Gardening for Senior Citizens

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Creating a Healthy Lifestyle for Senior Citizens

Gardening For Senior Citizens-weeding-poppies-bed
Weeding poppies bed

As we grow older our bodies begin to slow down we become less active, at this stage in our lives it so important that we not only eat healthy but involve ourselves in activities that will keep our heart rate up staying fit and healthy.

Who says that those golden years should be spent laying on the couch or sitting down day after day watching your favorite television programs, and while there is no harm in doing this, it should be done in moderation because there is a saying that “a body that is in motion stays in motion” and by engaging in physical activities will ensure that we maintain good health.

My mother in law is in her 70’s, she’s always in her garden working, water or planting something and she has so much energy. She really enjoys her garden and because of this activity, it’s helping her to stay fit and healthy.

Connecting with nature

There is just something about the garden and connecting with nature. What I love about gardening is we have an awesome part to play by giving nature a helping hand as we watch our gardens transform into a work of art.

This can be very exciting for seniors as they see the effort they put in each day begin to pay off in big ways. What is also great about garden activities is the mental effect it has on the mind and for seniors, this to can be very rewarding keeping their brains sharp and alert not to mention the many wildlife to watch in their habitat.

Gardening for seniors

Some ideas for gardening projects for seniors

1. Flower gardens- Starting a flower garden is great because flower gardens tend to paint such a magical picture with their array of colors in full bloom.

2. Butterfly gardens- Creating a butterfly garden is worth having as you will not only be providing a home for wildlife but watching them as they fly from plant to plant so gracefully collecting nectar.

3. Hummingbird gardening- Hummingbirds are really fun to watch as they go from plant to plant collecting nectar. This is a garden that will provide lots of fun and excitement to seniors as they go bird watching.

4. Herb gardens- What better way to spend the time by creating a herb garden. Herbs can be used to flavor foods and as medicine to bring natural healing.

5. Vegetable gardens- This can bring such delight, to be able to eat veggies that you grew yourself. This experience is so rewarding as you eat the fruits of your labor.

6. Urban Gardening- What I love about this type of gardening is it brings the whole community together both the young, middle age, and seniors which promotes togetherness and friendship.

7. Raised bed gardening-Raised bed gardening is another twist to gardening that is really cool. Garden projects like this can really add flavor and style.

8. Container gardening- Don’t’ have the space no problem, Container gardening can ensure that you are still involved in some garden activities while connecting with nature and enjoying these portable gardens.

There are many more garden designs that can be added to this list. Get creative think outside of the box, this is good for brain exercise.

Gardening For Senior Citizens-watering-pink-peonies
Watering pink peonies

7 health benefits for senior citizens working in their gardens

1. Light garden exercise will keep the muscle lubricated and functioning helping to avoid stiffness.

2. Working on the great outdoors in the garden will help in relieving stress.

3. Gardening is a great mental exercise for senior’s mental health.

4. Garden work can help in exercising the heart promoting health.

5. A great way for seniors to control their weight is by engaging in garden work.

6. Senior citizens working in the garden can help in reducing the risk of stroke.

7. It’s believed that gardening may reduce the risk of dementia in senior citizens.

Gardening for senior Citizens

21 Garden safety tips for seniors

1. The first rule to remember at all times and that is safety first this is where proper planning comes in no matter how small the project may be.

2. Have a plan on where you are working exp… working on slopes, working near overhead power lines or electrical lines in the ground can be dangerous.

3. Be mindful of water lines as well as irrigation lines.

4. Watch out for uneven grounds you don’t want to trip and fall.

5. Wait until the ground is dry from the rain or heavy dew. A former co-worker went out on the hotel grounds one morning where I was employed making his regular checks,  he slipped on the grass that was wet and broke his leg. Talk about a freak accident. 

