The Benefits of Vegetable Gardening for Seniors
Vegetable gardening can be a relaxing and rewarding pastime, no matter what age you are, but getting out into the garden can be particularly beneficial for seniors. There are plenty of health benefits to getting outdoors even as the temperatures begin to drop, and once your vegetables are ready for harvest you can have the satisfaction of eating them yourself, or sharing them with friends and family.
What are the benefits of gardening?
As well as being a good general form of exercise, gardening can help increase mobility and flexibility, which is essential if you want to remain active well into your retirement. Gardening can also improve general strength and stamina and has a number of stress relieving benefits, particularly if you do it with a friend or your partner. There are many community gardening groups to get involved in. Cardinia Waters retirement village, for example, has an active vegetable gardening group.
Gardening is a great activity to do with grandchildren. Many kids love to plant and watch their seeds grow into vegetables, and it teaches them about where their food comes from. As an added bonus, you might even be able to encourage them to increase their vegetable intake by eating the results of their labour!
Growing vegetables has one very distinct benefit in that you get a ready supply of fresh home grown produce to eat. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is important for everyone, and having fresh vegetables readily available can help improve overall health and make it easier to keep to a nutritious eating regime.
If you are going to be out in the garden, make sure you take care bending over and lifting things. Gardening may be a relaxing activity, but it can be surprisingly physical and injuries do happen. Also make sure to wear a hat, even if the day is cool, the sun can still be hot.
What vegetables grow well in Melbourne?
Melbourne is considered a temperate region, which means that cooler climate vegetables will grow better than tropical ones. The vegetables that are best suited to the local climate in Victoria include cauliflower, peas, strawberries, potatoes, onions and swedes. Herbs that grow well in the area can include rosemary, sage, parsley and oregano. The residents at Cardinia Waters retirement village have had great success in the fertile soils of Pakenham.
As well as the typical vegetables you can find in your local supermarket, why not experiment and try growing Daikon (Japanese radish), mustard greens or Jerusalem artichokes? Growing a range of different vegetables can help you broaden your horizons and encourage creativity in the kitchen.
What should I grow in autumn?
Autumn is a beautiful season in Melbourne, and as well as enjoying the benefits of the changing colours and cooler temperatures, the conditions are perfect for planting a number of different vegetables. Here are some of the vegetables that can be planted in Melbourne in May to July.
· Beans (bush and pole)
Depending on the vegetable, you may be able to harvest your produce at any time from September, and the plants may keep producing year after year. It is exciting to watch your vegetables grow and find new and interesting recipes to make with your harvest.