By : Marlena Stoddard
Gardening is a popular hobby among retirees for various reasons, including the sheer joy of growing your own vegetables, arranging beautiful flower displays and getting your hands dirty. Whether you are new to gardening or you are expanding your planting horizons, you want to make your experiences as comfortable, safe and enjoyable as possible.
Are you ready to garden?
Gardening takes some planning, so the first thing you need to do is decide what type of garden you want and how you will care for it. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Where will I put the garden?
- How big will it be?
- Do I need outside help to establish the garden?
- Do I have the tools necessary to create and maintain the garden?
- What types of plants do I want?
- Do I have reliable sources for the plants and other materials?
- How much do I want to spend?
Consider a wide range of sources to help you answer these questions and others related to cultivating and maintaining your garden. Those sources can include your spouse, family and neighbors (with whom you may be able to share tools), research on the Internet, books, landscapers, gardening centers and local agricultural extension services and colleges. The latter four options may offer classes, lectures or other information that can help you plan and maintain your garden.
Are you equipped for gardening?
For example, if you have difficulty bending over, you may want to have raised flower or vegetable beds or choose plants that grow on trellises. If you are troubled by arthritis in your hands, you may want to avoid having shrubs or other plants that require pruning or trimming unless you plan to have someone else perform those tasks for you.
Choosing the right trowels, rakes, hoes and weeders for a task can make all the difference in terms of comfort and safety. Be sure to explore items such as ergonomic gardening tools, knee pads, lightweight hoses, back-saving wheelbarrows and seats and other items. For some retired gardeners, railing planters, self-watering window box planters or container gardens may be the answer.
At Sheds Unlimited (http://www.shedsunlimited.net/ ) you can find sheds by the Amish to store all your gardening supplies. Protect your gardening items so you can comfortably enjoy gardening during retirement.