Gardening is linked with a 36% lower risk of dementia, while community gardens prevent social isolation. At Wesley Enhanced Living’s communities, senior residents enjoy growing a variety of vegetables with their garden clubs. Wesley Enhanced Living’s Stapeley community cooks gourmet meals with fresh produce from its very own chef’s garden.

Although it may seem daunting at first, gardening is a very rewarding hobby. Learn the basics of vegetable gardening and planning below.

  1. Choose the right location: Find a spot for the garden that has ample space, plenty of sunlight, and is close to a hose or water source. Be sure to level the area to prevent erosion.
  2. Choose your vegetables: Carrots, cucumbers, peppers, and lettuce are easy vegetables for a gardening beginner to grow. Use this resource, the Cooperative Extension, to speak with a local expert that can provide information on the best plants to grow for the area, when to plant them, and more.
  3. Prepare the soil: Garden-supply stores offer a variety of nutrient dense soils and fertilizers to grow healthy vegetables. Ask for assistance when handling large packages of soil.
  4. Check planting dates: Growing conditions and ripening cycles differ depending on the plant and the season. Not all seeds can be sowed at the same time. Usually, planting dates are found on the back of the seed packets.
  5. Plant the seeds: Place the seeds into the soil with ample space in between. Think about how much room the individual vegetables will require to avoid overcrowding.
  6. Add water: Evenly water the soil throughout the entire growing season with a gentle hose nozzle. Most hose nozzles have a mode for rain-like mist.
  7. Keep weeds out: The most effective way to prevent weeds is by adding 2-4 inches of mulch to the garden. The mulch adds density to prevent weeds from growing through.
  8. Reap what you sow: It’s best to harvest vegetables when they’re young and tender. Root crops such as onions and beets should be pulled out as soon as they reach edible size and leaf crops should be collected with a with a scissor, within two inches of the ground.

Garden-fresh produce tastes sweeter, more flavorful, and tends to be more vibrant. Planting a vegetable garden is so much more than just a bounty of vegetables ­— it is time spent with friends and a sense of accomplishment.

Grow and Eat Fresh Vegetables at Wesley Enhanced Living

Wesley Enhanced Living is a continuing care retirement community that provides various combinations of independent living and personal care services. Residents enjoy a vast array of wellness services and programs designed to promote continued physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Services include wellness centers with physicians and nurse practitioners, fitness centers with personal trainers and classes, activities, clubs, entertainment, and more.

Wesley Enhanced Living provides high-quality senior living retirement communities for you or your loved ones. Contact one of our Philadelphia-area locations and find out why our seniors love where they live. Our staff is happy to discuss your elder’s needs or your own and inform you of our range of services. Virtual tours are also available. Call us today at 1-866-644-0939 for more information.