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Written By Mike Clark

This is the fourth installment of our gardening series for seniors. The goal of this series has been to encourage seniors to start gardening to get outside, get active, soak up some sun, or simply have something to occupy their time with and nurture. As we have said in the three previous blogs on gardening for seniors, gardening of any kind will help maintain fine motor skills and mental health. Research shows that gardening helps reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. It promotes relaxation, improves mobility, and improves mood. In this blog we will be discussing what raised bed gardening is, how seniors can get started, and some added benefits to this style of gardening. 

Taller gardens or raised bed gardens are a more comfortable way for seniors to garden. Raised beds allow seniors to plant from a raised level without compromising their back or shoulders. The more strenuous tasks like weeding and harvesting are made easier by having the garden at a more comfortable height.  Older adults’ backs easily get stiff and sore if they are not given the proper care, so make sure they do a little stretching before gardening to warm up their muscles and prevent injury. Raised beds that are even a foot or two off the ground can make gardening easier on the back.


Healthy Tips for Getting Outside

Gardeners of all ages should remember some important safety tips when gardening outside. Remember to always wear a wide-brimmed hat and use sunscreen while outdoors, even if it is cloudy or overcast outside. They may want to invest in a pair of really good gloves to protect their hands from cuts and abrasions. No matter the time of year, always remember to hydrate regularly and stop and take breaks every now and then to cool off.

How to Get Started

The first step to getting started is deciding on how someone will build their raised beds. There are plenty of options for this, today I am going to list only a few options, but there are many resources online that share many creative ways to make a raised bed garden. 

  1. Hiring someone to build the raised garden beds out of wood. 
  2. Buying metal feeding troughs.
  3. Using lined and stacked milk crates.
  4. Hiring someone to build the garden beds out of stone or brick. 

These are just a few ideas, for more inspiration visit gardening websites such as spruce.com for inspiration. 

Now that the decision has been made on the type of garden bed they will need to know where they are going to put the beds. The main thing to keep in mind when making this decision is that the raised bed needs to be as flat as possible. If there is rough terrain they will need to level the garden bed out so that all the water does not drain out whenever it is watered. Once the garden beds are prepared, it is time to get the soil to fill them with. The cheapest option for raised beds would be asking a neighbor who may already have good gardening soil if they would be able to help out by giving them some of their own garden soil to fill your garden beds. The other option would be going to the store and purchasing potting mix to fill your garden beds with. Now the garden beds are ready to go! Pretty much anything can be planted in raised garden beds. Keep in mind that gardening is a skill that is developed over time, there will be a lot of learning through trial and error. But be patient, and. keep learning and growing, slowly they will see those thumbs turn green I promise!

The Benefits of Raised Bed Gardening

There are many benefits to raised bed gardening and here are just a few of them.  

  1. No tilling – instead of the back-breaking working of tilling up the soil, raised beds are a no-till option.  Gardeners can maintain their raised beds by just simply adding compostable materials to the top of the soil.  Compost, mulches, manures, and other soil conditioners can simply be added to the top of the soil without the backbreaking work of tilling it into the soil.
  2. Raised beds can add beauty – by building and maintaining a raised bed gardening it can add beauty to your yard’s landscape.  Flowers and ornamentals can add that pop of color to your yard that you have been looking for.
  3. Weeding made easier – by having your beds at a more comfortable height, weeding is a lot easier.  Tilling the soil actually creates more weeds by burying seeds and giving them a better opportunity to propagate.  Covering your raised beds with mulch, cardboard, or black plastic will deter those pesky weeds that seem to want to take over your garden.
  4. Earlier planting season –  Do you want to beat your friends to that first harvest, well a raised bed may be your answer.  Raised beds have better drainage and the soil dries out faster.  The soil also warms up faster than ground planting for early planting making that first harvest come in before ground gardeners.


In my opinion, raised bed gardening is one of the easiest and most beneficial styles of gardening for seniors. It offers easy accessibility that is not too hard on the body, it makes gardening wheelchair accessible and can be done even if you live somewhere with no access to ground soil. Remember, gardening is great for everyone of all ages and you can even make it a family and friends project. Just get growing and reap the benefits. Keep your eyes open for the next installment of our gardening series on April 13th!

Dwell at Home is here to help.

Dwell at Home is bringing in-home senior care into the palm of your hand with a mobile application that values convenience, personalized mentorship, and trust.  You can download the app in the Apple App store today by clicking here!

Dwell at Home is not a licensed medical professional and all information provided is provided “as is” with no warranties. You should consult a licensed physician for any questions related to your health.  Dwell at Home makes no guarantee about any application or third party web site mentioned in any article on this web site.