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.
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