Aging homeowners face a number of challenges that can make it difficult to keep up with yard maintenance. However, seniors who wish to maintain a beautiful yard year after year can do so by planting the right types of plants.
Dwarf Tree Cultivars for Fruit Lovers
Dwarf fruit tree cultivars might be person-sized or smaller, depending on the species. Their small size makes pruning relatively easy and ergonomically safe. In addition, harvesting fruit from dwarf fruit trees is less challenging than harvesting from larger cultivars because it requires little or no bending and reaching. These qualities make dwarf fruit trees the perfect choice for seniors.
Native plants are those species that grow naturally in any given region. They require little or no encouragement in order to thrive. Native plants have many advantages that may appeal to seniors, including:
- No extra watering required.
- No fertilization.
- Natural immunity or defenses against local pests.
In other words, of all plants that could be inserted into a landscape, native plants are the most at home with the surroundings. Natives require minimal care because they thrive on their own in the wild.
Focus on Perennials and Reseeding Annuals
DIY gardeners tend to divide plants into two categories: annuals and perennials. Whereas annuals live, grow and die all in one season, perennials are plants live year after year, without encouragement. For seniors who want to enjoy a lush, full garden without digging holes for new plants on an annual basis, perennials are the go-to choice.
However, there is a third category to consider: reseeding annuals. Like other annuals, reseeding annuals live, grow and die all in one season. At the end of the growing season, reseeding annuals distribute their seeds. They return the following growing season, no new planting required. Reseeding annuals have all the advantages of perennials and are also a good choice for seniors.
Be Careful of Bulbs, Tubers and Rhizomes
Tulips, irises and potatoes are all examples of common plants that fall into the bulbs, tubers and rhizomes category. In the right regions, these plants function like perennials. They return year after year, requiring little or no encouragement. However, seniors should be aware that in colder regions, bulbs, tubers and rhizomes must be dug up out of the ground at the end of each growing season, and stored in a dry, cool space throughout the winter. In fact, this extra step makes these plants more work than annuals because they require planting in the spring, and then must be dug up again in the fall.
For seniors with knee trouble, this makes these plants an unrealistic landscaping choice. Even in regions where these specimens can remain in the ground throughout the winter without dying, many species still require periodic dividing—meaning that the original piece in the ground must be dug up, pulled apart, and replanted. Seniors hoping to avoid this kind of maintenance will have better results from standard perennials.
Of course, for seniors who have physical limitations but still want to grow plants that require a lot of work and maintenance, lawn care services can help. For more information about professionals who can maintain your yard and plants, contact a lawn care service (or companies like 5 Star Lawnscaping).