- Start small — build up to the wheelbarrows and heavy lifting when you’re confident in your abilities
- If you are undertaking a big task on your own, consider getting someone to watch your back
- You don’t have to garden yourself — compare companies, quotes and services
As people age, they grow to appreciate the simple things in life and the pleasure of nature’s green and vibrant beauty. Gardening is a common hobby amongst retirees and while some might be pros and have a green thumb, others might still be very new to it; and learning to use all the necessary tools might take some time and patience.
This Aged Care Guide will cover the tools, the basics, the suggestions and the people you can reach out to, in case you are unable or unwilling to do it all yourself.
Which tools do I need to garden?
If you’re going to begin gardening, it’s important to protect yourself using:
- Gardening gloves
- Kneeling pad
- Water bottle (as it can get rather hot if you’re out in the sun)
- Sunscreen and a hat
- Bug spray (for mosquitos, flies and whatever might be crawling in your garden)
- A phone near you
Next, you’ll be dealing with dirt, so make sure to get the relevant tools at your hardware supply store, such as Bunnings or Mitre10, if you don’t already have them, such as:
- Some old clothes you don’t mind getting messy
- A shovel or hand-shovel for digging
- A rake, leafblower or broom to keep the mess under control
- A bucket or wheelbarrow which is sturdy enough to hold debris, soil, leaves or mud
- Some clippers or shears to chop away merrily
- Pest or insecticide spray to ensure that nothing nibbles away at your growing seeds or blooming flowers
- Weed killer
- A hose with different attachments
- Potentially a handsaw or weedwhacker (Careful)
- A soil tester with instructions on how to use it
- Some fruit, flower or plant seeds
Your patience and hard work will come to fruition with a perfect lush garden space if you follow these simple steps.
When you’re buying fruit, flower or plant seeds, make sure that what you’re buying is suited to the plot of soil in your yard (which you can do through testing using the tool), the weather, time of year and the sun that your soil is exposed to.
When you’ve worked out what you have and where it’s going, you’ll want to dig out any weeds to start with so they don’t invade your new plants. Then dig a hole and place fertiliser on your plot before you drop the seed in. Fill the hole back up with dirt and water it every now and then, using fertiliser to keep it growing when needed.
Make sure to use weed killers, pesticides and insecticides as advised and consider getting some help from a relative to fence off the area. Poisons can be fatal to household pets, so make sure that everything is placed out of reach of your fluffy friends and the grandkids.
Take a break every hour or half hour and immediately stop in case of pain, injury, cuts or scrapes and apply rubbing alcohol to any wounds. Wash hands when pausing or stopping for the day, as even while wearing gloves, you may risk cross contamination.
Don’t worry if it takes a while to get things right! You’ll get there eventually, but if you’re not confident in getting everything done — no one can blame you.
Thankfully, for a pretty garden, you can reach out to readily available professionals for a fee.
Classes and companies for gardening
If you’re looking to learn, check out local community gardening courses or learn new tips through public classes, such as:
- Sustainable Gardening Australia
- Centre of Horticultural Excellence
- Cultivating Community Tel. (03) 9429 3084
For companies that specialise in gardening and landscaping, check out these legends:
Always compare prices when looking for assistance to work on your garden. Ask providers to give you a quote so you’re well prepared for the expense.
What tips do you have when it comes to gardening? Let the team at Aged Care Guide know.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly e-newsletter for exclusive updates, news, and in-depth information.