Gardening is incredibly healthy for the body and mind. It gets you out in nature. It helps reduce stress and the risk of stroke, and alleviates depression and anxiety. That’s why it is one of the top hobbies recommended for seniors. Despite that, some seniors may not fully commit themselves out of fear that it will be too strenuous and/or expensive. That doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some tips for budget-friendly, manageable gardening for seniors.
Move more things to containers
Container gardening – whether flowers or vegetables – is a good way for seniors to transition from large, unruly plots of land (big backyards) to smaller, more manageable gardening spaces. Growing plants in containers is often easier than growing them in the ground and requires less time spent on weeding and other general upkeep. Containers (terra cotta or plastic), potting soil, and small gardening tools are on the cheaper side of all landscaping supplies, too. When you’re inevitably shopping for supplies at a retailer like Walmart, don’t forget to check out in-store offers and promo codes online. These extra ways to save can help you lower the costs on an already inexpensive project even more.
Incorporate raised beds
Raised garden beds have benefits for gardeners of all ages: they provide excellent drainage as well as a solid barrier for grass, weeds, and pests like slugs. But for seniors, the benefits are even greater. Want to reduce back strain? Think very tall beds. As DIY Network says, “Waist-high raised beds are one way to eliminate bending altogether. With tall raised beds, seeding, weeding and harvesting are a snap.” If you’re crafty, raised beds can be built on the cheap. Even if you buy them premade, they are still inexpensive.
Be smart about what you plant
How you garden is important, but it may not be as important as what you garden. Some plants are simply higher maintenance than others. Seniors can opt for a more low-maintenance garden, filled with hardy plants that are easier to maintain and harder to kill. This way, missing a day of watering won’t ruin your whole garden. Hardy perennials, like daisies, hostas, and peonies, are good choices, as are drought-resistant plants, like coneflower and butterfly weed. The easier the plants are to grow, the more you’ll enjoy your garden.
Reduce the actual garden space
A smaller greenspace is inevitably easier to garden. You can focus more on making what you have perfect if what you have is smaller. If you have a yard that’s simply too large for you to manage, think about reducing that greenspace. Sure, you could build a deck, patio, or put in a pool. But as a budget-friendly senior gardener, you may want to look into low-cost paver stones. With these, you can create attractive pathways and seating areas inside your garden for less than $100.
Pay someone to mow
Pay someone? Is that really budget-friendly? Well, when you do the math, the answer is yes. Once you factor in the cost of all that equipment (mower, blower, weed eater, etc.), it would take the average person nearly seven years to recoup the costs of spending money to mow their own lawn versus paying only about $270 per year to hire someone to do it. Plus, as a senior, having someone else mow your lawn frees up your time to focus on the fun stuff. It’s worth it in the long run.
Getting older doesn’t mean that you can’t do certain things in the garden. It simply means that you want to start thinking about smarter ways to do them. The good news is that most of the things that make gardening easier for seniors are relatively inexpensive.
Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash