Nutritionists and the American Heart Association all agree that people need to eat multiple servings of fruits and vegetables every day. To save money, your mom wants to grow her own vegetables this year. She doesn’t have a lot of space.
You have to start by assessing what room is available. If she has space outside, raised beds or container gardening may be ideal. If she has no outdoor space other than a narrow balcony off her apartment or condo, you may need to bring the garden inside. What are the best ways to grow vegetables when space is limited?
Raised beds are easier to work with. They avoid some of the weeds that a traditional garden bed develops. Your mom won’t have to bend over to work the soil.
Build a raised bed using large planter pots, pails, or half whiskey barrels. If you have the skills, you can also build a raised bed using cedar lumber. Line a patio or deck edge with these raised planters.
When your mom is out shopping with you, look for an over-the-door can organization. This metal rack hangs off the bag of a door and is firmly secured to the wooden surface with screws. They don’t cost a lot and are often found in discount department stores.
Affix the rack outside to deck rail or fence. You could hang it from a shed door, too. In each of the racks, place a coco liner and fill it with garden or potting soil. Plant smaller plants in these liners. Bush beans, herbs, leafy greens, and green onions are all good choices.
Hydroponic gardens use water instead of soil. This makes them a popular choice for indoor space. If you do set up a hydroponic garden, your mom will need to watch the humidity in her home using ventilation fans. Grow tents and hydroponic systems work well outside when the temperatures are above freezing. She could also use a garage or shed if she has one available with electrical outlets.
Plants grow in pots and the roots hang down into a trench or canal of water that is circulated using pumps. The plants are continuously watered this way. Heat mats can help keep the area warm enough to urge plants to flourish. AeroGarden has small scale systems that fit on counters and have grow lights.
Make sure your mom has the help she needs preparing healthy meals. If she’s having a hard time peeling or chopping the produce she grows, she may hesitate to actually eat it. Caregivers are happy to help with meal preparation. They can also remind your mom to put on sunscreen and stay hydrated when she’s in the sun. Call a home care agency and set up caregivers for your mom.
If you are considering caregivers in Henderson, MN, for an aging loved one, contact Golden Heart Senior Care of Bloomington at (952) 226-4653. Our caring staff can answer your questions!