Gardening as a Senior

senior gardeningWhen I retired a few years ago, I had no idea what to do with myself. I had worked as a nurse for almost 40 years at that point, and I was so used to working all the time. Now, I can’t complain about not having to wake up at 5AM each morning, but going from a busy schedule to having practically no obligations left me bored and lazy. While I was working, I had just about zero time to pursue and maintain a hobby, so when I retired, all I knew to do was just sit around the house and watch TV. I was so bored, and I knew that my total lack of physical activity and not leaving the house would have a bad effect on my health.

I started doing a little research on various hobbies for folks my age. Most websites suggested activities such as swimming, yoga, and travel. I’ve never been much of a swimmer, and yoga just seems boring to me! And travelling can be way too expensive on my reduced income. But then I came across gardening as a way to stay healthy and busy. I had never really had much time before to regularly tend to a garden – any flowers or herbs that I’d plant would end up dying because I would forget to water them in the midst of my busy hospital schedule! But now with all my free time, I thought vegetable gardenit would be a good time to give gardening another go. And, according to this article, gardening requires a moderate level of physical activity, and would help me to increase my intake of fruits and vegetables. Win-win!

So, I decided to start small. With the help of my senior caregiver, Carol, who works with this home health care in Delray Beach, I built a small raised garden bed in my backyard and planted some tomatoes, peppers, and squash. I knew these plants would be simple to take care, and they will yield lots of yummy vegetables that I can cook with once they grow. Every day I like to walk out into the garden to check up on how my plants are doing, and I’ll water them every few days and take care of pests and weeds. I love getting out into the house now and being out in the sun tending to my garden, and I can’t wait for harvest time! I get a little bit of a workout and I’m eating much healthier than before.  I’ve even got a great recipe for pasta sauce that I’m planning on making with my harvest!