Let’s face it, we are all going to face retirement and for those of us that want to enjoy our twilight years, where better to spend some of this time, but outside in our garden. When we get to that stage in our lives, say just after getting retirement from our day job, there will be a huge vacuum to fill. We will have gone from being super active on a daily basis, ie, Mon- Fri every week of the the year for the last 30 – 40 yrs approx and now we find ourselves doing the exact opposite of this. It will bring an enormous, physical, cultural and emotional change to our personality and character overnight, so to counteract this, we need something to occupy this spare time and fill that gap. Gardening ideas for seniors is a well researched topic or niche and is a hobby that will easily take over or occupy, some of the spare time that we may have.
Retirement need not be the end of our careers, luckily, and there are some great ideas being discussed and examined, as to how we can substitute the work factor into an enjoyment fulfilling experience. In some cases people who have retired, will travel for some time, they may go working on a part-time basis or they may do other projects that they would have lined up for themselves, with their impending retirement on the horizon. They may give their spare time to charitable causes or like minded organisations for a few hours every week or do something along those lines. The idea that we are pitching today is to spend some quality part of this time outside in their backyard or backgardens, in the great outdoors. We are going to luck at some of these suggestions here and offer some advise on gardening ideas for seniors.
Build a raised bed;
Top of our suggested ideas, is to build a raised garden bed. First off, it can become a project in itself, ie, take some time out to plan and construct this bed frame, decide how big it needs to be and then where to locate this construction. Secondly, having established all of the initial ideas, we can go ahead and either build this ourselves or purchase this raised bed frame online.
Why a raised bed I hear you ask….Well for starters, a raised bed looks very organised, stylish and its very easy to cultivate, plant and maintain. Against that, just look at the open garden system and at a glance, it looks slightly intimidating as it may be overgrown, it requires a lot of time, work and effort to get it ready for planting and growing, whereas, at this stage of our lives, that may be off-putting. Psychologically, the raised bed will offer a simpler option and this brings about a certain amout of happiness and contentment.
As we have discussed many times on this site, raised beds are very easy to maintain, we have less weeding and less bending or stooping, which will be very welcomed. If the frame of this construction is solid and firm, we may be able to perch ourselves on this and that will offer another degree of comfort.
Maintain the raised beds a little;
With a little maintenance, we can eleiminate a lot of the work load when dealing with raised beds. The little maintenance that would be required is the simple job of mulching. When our plants or vegetables have become established, then is the time to think about mulching. Mulching can be done in many ways and to read more about how we can carry-out this chore, please see below, as we have written extensively about this gardening exercise. Mulching is a great way of keeping weeds down and it’s also a great way of conserving moisture in our raised beds. As we know raised beds tend to dry out quicker than ground gardens, due to their raised positions, so this is a task that needs some extra attention, especially during hot dry spells;
Plant periennel vegetables or bushes;
If we are deciding to grow some vegetables, fruit producing trees or shrubs, we need to do this in such a way as that it will require as little labour or work that’s possible. We will have to garden clever, if I can describe it in that fashion. By this, I mean, we should plant vegetables like rhubarb, strawberries, artichoke and the likes, veggies that will produce yields year after year and need to be only planted once. Fruit producing bushes like blackberry, raspberry, gooseberry, need only one planting, require very little maintenance and when mature, will yield great produce for years.
Easy grow vegetables;
There some vegeatbles that are very easy to grow, will produce in as little as 30 days and require very little attention or work when sowing. Some of these are: Onions, shallots, carrots, some cabbages, leeks, spinack, chard and maybe broad beans. We can buy these as saplings or seedlings and plant immediately as soon as the weather permits. Just a little watering is required and this task is relatively easy to do. After a week or two, we could do some more mulching around these and this will help in many ways as described above.
Garden to our limits;
This is very important to adhere to and its critical that we enjoy the whole experience and also it’s important that we are not overwhelmed by the size of this task. It should be more a labor of love say than having it as a daily responsibility. It goes without saying that we don’t bite off more than we can chew and keep everything in moderation. These gardening ideas for seniors are just pointers, they offer a different perspective on retirement and are a hobby or past-time that is most enjoyable and hugely rewarding. Below are some references to other ideas on this website that may offer useful information to all of the above.
I trust that this information will be of assistance to our senior gardeners and as usual, please do join in the conversation, via the comments box down below.
Happy gardening to all
Cheers Phil Browne.