by Danielle K. Roberts
Spring has rolled in, which means it is time to get your garden ready! Doctors and psychologists have stated that gardening can have significant health effects on a person’s mind and body. There are many health benefits for senior citizens who plant gardens, such as managing your stress levels and creating a positive mindset. Gardening in retirement can also help build up your physical strength that can also improve your motor functioning. When creating an outdoor garden or a flower pot garden, some plants are easier for beginners. Read on to learn what we think are great plants for seniors, just starting with gardening. Enjoy our excellent planting guide for Utah vegetable gardens. Even if you missed the first planting in spring, a second planting guide is included!
VEGETABLE GARDEN FOR SENIORS
Growing your vegetation is a great hobby and can be cost-effective in the long run. If you have never tried homegrown vegetables, then your taste buds have a lot coming! While picking out which type of vegetables you would like to plant and grow in your garden, remember that you only want to plant vegetables that you will eat. Do not plant squash if you do not like to eat squash!
Certain vegetables are known for beginner gardeners that are easy to keep alive and maintain.
Cucumbers are a natural vegetable to grow and do not require a lot of maintenance. Whether you choose to plant cucumbers in the ground or a container, you will want to ensure that the soil will drain well. Cucumbers are a vine plant, so keep in mind while planting that the vine will need a place to climb.
Lettuce is a great beginner vegetable to plant because it grows at a fast rate; therefore, you can see results quickly! When planting lettuce, make sure that it receives enough water and that it is in a shaded area during the summertime.
Whether you want to plant pole beans or bush beans, both are low maintenance that can grow well with just water. The difference in planting the two types of beans is the amount of room they both need. If you decide to plant a pole bean, you will need to invest in a trellis on which to grow the beans. If you would like to plant a bush bean, you will need about two feet of room for it to grow (but no individual support is required.)
The most popular vegetable (or fruit) to grow! There is a wide variety of tomatoes that you can grow, such as grape tomatoes or heirloom tomatoes. The key to growing fresh tomatoes is by watering them in the morning, provide lots of sunlight, and not overcrowd them while they develop.
Click here to read up on five green veggies for a fall garden. Or view a good list of warm versus cool-season vegetables.
FLOWER GARDENS FOR SENIORS
Having a flower garden will bring bright, vibrant colors for you and your neighbors to gawk at. When having a flower garden outside your home, you can create an aesthetic appeal to your property. Caring for certain flowers can be difficult, as most flowers are very delicate. You will want to steer clear of exotic flowers, considering that they have special requirements for the up-keep and require a lot of attention. With that said, there are certain species of flowers that are perfect for beginner gardeners.
There is a minimum up-keep when planting and growing sunflowers. The sunflower seeds are large, which makes them easy to handle. After planting the seeds, you will need to water them consistently for 20 days. During the sunflowers growing season, you will want to fertilize the sunflowers with a water-soluble fertilizer.
Zinnias resemble flowers like daisies and dahlias. But, do not be fooled – this unique flower comes in a variety of colors (except blue) and different heights. Zinnias will need space in the garden bed and lots of sunlight to fulfill their full potential.
Marigolds thrive in the summer sun, and their colors can range from yellow, red, and gold. Whether you choose an American or African marigold, they can grow up to be five feet tall, but here in Utah, you will find shorter varieties of all kinds. When watering, you will want to allow the soil to dry between each time you water them.
You can plant daffodil bulbs in the spring or fall, and they will burst with intense colors and bloom like no other plant. Daffodils also produce a great fragrance to where you will watch yourself gravitating to them each time. Daffodils require lots of water, so as soon as they are planted, you will want to water them immediately. Once they start to bloom, you can put a halt to watering them. Don’t limit yourself to daffodils. There are gladiolas, calla lilies, tulips, crocus, hyacinths, and more.
To Sum it Up
You are never too old to plant a garden of sorts. Planting your garden can bring stimulation to the mind in many ways. Creating and maintaining a garden, even a small garden, is a great hobby for any age, and it will also keep you present in the day with a special award at the end.