Gardening for Seniors:
If you can only grow one plant, it will ground your senses and bring you so much joy.
It will also give you a purpose to get out of the house and check your plant for water and pests. :)
Gardening is a delightful way for seniors to stay active and connect with nature.
So, what are you waiting for?
Statistics: just in case you need some convincing:
- According to a 2013 survey conducted by Statistics Canada, approximately 46% of Canadian households participated in gardening activities. However, I think this number is considerably higher after Covid.
vancouverisawesome.com Cultivating Poll Report:
Women interested in gardening (68%)
Men interested in gardening (57%).
Canadians aged 55 and over that are growing or cultivating plants (68%)
Age 18 to 34 (63%)
Age 35 to 54 (57%)
- A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, engaging in gardening activities can reduce the risk of dementia in seniors by 36%.
- A survey conducted by AARP found that 78% of seniors who engage in gardening activities report a positive impact on their overall well-being.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends gardening as an ideal form of moderate-intensity exercise for seniors, helping to improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- The Journal of Aging and Physical Activity found that seniors who participate in gardening have better hand strength and dexterity.
- A report published by the National Recreation and Park Association found that gardening activities for seniors can contribute to increased socialization and community engagement, leading to improved mental and emotional well-being.
Creating an Accessible Garden just for you:
If growing at ground level is too hard, what about Raised Beds or Container Gardening?
Install raised beds or containers at a comfortable height to avoid excessive bending or kneeling. I have raised beds (on the ground) and I still can't get use to growing corn in raised beds. I created wide pathways that can accommodate mobility aids, such as walkers, wheelchairs and gardening wagons. A garden wagon is easy to pull and provides space for tools and a small bench for sitting while gardening.
I also invested in cordless power tools that provide a comfortable grip and are easy to use, reducing strain on my hands and joints.
Pathways and Handrails
Clear pathways with smooth surfaces and lots of places to sit with proper handrails, can greatly enhance mobility and safety in the garden for seniors. If you have lawn paths, make sure that the grass is mowed short. Less chance of people losing their footing.
Adequate lighting along the pathways is essential for visibility, especially during the evening walkabouts with lots of places to sit and enjoy the peace and quiet.
This I don't have. I have sprinklers on timers, but a drip irrigation is on my "to do" list.
I like watering, it's dragging the heavy hose around that I have a problem with. :)
So, installing an automated watering system will simplify the task of watering plants.
One of the easiest and most versatile forms of gardening for seniors is container gardening.
I have been looking at "Vegepods" and "Raised Garden Beds". As I drive around I noticed lots of them being used on balconies.
They are expensive, but they look nice and you can pull up a chair and work in your container garden and talk with the neighbours on the next balcony.
Also "rubber maid" totes makes nice containers for plants with longer tap roots. Use the lid for a draining tray, drill holes in tote for drainage and they make good containers for tomatoes, peppers etc. Add a few companion plants like marigolds and herbs and you have colour all season as well. If that's too low for you, a couple of cinder blocks with wood on top ( "2x4" or whatever size lumber you need ) will raise the container up for you.
FAQ: Best Food and Flower Plants for Container Gardens?
FAQ: Are there any community gardening programs for seniors?
Ans: Yes, where I live we have the "horticultural club".
They have garden tours, seminars, seeds, plant exchanges etc.
Most importantly gardening clubs provide a place to teach, learn and connect with other gardening enthusiasts.
However, many other communities offer gardening programs specifically tailored for seniors at "seniors' centres". You don't have to go there to just play cards, if you don't want to.
Maybe you can start your own gardening club. :)
Top Low Maintenance Garden Plants for Seniors:
1. Ornamental grasses
2. Sedums (Stonecrop)
3. Daylilies (Hemerocallis)
4. Hostas (Plantain Lilies)
5. Geraniums (Pelargonium)
7. Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia)
8. Coneflowers (Echinacea)
Durable Resilient Shrubs and Bushes
1. Barberry (Berberis)
Mint, Sage, Thyme, Parsley, Oregano, Thyme
Easy to grow Vegetables
Tomatoes, peppers, beans, peas, lettuce, garlic, green onions.
Enjoy your garden!
Written by: canadian-gardening.ca
Thank you Jackie!