Your backyard doesn’t have to be a huge plot of land to grow your food!

Container gardening is an excellent hobby for seniors, such as yourself, who enjoy physical activity and take pride in growing plants and vegetables. You can even grow and harvest different and tasty varieties you won’t normally encounter at the grocery store. The possibilities for growing vegetables in containers are endless! Simply find a sunny spot and choose a few vegetables that will work best in your area. Very soon, you will be able to grow delicious, healthy produce right outside your front door!

There is no better option for residents of a retirement home community, such as the Carlsbad retirement community, since supplies are already on hand, a worksite is already set up, and the staff is happy to help!

If you’re interested to know the reasons why you should start your container garden, then keep on reading!


Overview of Container Gardening 

Unlike traditional gardening, container gardening, as its name implies, takes place in containers rather than in the ground. The space on your balcony can even be used for a small container garden.

Window planters, pots, and a balcony can create that garden you want without needing a lot of space. Almost anything can be used as a container to hold soil and plants, from traditional pots to repurposed tubs and basins. You can even use old kitchenware! And, for an additional tip, your garden will look more interesting and rich with depth if you use different container heights.


Gardening this way is a good option if you do not have that much growing space.  There are dozens of plants that can be grown in pots, even some types of small trees. Whether you grow this kind of garden outside or inside, it can be very comfortable and convenient.


1. Gardening Helps Boost Heart Health, Reduces the Risk of Stroke, and Increases Mobility

Gardening requires bending, squatting, stretching, pulling, and pushing, which are all movements that are good for the body. For older people, gardening is a great medium-intensity aerobic workout, burns calories, and keeps the joints flexible. Including gardening in your daily exercise routine will count towards the expert-recommended 30 minutes a day!

Aside from that, being exposed to sunshine every day can enable the body to absorb vitamin D, which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. 


2. Gardening Boosts Brain Health, Increases Serotonin, and ​​Lowers Stress

Spending time in the garden and creating a peaceful space will reduce anxiety and instill peace. It is a proven fact that gardening reduces stress, improves mood, and relaxes the body.

Gardening has even been shown to improve the mental health of people suffering from mental illness. In fact, the phenomenon of horticulture therapy is now a growing form of treatment that has shown positive results with patients suffering from depression and other mental illnesses.


Senior woman tending to container garden in senior living in Carlsbad


3. Fresh Produce in the Palm of Your Hands (Literally!) 

Growing vegetables has been found to positively impact diet. Studies indicate that those who grow vegetables consume 40% more vegetables and are significantly more likely to eat all recommended fruit and vegetable servings each day. Also, most of the fresh produce that gardeners grow tends to be shared with their friends, families, and neighbors, increasing their fruit and vegetable intake.

On top of the previously mentioned benefits, seniors always have fresh flowers to bring inside during the summer and homegrown herbs and veggies the whole year round! This could even begin a wonderful tradition of sharing fresh produce in the Carlsbad retirement community.


4. No Huge Parcel of Land? No Worries!

Because of its versatility,  a container garden allows you to grow on a balcony, patio, courtyard, windowsills, rooms with adequate light, or a rooftop. Even without much space to plant on, seniors can still grow herbs and vegetables in pots and containers. To make it even easier, the plants in pots can be moved easily during the day to a more suitable spot for them, whether it is sunny or shady.


5. Fosters Collaboration Among the Group 

Community gardens are another way to stay involved while enjoying gardening’s health and wellness benefits. Participating in gardening together with a group can make participants more attentive, boost their self-esteem, and promote their collaboration. Indeed, this is a great activity for connecting with nature, especially during nice weather and even with other people!


Gardening Safety Measures

There are a few things that you must do to stay safe when gardening. During hot, humid days, it is especially important to stay hydrated. You should also wear sunscreen and a hat that shields your face. Because no one wants to get burnt by the sun, right? 

Moreover, it is best to garden in the early morning or evening so that you will not be outside during the hottest times of the day. Too much exposure to the heat of the sun can lead to heatstroke.


In addition, using the right tools is important as well. Using improvised tools can lead to serious injuries and accidents. Hence, it must be avoided. It is essential that seniors take precautions as well, particularly if the improvised tools are too old and rusted.


Conclusion: Ready to Start Your Container Garden? 

Gardening in containers, window boxes, and raised flower beds is a wonderful senior-friendly practice. It provides so many benefits to seniors. Engaging in nature when feeling anxious or depressed boosts your mood, makes you more relaxed, and reduces your anxiety. You breathe cleaner air thanks to plants’ ability to release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. Doing this kind of low-impact exercise is the perfect way to get off the couch.

At a Carlsbad retirement community, having hobbies in common leads to socialization among seniors who share interests. Everyone is welcome no matter where they live, whether in an independent living community, assisted living community, or personal care home.