Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Senior Gardening 5 – Tools by Carol Russell and Nance Tucker

Photo courtesy freepix.com

The most important tool in the garden is either a mobile phone or an alert system. If you were to fall in the garden and couldn’t get up, a tool for communication would be essential.  Having a communication device will ensure that you can get the necessary assistance if needed.


Gloves
There are a number of specially designed gloves that can improve your grip and protect your hands while you work. Some gloves have extra padding in the palm and finger joints that can improve grip, and cause fewer calluses and blisters.

Knee and Back Aids
Kneepads and garden seats can also protect your knees and save your back when working close to the ground. 

Using Knee Pads at Denver Botanic Gardens, photo by Carol Russell 
In addition, garden kneeling benches are very versatile. They can be used in both the elevated position as a seat or flipped over for a knee pad and handles to assist is getting up.

Kneeling Bench, Photo courtesy Gardeners Supply

Digging Tools  
There are ergonomic tools that can help protect your wrists by reducing the bending and twisting wrist movement that often comes with digging and weeding. Furthermore, I suggest that you paint all of your garden tools with a bright color making them easy to locate.

Pruning Tools
Ergonomic long handled pruning tools and handsaws with longer or telescopic handles are easier to grip and provide more accessibility to hard to reach branches.

Long handled pruning tool

Grabbers
Grabber

Most garden jobs involve moving things and the right equipment can make it easier to carry your tools and move heavy or large items. Little wagons are the perfect gardening tool to roll out to the garden for those who like to have their tools by their side.  A bucket, especially one with the canvas insert that slips around any five-gallon bucket, is wonderful to keep your tools nearby and organized. Wheeled plant stands aren't just a good option for gardeners with chronic pain, but for all gardeners eliminating the need to haul heavy potted plants from place to place.

Potted plant mover
Watering
To help make your watering chores a little easier, there are lightweight garden hoses; soaker or drip hoses that can be snaked throughout the garden; and hose chests that can automatically rewind themselves. Attachments that are of value to any gardener include: on/off valve at the hose end, extension nozzles, water breakers, and easy to use lever controlled water faucets. A easy brass coupler has been a huge asset in the garden. A garden hose wand is light weight and easy on fragile hands. It may be worth the investment to install automatic or trickle irrigation systems in permanent planters.



Accessible Gardening for People with Physical Disabilities: A Guide to Methods, Tools, and Plants, Paperback – September, 1994 by Janeen R. Adil