Gardening can enrich an elderly person's life in many ways - physically, mentally and spiritually.  Not to mention that by growing some of your own produce can save your some money as well.   However, as we age, we may need to adjust our approach to gardening to make it easier on ourselves.  Here are some collected tips that will help both you and your garden grow!  

Gardening Tools

-- Look for tools with foam grips or find grips you can add to existing tools to soften the handles and add traction. 

-- Purchase one of the many types of "grabbers" on the market that can help you reach things without stretching

-- Brightly colored handles will help those with failing eyesight (and everyone who seems to misplace things!) You can make these easily with colorful bike tape or even the multi-hued duct tapes available.

-- Get a wheeled garden caddy that can act as support, a container to hold tools and provide an easy cart for moving heavier objects.

-- Use a hose rather than buckets to water your garden

-- Use a stool to sit on while gardening.  If you can, look at placing a few stools in strategic locations in your garden.  They could add both decoration and prove to be functional as well. 

Plant Selection

-- Buy a click seeder, seed tape or pelletized seed for ease of handling and planting.

-- Grow plants that feel or smell nice, such as herbs and velvety leafed plants.

-- Choose easy to grow plants that are tolerant of difficult conditions.   You won't need to weed and water as often.

-- Garden vertically. Grow climbing and rambling plants such as cucumbers and squash on trellises and other support structures that allow the gardener to tend plants without all the stooping and bending.

Plan Ahead

-- Garden early or late in the day to avoid the heat. Drink plenty of liquids and to wear light, loose clothing, a big sun hat and gardening gloves. 

-- Carry a whistle or cell phone along with your other garden tools to ensure you can get help in an emergency.

-- Build raised beds. Ask friends, church members, family members to help you design a raised bed that provides you with a       place to sit and weed.  Look at some raised, garden boxes as an option to planting in the ground. 

-- When planning your garden, make sure to include space for pathways that are easy for walkers, canes or wheelchairs to access.

Gardening enjoyment doesn't need to end as we get older.   We just adjust our approach to it like we do many things.  Gardening can continue to provide exercise, stimulation, accomplishment and a host of other benefits that are healthy for the mind and body.  Go garden!

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