Gardening, particularly a sustainable garden, is one hobby some seniors may have lit a spark to engage in on their retirement property. Let’s take a deep dive.
Think of the ideas you want to have for your sustainable garden.
- Are vegetables and herbs the main thrust?
- What’s your budget?
- Are you willing to commit time and energy from your day for it?
- Are you opting to plant on the lawn space or just a limited balcony?
Answering those questions and then some, plus consultations with your loved ones, will give you clues on how to go forward.
Foundation for your sustainable garden
Getting your sustainable garden going requires understanding the climate and soil of your area. They will give you an idea of the plants native to your neighbourhood and where the water is expected to run off. Rainwater storage tanks connected to a drip system are a critical source to irrigate the garden right away instead of tapping the local water line. For composting, consider natural methods such as Bokashi drums and recycling leftover food waste and yard trimmings.
If you intend to delineate the garden space from the rest of the property, you can set up bricks, railings, hedges and pavers. Hedges, in particular, can work to allow any wildlife in your area to come and go.
If you have detailed the plants that would grow in your garden, proceed with planting the seeds. Most of these are available in your community’s nurseries or seedbanks, including organic and heirlooms.
A sustainable garden would require ample sunlight. Plan the garden so it will be in maximum exposure to the sun but allow you time to get in the shade.
Some adjustments will have to be made if you or a loved one is suffering from disabilities. Back problems complicate the ability to stoop down or crouch, warranting the garden beds to be raised or to set up vertical beds along walls or a trellis; hanging baskets can also work. Acquire tools that are easier to handle or to modify existing tools for better grip. Consider the distance between garden beds for easier mobility on wheelchairs.
Maintaining a sustainable garden
A sustainable garden’s maintenance can work well for you given a number of effective tips.
- Organic pest control. Invest in organic pesticides and apply as instructed on the plants.
- Companion plants. Some plants are capable of repelling bugs while others complement nearby plants with certain nutrients. Sustainable Gardening Australia has a comprehensive list of plants and those you can pair with.
- Letting wildlife in. Using organic pesticides may attract pest killers such as frogs, lizards, and spiders to the lot.
Safety is paramount in gardening. Any pathways setup must be flat and have non-slip surfaces to prevent slip and fall. It is advisable to tend to the garden early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid excessive sun exposure and sunburn. Bruises and cuts should be attended to immediately, with first-aid kits close at hand. Any power tools must be handled with extreme care; all tools should be set aside in a designated shed when not in use. Keep hydrated with water or juice and take frequent breaks in the shade to refresh.
A sustainable garden can work wonders for a senior’s physical and mental wellbeing. Gardening encourages use of all motor skills and stimulation of cognitive functions.
Being an outside activity, gardening is also a source of Vitamin D from sunlight; some studies note that Vitamin D sufficiency for seniors aids the body in preventing the onset of illnesses such as diabetes and osteoporosis. It is advised, however, to limit the garden time to maximum 30 minutes a day, and do it early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid heat stroke, skin cancer, or sunburn (even with sunscreen).
Gardening is even better with loved ones present, as it enhances a senior’s emotional wellbeing and reduces mental stress. It may even stimulate interest in the outdoors or as a new hobby for certain people in your family.
Producing vegetables and herbs in a sustainable garden may also aid your daily food needs, as it reduces the drive to buy specific produce at the nearby store. Some sustainable living advocates claim that home gardens may also aid in easing greenhouse gas emissions by adding more plants to absorb carbon dioxide, against commercial agriculture projects that probably use chemical pesticides and use more water than needed.
The A.S.A.G. Reverse Mortgage can be instrumental in building your sustainable garden
With all the above taken into account, gardening can be enjoyable for you and your loved ones. Have you discovered your green thumb?
The A.S.A.G. Reverse Mortgage is beneficial in helping enhance your income in retirement. It allows seniors to access the wealth in their home without ongoing payments and having to sell. The loan is paid off when you permanently leave your home, either you downsize, move to aged care, or pass away. The funds you receive can be used as you see fit, including Retirement Planning or any other objectives.
The ASAG team can assist you with more details on how our equity release solutions work. Our lines are open on 1300 002 724 and at email@example.com so you can contact us or send your enquiries at any time.
You can also do your own assessment by using our free tool below to know your available equity.