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.

| June 17, 2011

  • Raised garden beds help gardeners with physical limitations.
    Raised garden beds help gardeners with physical limitations. Price
  • A kneeler from Gardener's Supply.
    A kneeler from Gardener's Supply.
    courtesy Gardener's Supply

  • Raised garden beds help gardeners with physical limitations.
  • A kneeler from Gardener's Supply.

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.

Debi LeFors
6/17/2011 12:27:03 PM

I have severe heart disease which makes it difficult to tolerate much activity. However, my husband suggested I use two flat cardboard boxes. I sit on one and put the other right behind me. I can scoot down rows by moving to the box behind me and moving the box I was sitting on behind my current position. This is how I planted my garden and this is how I weed it and harvest it. I also do all my gardening in the early morning when it is cool.

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