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Smart, Simple, Dollar-Stretching Ideas for Senior Gardeners

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There is something about getting outside in the fresh air, and working with plants and soil, that is good for the soul.  However, bending, digging and reaching are sometimes difficult, especially if strength or mobility is limited. Try these inexpensive, low-maintenance ideas to help keep your garden and landscape accessible and enjoyable.

Focus on the good stuff

When it comes to landscaping and gardening, one of the ways to cut your labor is to create areas that take care of themselves. For instance, reducing the amount of lawn you need to mow by broadening your hardscaping can greatly cut down on the time and energy you spend keeping up with grass. You might even decide to hire someone to maintain your lawn, freeing you up for more enjoyable endeavors. The average cost for having your yard professionally mowed and maintained is just $139. As GreenPal points out, you avoid buying and maintaining your lawn care equipment and supplies yourself, which can offset that expense. 

Gardens and good health

Most garden lovers probably won’t be surprised to learn working in the landscape offers a number of important health benefits. Time spent gardening is good for mental well-being, boosting self-esteem, lowering risk for depression, and improving your outlook on life. You can also reap physical benefits from the low-impact exercise, improving strength and circulation. Some experts feel there are genuine spiritual benefits from smelling the soil and being in the fresh air, clearing your mind and senses. Your time spent improving your landscape can also improve your health on all fronts!

Taking care of yourself

Bear in mind that it’s important to tend to your physical needs when you’re outside working.  Always don a pair of well-chosen gardening gloves to protect your hands when you’re working in the garden. Not all garden gloves are created equally, and you want to get the most bang for your buck – check these reviews to find the perfect ones for you. If you’re working in hot weather, take safety precautions to ensure you don’t become dehydrated or overheated.  Keep a bottle of water handy, and take breaks out of the heat.

Easy-to-reach ideas

Getting up and down can be hard on knees and backs. Why not bring your garden to you? By thinking in terms of easy-to-reach raised beds and vertical plantings, you can put your garden at a level accessible from a seated or standing position. Raising a plant bed a foot or two off the ground can be a boon, but you don’t have to stop there. A waist-high garden means planting, pruning, weeding and harvesting are easy-peasy.  If you’re considering vegetables that naturally climb, add some trellises to your garden. Another idea is to do some container gardening. Containers can be set on tabletops and other surfaces where you can work with them comfortably. You can easily inspect your plants for pests and diseases, and you can enjoy the fruits of your labor all the more.  Whichever style of gardening you choose, lighten maintenance with accessibility-oriented gardening techniques, like lightweight, enriched soil that’s easy to till, and soaker hoses for simplified watering.

Get out of my garden!

When it comes to controlling landscape invaders, you don’t need to spend a fortune for naturally kind, garden-friendly deterrents, nor do you need to try to remove every aphid by hand. There are several organic pest control methods that work great and are budget-friendly. A simple spray with a garden hose can often remove unwanted insects, or you can make a solution of mild dish detergent and water to spray on your plants to help keep them pest-free. Wise Bread explains your pantry has a couple other great products for deterring pests. Apply cornmeal to ward off ants and weeds, and a blend of garlic, pepper, water and dish soap can keep hungry bunnies away.

A Final Word

Sometimes, participating in activities we enjoy can appear to be limited due to age or physical concerns. Prioritize your work, make maintenance easier, and cut unnecessary expenses. When it comes to landscaping, a little ingenuity can go a long way toward keeping you enjoying the great outdoors and the many benefits your garden offers.

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