Raised Bed Gardening as an Option for Aging Parents

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LadyGardener.jpgGardening is one of the most popular pastimes for aging parents and other seniors, and why not? It provides ample fresh air and sunshine, allows a person to get some exercise, requires skill and attention – and is a lot of fun, to boot!

One thing for aging parents to consider which may make a good thing even better? Raised bed gardening.

What is it?

Simply put, raised bed gardening refers to garden beds in which the soil is higher than the surrounding area. While this can mean simply adding extra layers of dirt on top of existing gardens, more often it refers to structures that are used to lift the garden higher than the surrounding ground – often lifting it off the ground completely, essentially building low shelves or tables on which the garden rests.

The major advantage of a raised bed garden to aging parents is obvious: it requires less bending and stooping. With backaches often increasing with age, this is a considerable advantage and is reason enough to consider a raised bed garden. However, there are other benefits as well:

  • Better soil. In general, raised bed gardens have a higher quality of soil in them. Why? Generally because, being raised, the soil isn’t stepped on and compressed as much as in a typical garden. (Even if the gardeners are careful and never set foot in their gardens, pets, animals, and children may not step so gingerly.)
  • Fewer invasions. The walls of the raised bed garden structure are a good deterrent to weeds and other non-desirable plants. Their seeds are less likely to get blown and mixed in due to the height and the defensive barriers of the raised garden. In addition, the garden can be built on top of a good layer of weed cloth to help discourage the growth of those invaders who do get in.
  • Better draining. Raised beds help to naturally improve drainage, even in clay soils. But they also make it easier for experienced gardeners to mix soils more efficiently, enabling them to counteract the too-quick or too-slow draining that may be found in the rest of the yard.
  • Ease of access. The advantages to the back have already been pointed out, but a garden that is raised sufficiently high can make gardening possible for those in wheelchairs who might otherwise find gardening too challenging.

Aging parents and other seniors who relish the arrival of spring as a chance to start up their gardens should give some thought to whether raised bed gardening is something they should explore.​

Related Article
​Gardening Aids​ - newportnews.myhomecareblog.com


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