For many in northern climates, September and October lead to the end of the summer gardening season. It's time to start clearing out gardens, patio planters, and raised beds and prepping them for the winter.
If your parents have been interested in gardening, but have yet to start a garden of their own, it's also the right time to start planning for next season. It's the perfect time to start prepping an easy-maintenance lasagna garden bed.
There are two reasons to get your parents gardening if they don't already. First, they'll have ample supplies of fresh vegetables. Fresh produce is important for a healthy mind and body. If they struggle to afford a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit, a garden can help them save money and ensure they have access to healthy food options.
Second, gardening does provide some level of exercise. Digging, raking, bending over, and standing back up all work the muscles. Walking around from one area of the garden to another also gets on their feet and active.
What Needs to Get Done?
Clear out any weeds that haven't been removed. Once that's done, remove plants that have died off. If anything is still producing vegetables or fruit, leave those until they're done. For crops that can stay in the ground during winter, leave them as they are.
Once you've removed the plants and weeds that need to go, turn over that soil mix in fertilizer or compost. Cover the area with straw, a tarp, or gardening fabric to keep leaves and pine needles out of the soil.
Setting Up a Lasagna Garden Bed
If you're planning a lasagna garden for next year, you'll need to start building your layers. Start with cardboard. Wet that down and cover it with compost. The next layer should be newspapers that you soak down with a hose. Top that with some manure or garden soil. Put down another layer of newspapers that get wet down. Keep doing this until you have several layers.
When the leaves fall, cover everything with the leaves you rake up. Cover it all with garden fabric that allows rain to get through. You want black fabric as it will attract the sun and warm up the layers below to help them break down faster.
Gardening is one step to keeping your parents active. Senior care services can also help. Caregivers can get your parents to and from senior centers, medical offices, and area businesses. Call a senior care agency to discuss the many services that are available. From companionship services to helping cook meals with the vegetables they grow, you'll love knowing they have the help they need when it's needed.