For those who have garden most of their lives getting older may mean a change in their physical abilities, and the amount of gardening work they can do. But getting older is not necessarily a reason to stop doing things which you enjoy. The trick is to be adaptive to your situation and make changes that will allow you to continue to do those activities you love.
Gardening has been associated with physical, emotional, and social well being and is even used in medicine as a tool to help people adjust back to a normal after physical or emotional trauma. So it stands to reason as we get older we may experience conditions which may not make it possible to for us to have the stamina or agility we once had but we can still enjoy gardening using some of the ideas and suggestions below.
First off we may not be able to grow as much as we use to so we can share with neighbors and family members, but if we can grow enough for ourselves to enjoy the taste of a vine ripe tomato or the wonderful flavor of fresh green beans than that is good. If it is a choice of being able to grow enough for ourselves or not we need to think of ourselves. So by reducing the size of your garden it will become much more manageable.
New tools like light weight tillers may make it possible for us to continue to garden even though the old spade and fork method of loosing the soil is not an option. Along with the use of the tiller changing our routines will help as well. Instead of waiting to pull weed if we get into the habit of a light hoeing every two or three days will eliminate virtually all the weeds in the garden and save the hard work of pulling out those well rooted weeds. Remember a little bit of work done regularly is a lot easier than a lot of work done all at once. By turning a big job into a small one that you chip away at two or three days a week it will be manageable and not overwhelm you emotionally or physically.
Along with reducing the size of your garden plot there are other things that will make gardening easier and more enjoyable. Maybe have some raised beds installed instead of using your garden plot. This is great especially if you have trouble bending over. Another good idea is to have a water spigot installed next to the garden so that it will save steps when filling the watering can. There are many new tools designed now a days that are what they call ergonomic that is they work easier and more naturally than using the old straight handle tools that we grew up with. They could make gardening enjoyable for you again and you can certainly try them out at the garden center and see if they will help to make you work a little easier.
We may not be as agile and energetic as we use to be but we can still grow the juiciest tomatoes and mouth watering beans around.