When space is limited or kneeling is no longer an option, many older cultivators decide to scale down and raise up the vegetable garden. Raised beds should be small enough to be reached from both sides and careful consideration given to what vegetables will do best in a smaller scale garden.
With the use of a trellis, container and raised bed gardeners can think about vertical options for a bountiful harvest. By staking or using a cage, tomatoes can produce well in a small space as can beans, cucumbers or snap peas. Other plants that require less spreading room include peppers, both sweet and spicy, lettuces, beets, onions, radishes and your favorite herb such as basil or thyme.
With father’s day around the corner, ergonomic gardening tools with longer handles to help avoid stooping are a great idea for the gardener in your life. Some tools are also designed to be more easily gripped in arthritic hands. Garden stools and carts, a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and flexible gloves are also great gift ideas for senior gardeners.
No only will a raised bed give seniors a reason to get outside and enjoy the summer weather, tending a edible garden can often be a fun activity for grandchildren who love to see what is ready to pick and harvest their own lunch.
To learn more about what to plant in your raised bed and for plans and videos, visit the National Gardening Association website at http://garden.org/howtos/index.php?q=show&id=1308 .