gardening

Time To Dig Deep! Gardening Tips For Spring

Springtime means one thing! It’s time to dig deep…in the dirt that is.

Evidence-based research shows that regular gardening isn’t just good for curb appeal, but it can also help improve health in many ways, including:

  • Improved strength, balance and dexterity 
  • Reduced stroke and heart attack risk by 30 percent for men and women over 60 
  • Stress relief and improved self-esteem. 
  • Reduced risk for dementia 
  • Improved mental health 

“With just a few modifications and enhancements in your yard, gardening can be done by older adults who want to reap these benefits,” said Charlie Martino, a ChooseHome personal services coordinator and Certified Senior Advisor.

Martino said older adults looking to bring more gardening activity into their lives and home should consider the following:

Safety first. Ensure pathways to gardening areas, like flower beds, are safe, accessible and free of trip and fall hazards. 

Prepare your body, not just the soil. If you are emerging from winter, remember when you start to garden, you will likely be using muscles in ways that you haven’t moved them in months. Do some light stretching before digging in. Pace yourself. And take breaks if you get tired. 

Take a seat. Speaking of getting tired, it’s OK if you do. But that doesn’t mean you have to go straight inside. Purchase a seated garden cart to utilize when planting, weeding and cleaning out flower beds or potted gardens. 

Raise it up. Work with a local landscaper to install raised flowerbeds. This can give you easy access to plants without having to bend down too far. 

Small and local. Just as it’s said you can get great benefit from shopping local small businesses, you can also reap the many health rewards of gardening by focusing on a small planting space and planting local / native plants.

Want to get started but have questions? Contact your personal services coordinator or Charlie directly to talk more. “As an architect, I know what it feels like to design and build something beautiful,” Charlie said. “I’ve also maintained professional relationships with local landscape architects who would be happy to help any ChooseHome member design a gardening area.”