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The Nitty Gritty on Low-Maintenance and Budget-Friendly Landscapes for Seniors

Beth Bowers

Beth currently lives in Shelby Township with her husband, Brian, and two kids, Sophie and Sawyer...

Beth currently lives in Shelby Township with her husband, Brian, and two kids, Sophie and Sawyer...

Jun 19 5 minutes read

We are pleased to share a guest blog with you today. Jim Vogel started ElderAction.org as a means to provide resources to seniors and to adult children and caregivers who are caring for senior parents. He is passionate about spreading awareness to improve senior living. 


The Nitty Gritty on Low-Maintenance and Budget-Friendly Landscapes for Seniors

Your senior years are a time for enjoying life, and working smarter, not harder. If you’re ready for a low-maintenance landscape, there are plenty of ways to make your chores easier on your back and on your wallet. Here are some ideas to keep you spending more time lounging in your garden and less time sweating. 

Plan Your Plantings

One of the best ways to lighten your landscaping workload is by selecting the right plants. Hardy perennials, trees, and shrubs can be the cornerstone of a low-maintenance landscape.  Varieties that are drought-resistant or native to your area will also be easier to tend, generally requiring less babying and being more resilient to weather and pests. Mulching plant beds can help reduce watering, and a drip irrigation system lessens your watering woes as well. Ease your burden by grouping plants with similar growing requirements, such as irises with daylilies, which enjoy sunshine and well-drained soil, and begonias with hostas, which like shade and moisture.  You can easily save money on your plants and landscaping supplies. For example, if you’re shopping at Lowe’s, look for cashback opportunities, promo codes, and coupons.

Improve Accessibility

The physical nature of gardening is good for us. In fact, working in the landscape offers many health benefits to seniors. Gardening builds strength, encourages flexibility, and provides aerobic activity. Gardening is also a boon to mental health, connecting us with life, boosting self-esteem, and even releasing feel-good chemicals in your brain.

However, it’s important to be safe when you’re working, and HGTV suggests adding some accessible options to keep you comfortable. For instance, raised beds require less stooping and less getting up and down since you can work in a seated position, such as on a rolling garden seat. Container gardening is another good option, which not only means lifting the plants to a comfortable level, but it also can control spread and make routine division a breeze, plus containers can be found for next to nothing cost-wise. Gardener’s Supply Company suggests adding a rolling cart to haul your tools and supplies with you as well. Vertical gardening is another suggestion, in which case you grow plants on supports so you can work with them standing upright. No matter what style you opt for, be sure to check online at sites like Amazon for discounts and savings opportunities for all your gardening supplies

Less Is More

Sometimes the smartest solution to easing your landscaping burden is simply having less to maintain. Bob Vila suggests expanding your hardscaping, whether it’s with a bigger patio or by adding pathways. This could be the perfect time to install the decorative stone you always dreamed of, allowing you to cook out more with the grandchildren or lounge with a book while sipping iced tea on summer evenings. Look to retailers like Walmart to help outfit your backyard through discounts and deals, and be sure to check for online promos and other ways to save. 

What about cutting down your work on the lawn that’s left? One suggestion is to hire a service to keep up with care, or you can invest in the equipment to tend it yourself, such as a riding mower or lawn tractor. Another idea is to barter with neighbors or family for yard work, trading babysitting, tutoring, or other skills for tending your lawn.

Outdoor Safety

Your gardening projects should be interesting and fun, and nothing zaps good times more quickly than becoming sick or getting hurt. Be sure to take safety precautions so you can make the most of your time outside. Start by ensuring your gardening adventures are safe by keeping water handy and drinking regularly. As we get older, we become more apt to get dehydrated and don’t adapt to temperature changes. Dress for the weather and stay comfortable while you work, taking breaks in the shade or migrating regularly to an air-conditioned area.

Your landscaping shouldn’t be all work and no play! Make choices to ease your maintenance burden, and budget. Smart decisions keep you safe and make better use of your time, money, and energy!

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