Gardening and taking care of the lawn can be relaxing pastimes, and many seniors rely on that time outdoors to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, which can have many beneficial effects on both the mind and body. Not only that, a well-tended lawn or garden can also benefit the environment. It can be difficult to do such work as we get older, however, and taking care of a big lawn or garden can be a burden on the budget. It can also be hard to find space for a garden if you’ve recently downsized to a smaller home or have moved to an assisted living community.
The good news is that there are many ways you can introduce low-maintenance landscaping into your lawn and garden area and still reap the benefits. From bringing in raised beds for your garden to trying out container gardening, there are several things you can do to make sure you’re still able to spend time outdoors and enjoy the greenery without spending a ton of money.
Here are a few tips on gardening with a budget.
Hire Some Help
If taking care of your home’s exterior is too physical, consider hiring some help for your lawn. A professional service can overhaul your landscaping or just tend to your grass and shrubbery, keeping it well-maintained throughout the year so that you won’t have to do all the back-breaking work. Another key area where seniors might want to hire professional help is for gutter cleaning. If you have a lot of trees in your yard dropping leaves in your gutter, it’s important to have them cleaned out. Getting on a ladder and cleaning them can be a dangerous task; however, so check online reviews of local gutter cleaners to find someone to take care of the job for you.
Modify Your Garden
It can be difficult for many seniors to bend over or kneel in a garden, but there are some modifications you can do to make the job much easier on your body. Installing raised beds will give you easier access to your plants, especially if they’re narrow enough that you can reach them from any side. Keep in mind that it’s important to make sure there’s a flat surface in between to help prevent falls and allow you to use equipment like a wheelchair or rolling seat.
Choose the Right Plants
One of the easiest ways to create budget-friendly, low-maintenance landscaping is to choose plants that can withstand drought and don’t need a lot of care. Look for perennials, as well, since these will keep coming back year after year and won’t require a ton of work each spring. If you live in an area that doesn’t get much rain, consider a “dry garden” full of succulents and other hardy plants that don’t need a lot of water.
Start with the Right Tools
The right tools can make any gardening job easier, and they don’t have to cost a fortune. Do a little reading to get a feel for which tools might benefit you most, such as a weeder, a rolling chair, or a garden cart that will help you move it all around easily. If you’re going to mow your lawn on your own, think about purchasing an electric mower instead of a gas-operated model. With an electric model, you won’t have to pull the start cord which can be difficult for some seniors.
Take your physical needs into consideration when choosing items to use in the garden; for example, what will help you get the most out of your time outdoors? Don’t forget to make sure your safety is a priority when spending time in the garden, especially in the heat. Wear cool cotton blends, stay hydrated, and take breaks often. Wear sturdy shoes to prevent tripping on uneven surfaces.
It is possible to have a great lawn and garden without breaking the bank — or your back. The key is to make everything as accessible as possible and to know your limitations, and don’t forget to have fun! Gardening is a wonderful way to stay active and enjoy time outdoors, and it can be hugely beneficial to your mental health.
Clara Beaufort reached out from Gardener Gigs to write this wonderful guest blog for us. Clara is a retired business owner, who is currently working in community gardening. Gardener Gigs aims to connect local gardeners with those who need them.
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