The very best gardeners are ones who have witnessed and labored through many growing seasons. It’s possible to acquire knowledge of horticulture through books and classes, but experiencing the successes and failures of many gardens is a great way to learn.
A survey by Gardens For All indicates that 56% of people who vegetable garden are over 50 years of age. When asked why they garden, respondents gave reasons such as peace and quiet, novelty, sharing, control, and a sense of order; order and control were of greater importance to older respondents than younger ones. Order involves making a garden look neat and tidy. Control means being in charge of the garden’s appearance and production. Gardening can improve one’s self esteem since it focuses on our abilities not our disabilities.
Remember . . . start small and initiate gardening activity slowly! Let your garden grow as success and self confidence develop. Remember, gardening is a form of exercise. Warm up and gradually increasing the time and level of tasks. Be sure to change tasks frequently. Don’t spend hours pruning or digging, as you’ll surely end up with sore muscles.
Incorporate some health-friendly garden planning principles.
1. Raised beds and trellises are easier to maintain than in-ground beds.
2. Garden bed widths should be no more than 4 feet. This allows for tending outside the bed without straining.
3. Wide garden paths allow for safer walking and permit use of labor saving carts and dollies.
4. Water weighs more than 8 lbs. per gallon, so be sure to design your garden with easy access to hoses and water sources. Consider the ultimate water system; an efficient automated drip or soaker hose.
Research shows that the closer one’s garden is located to your back door, the more enjoyment you will get from it. By following these planning steps you’ll truly enjoy the mental and physical benefits gardening can provide!
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