3 Health Boosting Plants to Include in Your Summer Garden
Summer is approaching, and with it comes warmer weather and soil temperatures. There are many vegetables that thrive in the summer, some of which are very easy to take care of. At the Cedars Retirement Community in Indiana, we encourage our residents to get outside and enjoy the weather. Gardening in the warm sunshine is a great way to move your body, and the vegetables you grow will provide you with the vitamins and minerals you need throughout the day.
Here are 3 easy vegetables to grow in your garden this summer!
If you aren’t familiar with eggplant, it is a deep purple vegetable that is part of the nightshade family. Eggplants grow very well in hotter climates, so you can sow seeds in late spring or early summer. Eggplants require a full 8 hours of sunlight each day and plenty of water, as well as nutrient-rich soil. For better results with fewer chemicals, use organic compost or an organic fertilizer every 3-6 weeks.
Eggplants can grow indoors or outdoors, and you can plant them directly in the ground or in a container. Planting in the ground allows the plants to develop deeper roots and retains more moisture. However, planting in a container allows you to move the plant around for better sunlight or shade. With a container, you can move your plants right next to a water source, so you don’t have to travel far, and which will allow you to care for your plant if your mobility is limited.
Eggplant contains many vitamins and minerals, such as choline, vitamins A, B1-B12, C, D, E, and K, calcium, potassium, and so much more! Eggplants are a splendid choice to keep your body healthy.
Leafy green vegetables are the easiest veggies to grow in a summer garden. Greens thrive in warm temperatures but require little sunlight. They do best in shady spots. Spinach, Swiss chard, mustard greens, and collard greens are some greens you can grow in your garden. Greens also don’t require large containers to grow, as their roots only grow to a depth of around 6 inches.
Leafy greens have proven to help slow cognitive decline. Eating one serving of leafy greens per day, especially from your own garden, can help prevent early onset Alzheimer’s or other cognitive illnesses. This is because greens are rich in phylloquinone, lutein, nitrate, folate, and iron.
Most people discount the leaves and stems of vegetables like carrots, radishes, beets, celery, and more, but interestingly enough, they are also edible and a great source of nutritients! If you include these vegetables in your garden, cut the greens off and add them to your favorite dishes or salads for added flavor and health benefits.
Summer squash is one of the easiest squash types you can grow. They thrive in soil above 60 degrees and only require 1-2 inches of water every week. Some summer squash types include zucchini, zephyr, and pattypan. Summer squash needs plenty of space to grow, but they require little attention, making them a great choice for container or in-ground gardens.
Squash is high in vitamin C, low in fat, and low in calories. You can use squash in many ways such as cooking it in a hash with meat and other veggies, adding it to soups and stews like you would with potatoes, and cutting & frying it like French fries. You can even boil them, blend, and add to your favorite sauces. If you're looking for a recipe to try out, this oblogger, Spend with Pennies, is phenomenal.
Gardening Benefits and Tips
Light gardening can be a great way to stay active as a senior and it can add value to your life, improve your health, and provide delicious nutrients for your body. To learn more about gardening benefits and to find helpful tips for gardening as a senior, check out this article on the Cedars Retirement Community’s website.
The Cedars Retirement Community
Located just outside of Fort Wayne, Indiana, The Cedars Retirement Community believes in providing the highest quality of life and opportunities for seniors. We want to ensure that your latter years are lived with joy, enthusiasm, and relational connections. Please contact us with any questions or to schedule a tour of our beautiful lakeside retirement community.