water and check on them to make sure they don’t stay out in the heat too long.  We can help make gardening a safe activity for your parents or loved ones to continue and enjoy.