June 4th is the start of National Garden Week, an annual week arranged by National Garden Clubs, Inc. It’s the time of year when the threat of frost is over in much of the U.S., and it’s safe to plant seedlings.
Your dad wants to try gardening this year. Here are the five steps that make it easy for him to get started and how home care can help support his efforts.
Plan What He Wants the Most
Your dad’s garden should contain the plants he needs the most. If he eats spinach or lettuce each day, he should have a patch of greens. If he adores tomatoes, make sure he has a couple of tomato plants.
Ideally, try to cover all of the colors that he needs for healthy eating. Jot down a list of his favorite fruits and vegetables and grow those. It will slash his grocery budget and provide him with the freshest produce possible.
Choose Raised Beds
Raised beds are easy for older adults to work with as they don’t have to bend over as far. The other benefit is that weeds are less likely. You can make a quick raised bed with some basic lumber. There are also kits made from recycled plastic that last a long time and are easy to assemble.
Consider Lasagna Gardening
A newer option for a raised bed is a lasagna garden system. It’s given its name as you build the garden in layers of wet cardboard, compost, soil, wet leaves, more cardboard, etc. You want to build it up to be about a foot high.
Plant your seedlings into the top layer. The plants’ roots will break up any branches, leaves, cardboard, etc., and feed off the nutrients at the same time. As the layers break down and compress, add another layer of compost, soil, leaves, or cardboard to keep the system going.
Build Compost Bins
If your dad takes his fallen twigs, leaves, branches, grass clippings, and fruit and vegetable trimmings and mixes them with shredded cardboard and paper, he can create his own compost to add to his garden beds. His plants will love it.
You can build a compost bin for him or purchase a kit and build one. Ideally, you want one that makes it easy to turn over the compost to ensure it’s aerated each day or two.
Make Sure He Protects Himself
Your dad needs to protect his skin from insect bites and sun damage. Make sure he has a broad-spectrum sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to protect himself from the damaging UV rays.
He also needs to watch for insects like mosquitoes, ticks, and biting flies that can make him itchy or lead to infections or diseases. An insect repellant is essential to keeping him safe.
Have you looked into the benefits of home care? Your dad can enjoy gardening without worrying about struggling to carry his tools and ripe produce. His caregiver can help him.
Plus, he’ll have a home care aide available to remind him to drink plenty of water, seek shade as needed, and put on sunscreen. Call a specialist in home care to learn more about prices and schedules.