Gardening is a great way for seniors to feel a sense of purpose, gain a renewed appreciation for nature, and grow something beautiful to enjoy. It’s also a fantastic way to stay active. Not everyone has the space or ability to maintain a large garden, which is where patio gardening comes into play. With these seven tips, you can create a beautiful and manageable garden right on your own patio!
Start small: If you’re new to gardening, we suggest beginning with a small garden that is easy to manage. Choose a few plants that are low maintenance and require minimal effort, and grow from there.
Use containers: One of the biggest advantages of patio gardening is the ability to maintain your plants in containers easily. This allows you to control the soil quality, water levels, and sunlight exposure for each plant. Plus, it makes it easier to move your plants around as needed for optimal growth. You can even get creative with your containers by using repurposed items like old buckets or teapots.
Ensure proper drainage: Look for containers that are the right size for your plants and have adequate drainage holes to prevent overwatering or waterlogged soil, which can lead to root rot. Also, use a good-quality potting mix with good drainage properties.
Choose the right plants: It's important to choose plants that are well-suited for container gardening and can thrive in the limited space and conditions of a patio. Look for plants that are labeled as "patio" or "container" varieties, and consider factors like sunlight, water needs, and temperature tolerance. Some great options include herbs, succulents, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and flowers like marigolds, petunias, and geraniums.
Provide sufficient sunlight & water: Most plants require at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Make sure your patio garden is located in a spot that receives adequate sunlight. Container plants dry out faster than plants in the ground, so you’ll need to check the soil regularly and water as needed to ensure your plants are moist but not waterlogged.
Use the right tools: The best gardening tools for seniors offer lightweight materials, ergonomic shape or design, longer handles, and electric or automated features. These tools can help reduce strain on joints and muscles and make gardening enjoyable. If you need new tools, Amazon has a great list of senior-friendly gardening supplies!
Ask for help: Don't hesitate to ask for help from friends or family members if needed. Gardening can be a fun social activity, and sharing the workload can make it more enjoyable. In fact, gardening is a favorite pastime for many residents at Resort Lifestyle Community. Here are a few recent highlights.
Seaside Springs in Osprey, FL
Residents at Seaside Springs enjoy an abundance of outdoor activities - including a garden club. When several residents discovered they shared the love of gardening, they decided to join together to socialize and grow a wide variety of fresh herbs and flowers in their raised garden beds, which are pictured below.
South Hills Square in Pittsburgh, PA
This beautiful community was recently featured on the local news for the clever use of Plant Traps, which are floating garden clips that attach to vertical railings without damaging them. Plant Traps were created by the daughter of one of our residents, Lois Kiss! Lois has perfected the art of vertical gardening on her lovely patio. Don’t you think? Take a look at a few images that were shared on the news.
Seaside Springs and South Hills Square are just two of many communities that love growing plants and nurturing friendships along the way. If this sounds like a lifestyle you’d love, find an RLC location near you. We’d enjoy the opportunity to welcome you!