6. Wear long clothing to be protected from the sun along with sunscreen to protect your (face) skin.

7. Wear proper footwear such as garden boots.

8. A good pair of garden gloves will protect your hands.

9. Goggles should be worn depending on the project to protect your eyes.

10.  Wear ear muffs or earplugs when using power tools such as lawnmowers, gas-powered trimmers, etc…

11. Carry tools in a wheel burrow for ease and comfort.

12. Get help if the project requires more hands.

13. Keep the body hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

14. Eat a healthy meal before starting work and wait for 10-15 minutes before working.

15. The best time for seniors to garden outdoors is in the morning when it is cool or late in the evening when the sun is about to set.

16. Wearing a hat can help in keeping you cool when working in the heat.

17. Have a first aid kit close by.

18. Keep insect spray close by for wasp, hornets, etc…

19. Never leave tools laying on the ground you might trip on them which may cause injury.

20. Paint garden tools with bright colors, this will make it easier for seniors when it comes to looking for the right tools.

21. Use a nice low chair if bending is a challenge.

The final word

Gardening is a great activity for seniors as it can both contribute to their physical and mental well-being. This is a great way to work outdoors connecting with nature and getting that much-needed exercise.

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So let’s help our senior citizens have this kind of experience by engaging in this fun-filled activity that is so rewarding as it brings, peace and relaxation.

About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

22 thoughts on “Gardening for Senior Citizens”

  1. Hi Norman,

    This is a very useful and helpful article. You are totally correct, activity keeps us young. I know of many examples of seniors who wither away because they are not active enough. And it’s not only about being active but it is also about having a sense of purpose. This is why something like gardening is so important for seniors. They get to feel useful and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

    I like the suggestions for the different typs of gardening seniors can engage in. I like the idea of the butterfly garden and I read your post about that. But if you love butterflies you’ve got to love caterpillars as well. Many people want one without the other. LOL

    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  2. Hi Norman,

    Very useful article!

    I do a lot of gardens, for me, it is a therapy:) I always try to convince my husband to do some garden with me, and it doesn’t really work:) Not long ago, he started a diet and so far he lost 7 kilos, which is fantastic. Gardening is a physical activity, and it would accelerate his weight loss. Maybe I should buy some new garden tools to motivate him:) I will definitely show him this article, I am sure it will convince him this time!
    Do you sell clothes and tools for gardening?

    Thank you for this excellent post!

    Reply
    • Hello Daniella my good friend. Hope that all is well with both you and your family. So happy to hear that you are using gardeing as a form of excerise. It is good to hear that your husband is shedding those pounds. Maybe a few tools will motivate him to join you in the garden.

      Follow this link. It will take you to amazon where you will be able to purchase what you need to motivate your husband and for you Graden. Please let me know how it goes and have a wonderful day.

      https://gardenofedengardencent

      Reply
  3. I love gardening. It is indeed a fantastic way for seniors to keep active. I especially love flower, herb and vegetable gardens, but I don’t have the yard space. Right now I have a few herbs in pots, mainly sage, rosemary and basil. I also had peppermint, lemon grass and thyme, but those did not do well. Could you give me some tips to care for my potted herb plants? I don’t like when I lose them.

    Reply
  4. Hi,

    this is a great article. I have an aunt and she is well into her seventies as well and I used to ask her for advice when I started gardening on my own. She never had internet access as I do, and there are many things that I learned from the internet, but she had the experience and offered helpful tips to my gardening.

    She was special with grapes and pruning. She taught me how to do it, and I have been tweaking the method here and there to try out new things that I’ve learned online, but her method definitely worked very well and I know that her yields were great!

    Definitely, being in the garden when you get older is a good thing to do and keeps you healthy and happier.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Oscar

    Reply
    • Hello my friend so nice to meet you and it is so good to know that you have learnt so much from you aunt and have put it into practice. Garden is truly good not only for the old but for all ages for what it can do both mentally and physically. Thanks so much for sharing, all the best to you and have a good day.

