Growing your own beautiful flowers and tasty fresh vegetables are a couple of good reasons to spend time working in the garden. But gardening can also save you money, boost your mood and improve your health.

There are generations of people in North America who have never spent time with their hands in the soil or tasted a home-grown tomato, but gardening is making a comeback. Many homeowners are setting up their first backyard plots. Those with little outside space are setting up container gardens and window boxes or joining community gardens. Gardening is one of the most popular outdoor activities, but many seniors feel that they must give it up when physical activities become more challenging. Gardening can enrich our lives in so many ways as we age, so finding ways to make gardening easier for seniors to enjoy is important.

Gardening season will be here soon. Here are some tips and techniques to help the senior gardener:

  • Seating. Set up a stool, chair or bench to avoid squatting or stooping
  • Get new tools. Purchase long handled tools to prevent stooping, bending and reaching.
  • Paint your tools. Paint the gardening tools with a bright colour, making them easy to spot.
  • Seed tape and mats – Make planting easier by buying mats or tape with seeds pre-sewn in, ready to plant
  • Raised beds – Design and build raised beds, so the gardener can sit comfortably while working
  • Set up a trellis or vertical garden. This will enable gardening while standing, no bending or leaning required
  • Avoid the midday sun. Garden before 10am or after 2pm, skipping the most intense heat of the day. For safety, stay hydrated, wear lightweight clothing and take regular breaks in the shade.
  • Sun protection. Wear a wide brimmed hat, sun glasses, sunscreen and a long sleeved shirt.

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