April is National Garden Month and the time to start planning seasonal gardens. Your mom used to love gardening, but she’s not as limber as she used to be. Raised beds are the perfect solution when mobility isn’t as good as it used to be. Raised beds are different. They’re higher up, so that makes them easy to tend and weeds aren’t as abundant. You’re not sure what your mom should grow. Here are six plants that thrive in raised garden beds.
Basil is an herb that’s used in so many things. You need basil to make pesto. You can add it to marinara sauce, minestrone, or margherita pizza. With sun and water, a basil plant grows well in a raised bed garden.
With plenty of sun and water, bell pepper plants thrive in a raised garden bed. If the plants get taller, you may want to add a stake for support. Aim for yellow, red, and orange peppers, as well as green peppers, for variety. If your mom likes spicy peppers, you can add poblano or banana peppers, too.
Dwarf blueberries are a good choice for raised bed gardens. They won’t take up too much space. Make sure the soil is acidic by adding pine needles as you plant the blueberry shrub.
Strawberry plants are great and provide an abundance of fruits. Plus, they return each year, so you don’t have to replant them each year. They will spread a bit if given the chance, so your mom may end up with plenty of fruit to freeze for smoothies. Freezing excess strawberries is easy as you simply freeze them on baking sheets first and then transfer them to freezer bags.
Tomatoes do well in raised beds. Keep them watered, watch for tomato hornworms, and use tomato cages to support them as the tomatoes ripen and become heavy. As tomatoes are easy to cook down and move to freezer containers for sauces, your mom will end up with plenty of tomatoes for pasta sauce all year. You can also donate excesses to the local food bank.
Zucchini bushes out a little, but one plant will produce a lot of fruit. Most people end up with more zucchini than they can use. You can freeze it if you blanch it first. Otherwise, grate it and move it to freezer bags to use in cakes and zucchini bread.
How mobile is your mom when she’s walking around outside? If you’re not comfortable with her being outside alone, arrange companionship services from a senior home care agency. Her caregiver can join her outside, help her carry produce and gardening tools, and cook meals for her using the produce.
Senior home care helps your mom stay independent. An advisor can help you decide the best services for your mom’s needs. Call or complete an online form to start scheduling senior home care services.