      Reply
  5. Hey Norman,
    nice work on your article. I think we all should spend more time in the garden or if we don’t have access to one then we could perhaps have a little vertical garden, for all the city folks out there.
    What about schools? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a subject about gardening? I am pretty sure that the Steiner School in Brunswick Heads teaches kids how to garden. More and more people need to be in touch with nature and understand where the food actually comes from. I think it is amazing for old and young since it is healthy in anyway. Digging your hands in dirt has even health benefits since your skin absorbs minerals through the soil. I am with you all the way here.
    More people in the gardens.

    Reply
    • Hello Hendrik so good to meet you. Like my former mentor taught me he that feeds the world rules the world and without food we cannot survive. I agree with you gardening should be taught in schools so that each generation would see the importance of the subject at hand.

      Hopefully one day God’s willing this will be recognize and catch like wild fire. So happy that you have commented. All the best to you and have a good day.

      Reply
  6. I love container gardening and herb gardening. I used to do a lot of vegetable gardening until I adopted the ketogenic diet and stopped eating so many vegetables. However, herbs are great seasonings and tend to smell wonderful when you grow them. My favorite herb to grow is dill. It gets huge, but it smells wonderful! I love using dill to make pickles and as a seasoning in salads. What is your favorite plant to grow?

    Reply
    • Hello Melinda so good to hear from you. I love to grow Basils, Chives, Rosemary and many other herbs because they give your foods such a great flavor. Thanks for commenting and have a good day.

      Reply
  7. Hello there. I see my grand parents and even parents engage in gardening. I never knew it had so much benefits as I just read now maybe because I have never engaged in it. I have always seen it as something old people do since they have nothing else to do. I plan to make up space where I can start little gardening and see how it goes. 

    Reply
    • It is so good to see you, gardening is for all ages not only the elderly. It is good to see that you are considering on giving this hobby a try that has so many benefits. Wishing you much success with your garden project.

      Reply
  8. Really enjoyed reading your article and I think you’re right that it really does help us connect with nature.  2020 has been the craziest year, and the first year I truly did gardening myself, and really appreciated the kind of work that goes into it.  I grew tomatoes, peppers, jalapenos, and friends of mine that found their own garden plots, grew zucchini, squash, green onions, and so much more.  Your article also makes me think of my grandma, and at this point, also my parents.  I really think it would be healthy for my parents to start doing gardening.  They’re both seniors, and they have a huge backyard.  It would be a great way for them to help them continue to maintain good heart health and just get exercise in.  

    Reply
    • I am so happy that I could help and its good to see that you gave this hobby a try and really enjoy it. Hopfully you can convince your parents and they will agree to start a garden in their backyard because this activity has so many benefits for all ages.

      Reply
  9. Gardening is definitely a great activity for senior citizens, no doubt about it. I live in a village but I grew up in a city and I can see how huge the difference between living in the city and in the village is. I’m middle age but all elder people around me, my neighbors, etc., work in their gardens, stay healthier and live longer. Manual work and connecting with nature definitely has some positive effects on the mind, especially in today’s fast world. 

    I like your list of garden safety tips, I’ve never thought of earplugs or goggles but you are right, they are necessary!

    Reply
    • Gardening is and amazing activity that has so many benefits. It is good to know when person from all ages involves themselves in this outdoor hobby. I am so happy that I could help.

      Reply
  10. I definitely agree with this article. My grandmother is now in her 80s and she always has multiple flower beds and vegetables going in the warm months. She has house plants on every spare flat surface in the house, as well.

    Added to gardening, she walks about 25 kilometers a week.

    This was a good read and well delivered.

    Thank you

    Reply
  11. Hi Norman! Thank you for the great article.
    I remember my grandmother when she was outside working on her garden. She had flowers, veggies and herbs. That kept her busy during the summer.
    I have a small food forest growing here and I plan to keep gardening for a long time!

    Reply
  12. Hi, Norman this is a great article it is good to know the many benefits derived from gardening, I have tried gardening myself but became discouraged after my efforts came to naught, but after reading this post I will be willing to have another go at it, thank you for the post and best wishes.

    Reply

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