The weather outside is beautiful! Flowers all around are blossoming, trees are budding, and people are beginning to till the earth in preparation for their gardens. Gardening is a great activity that both increases physical activity and gives you the opportunity to grow something and see the fruits of your labor.
As the body ages complications may arise that can make gardening more difficult. That doesn’t mean that you have to stop gardening altogether, it just means you need to find the right modification that will make gardening more accessible.
When it comes to modifications there are lots of options. The garden itself, equipment, and tools can all be adapted to suit various needs. Whether you are in a wheelchair, have some difficulty bending down, or cannot grip the tools as well, here are five modifications that can help you continue (or gain!) your love of gardening.
A common complaint among older gardeners is the aches in their hands or difficulty holding gardening tools. Arthritis can make gripping tools near impossible, but there are many tools out there designed to make gardening not as rough on your hands. Look for ergonomic tools, or tools with extra thick handles and a softer, rubbery material. This makes the tool easier to hold on to. Also, look for tools that have extended or extra-long handles. This can help you to stay standing while digging in your garden.
Another great modified type tool is the kneeler stool. Kneeler stools are kneeling pad supports with handles, so that you can continue doing your gardening close to the ground and also have an aid when it is time to stand up. The great thing about kneeler stools is that most of them turn into benches. So if you want to sit and do some of your gardening you can easily transform the tool into a gardening bench.
Bending down to the ground can add strain on your back and knees. If you already have difficulties with those body parts then working on a traditional ground level garden can add to your pre-existing discomfort. Raising a garden by a couple of feet, or even to a table level height, helps to take the pressure off of backs and knees. Raised beds can also be conducive to those who use walkers or are in wheelchairs. This option helps to put the garden within reach and eases the strain and stress on your body.
Another option to ease the strain on your body is vertical gardening. This is when you use trellises and mesh to plant. The vertical option allows the gardener to plant and weed without having to stoop over and bend. Vertical gardening is also a good option if you do not have a lot of space but still want to grow a variety of plants, fruit, and vegetables.
Watering your garden prove to be a difficult task. Operating a hose can off put your balance, and maybe you do not have the strength any more to haul watering cans to the garden. An option to make watering an ease is to put in soaker hoses. These hoses stay in the garden and are connected to your main hose. Once you turn on the tap, it goes to the soaker hoses and waters your garden.
Physical limitations do not need to stop you from doing what you love. There are many different modifications out there that will make gardening a hobby that you can continue to enjoy. And don’t let it stop with you! Invite your spouse, friends, grandchildren, and caregivers to help! Gardening is an activity that is fun and healthy for everyone!