Gardening with Limitations

Keep gardening, in spite of any illness or age-related limitation you may face. Here are a few tips to help us keep at our favorite pastime.

Raised garden beds help gardeners with physical limitations.

Raised garden beds help gardeners with physical limitations. Price

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Let’s face it, gardeners age. Or, are afflicted with illnesses that can make gardening more difficult and less enjoyable. However, thanks to creative and inventive minds, there are now a wide variety of excellent tools and techniques to take some of the aches and pains out of gardening.

Following are a few techniques we’ve found that offer great advice for improving your gardening ability despite physical limitations. Special thanks to the Chicago Botanic Garden for all the examples they show in their Buehler Enabling Garden.

1. Know your limits. Be aware of just how much physical activity you can manage and ask for help when needed.

2. Use the right tools (see samples below).

3. Act like an athlete! In other words, do a little warm-up activity before you begin gardening and give yourself a nice stretch after as well.

4. Try containers and

raised bed gardening for less digging, shoveling and bending.

5. Using soaker hoses, drip irrigation and timers eliminate the daily task of unwinding and rewinding heavy and cumbersome hoses.

6. Weeding after a rain or thorough watering makes it easier to get the weed roots without straining.

7. Keep tools sharp for easier (and safer) cutting.

8. Use ergonomically designed tools with longer handles for less stretching and bending. Pad the tool handles with foam if needed.

9. Use wagons to carry items around the garden rather than lifting and carrying. Create paths of a durable surface to make moving things back and forth in those wagons much easier.

10. Mount hanging baskets on pulleys to make it easier to raise and lower the plants for watering and maintenance care.

Here are some additional products from National Garden Bureau members that will help make gardening easier:

Ho-MiCultivator, from The Cook’s Garden

Pro Hand Seeder, from The Cook’s Garden

The Grow Box, from Garden Patch

Kneeler seat, from W. Atlee Burpee

Ergonomicloppers, from Thompson & Morgan

Handy Caddy, from Territorial Seeds

Long HandledTools, from Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Raised bed kit, from Harris Seeds

AutomaticPressure Pump Sprayer, from Park Seed

Garden Kneelers, from Gardener's Supply

Stand-upErgonomic Tiller, from Gardener's Supply