Gardening is a low impact, stress reducing activity that can improve your overall health and wellbeing. Here are some quick and simple gardening tasks and the benefits of this healthful activity:
Pick the right time
The middle of a hot July day is not the time to be pulling weeds! Early mornings or early evenings are much better for more strenuous gardening tasks. In the middle of the day, enjoy the comfort of a swinging hammock or relaxing on a comfortable patio set with an umbrella and a cool drink.
Pick easy plants
Just like people, some plants are high maintenance. Roses, for example, require a lot of tending. Pass those by at the garden center and instead focus on plants and shrubs that will be easy to maintain, such as perennials—they come back every year, saving the effort of replanting. “Our newest addition, Sunfinity Sunflower, doesn’t get huge and blooms all summer long. You don’t have to deadhead it like other sunflowers,” explains Ian Hoen of Hoen’s Garden Center. So this beautiful bloom may be a good pick, too.
Pick manageable growing areas
If you’re not up to creating raised beds and widespread planting, consider alternatives like container gardening. “If you want to garden and not get down on your knees, container and pot gardening is best,” says Hoen. Multiple large pots and urns can be filled with herbs, flowers and grasses. They can even be placed in front of a trellis or next to an arbor to allow the climbers to flourish. Container access is easier than ground level growing. Sit on a stool, if you prefer, rather than getting on your knees.
Another great option is a vertical garden. All you need is a series of rods to create an area where you can attach hanging planters in multiple rows, from the ground up. Fill your planters with veggies, plants, herbs and flowers, for an instant privacy wall and more space for your hammock!
Pick the right tools
The right equiptment will make your gardening activities more enjoyable for the long term.
-Long handled tools will allow you to manage your weeding and hoeing without kneeling.
-Add a water wand to your hose to create a long handle to reach higher levels, like hanging plants. An easy-to-squeeze trigger handle is a must!
-A garden cart will make it easier to transport soil or plants from the car around the garden.
-Knee pads for those times when you absolutely must get down to ground level.
-Power tools for the bigger tasks. A manual mower is a nice idea but can be very tiresome after a while.
-For any tool that cuts, make sure that it is sharp! Dull pruning shears or garden scissors will make it much more difficult to get the job done.
-Don’t forget your hat, water and sunscreen. Even if it’s overcast out, dehydration and sunstroke are real causes for concern, at any age. Above all, enjoy your time in the garden!
This provides lovely green foliage that grows to up to five feet wide, taking up a good chunk of space, leaving you with fewer plants to manage.
The blooms on this plant are gorgeous and can last until first frost, returning the following spring.
While not a bloom, these are excellent to have in raised garden beds or even containers, creating a flowy, textured backdrop to other plants.
Campsis climbing vines
This is the kind of no fuss plant that the least green of green thumbs can grow. Set it up near a trellis to point it in the right direction. It will do the rest.
If you’re set on roses, you’re in luck. In hardiness zones 5-10 like us, you can grow Flower Carpet Groundcover roses, which are resistant to disease and easy to prune. All you need to get started is good quality soil and some mulch—requires little effort on your part but provides significant benefits to your garden.
Have fun, and get growing.