CORVALLIS - There are several easy ways to make gardening easier and more pleasurable for senior citizens.
Gardening can enrich an elderly person's life in many ways - physically, mentally and spiritually, explained Jan McNeilan, consumer horticulture agent with the Oregon State University Extension Service. McNeilan recommends the following simple modifications with gardening tools and techniques that can make all the difference for the novice or experienced mature gardener.
- Paint garden tools white so they can be easily found.
- 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.
- 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.
- Build raised beds. Design beds so they provide a place to sit and weed.
- Use a stool to avoid constant stooping or squatting.
- Use long handled and curved handled tools with better grips for more leverage.
- Garden early or late in the day to avoid the heat. Encourage gardeners to 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.