How To Garden With Mobility Aids
Posted by Zoe Stitt on April 29, 2022
The season of new beginnings has arrived, it's finally Spring – a very welcome date in the calendar after a cold and gloomy winter. New signs of life are slowly starting to appear everywhere you look, small stems peep out cautiously from the soil, lambs frolic carelessly in the fields and the trees are starting to fill their barren branches with luscious green leaves and buds!
Springtime is upon us, and it couldn’t have come sooner as far as we're concerned.
We’ve spent a lot of time indoors over the past two years. COVID-19 restrictions and anxieties have meant that most of us have become used to looking at the outside world through our living room windows, watching nature from afar.
Not only have we missed the great outdoors, but many people have found their mental health has suffered over the recent months. If you find yourself nodding along, you aren’t alone.
The Many Benefits Of Being Outdoors
Sunshine and natural daylight trigger specific areas of the retina which then tell your brain to release the hormone Serotonin into your body. Referred to as a natural anti-depressant, Serotonin is known as the ‘feel good’ hormone, boosting your mood and helping you feel calmer and more focused.
Mood lifting isn't the only impressive thing the sun is able to do, sunshine also encourages the skin to produce vitamin D which plays a big part in bone health. The World Health Organisation have suggested that exposure to sunlight (safely of course) can help treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne to name but a few.
So, after watching your garden from the armchair for a while, now the sun is out and the days are getting longer and warmer, it's time to head out and give that outdoor space the little makeover, or tidy you’ve been intending to give it for a while. From low maintenance back yards to ambitious floral retreats, everyone should have an outdoor space to be proud of.
Whether it’s replanting those flower beds, tidying up the lawn, or maybe adding some new additions to your vegetable patch, tending a garden is not only a fulfilling and enjoyable experience for most, but it can be a great way to do some light exercise and help keep ourselves mobile.
With that being said, for those of us with mobility problems, there can be certain hurdles and anxieties attached to heading outdoors, and when it comes to gardening, we may find that we struggle to use a lot of the gardening equipment available to us in Highstreet stores.
However, that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of mother nature's beautiful landscape. Gardening with mobility issues shouldn’t be difficult and there are plenty of gardening and daily living aids available which have been specifically designed to make gardening easier for those with some mobility issues.
These tools aim to alleviate any concerns we might have as gardeners and allow you to independently enjoy your garden, with or without green fingers!
Making Getting Into The Garden Easier
The first stage of enjoying your garden is actually getting out there, which isn’t always as easy as it might sound. If you find that your outside space doesn't have easy access from your home, or maybe you need something from your shed which has a large step to get into it, then there are a couple of things we suggest that might help you feel safer and more confident in doing so.
The first things to have a look at are grab rails. Grab rails can be a great way for people with limited mobility to feel safer exiting and entering the home, or other buildings, like your shed.
The Prima Outdoor Grab Rail can be installed on outdoor surfaces to give you something to hold onto when tackling doorways and steps, giving you extra stability getting in and out of the house. It is extremely strong with an aluminium core and has an anti-slip handle so you can get a good firm grip without worrying about slipping, or tumbling.
Tackling Steps And Doorways
The second suggestion we have for limited mobility gardeners, or those who use walking aids, is the Bigfoot Half Step. This product is hugely popular amongst people who use a walking aid in day to day life and find the doorsteps into and out of their house a little too high to comfortably tackle.
The Bigfoot Half Step is essentially an adjustable height step with optional handles, reducing the height you have to step down, or up. It grips the floor with moulded feet and provides that extra stability needed to get outdoors.
Tending Flowerbeds And Vegetable Patches
Now that you’re outside, with the warmth of the sun on your face and the birds chirping merrily, it’s time to get your gardening gloves on and deal with your outdoor haven, however big, or small.
If you find that constantly bending over to weed, or plant, is difficult for you, or you simply want to save your back, then there are a few tips that might help.
Using Raised Beds
Firstly, raised beds are a great idea to reduce the distance between you and your plants. Opting for a raised bed allows you to minimise bending down to tend the raised beds whilst still creating an attractive planting area, whether that be for beautiful blooms, homegrown produce, or simple low maintenance plants.
Raised beds are a simple yet effective option for those who find bending over from an upright position difficult.
Finding A Combination Of Gardening Aids That Works For You
Secondly, a combination of gardening aids used in a clever way has proven to be an ingenious way for those with mobility problems to spend longer down at garden level whilst seeding, or pruning.
The Folding Garden Kneeler and Stool functions as a both a fold away stool and kneeler, with padding on both sides. When knelt down, the stool can be used for you to lean over, supporting the upper body across the torso whilst leaving the hands and arms free to tend to plants and shrubs at ground level. Pair this with a kneeler for maximum comfort and you've got a winning combination of gardening aids!
This tried and tested method reduces the stress on the legs by spreading body weight across the stool, making gardening comfortable for longer.
However, if you find that it’s your knees that are paying the price for your green fingers, there are plenty of kneeler garden aids on the market designed to make life easier. These kneelers, which alleviate the uncomfortable feeling of trying to kneel on a hard floor or damp grass, allow you to remain at garden level for longer without aching knees.
A couple of our favourites are the Padded Garden Kneeler which doubles as a stool with space to store your tools, or the Memory Foam Garden Kneeler which is a great budget option gardening aid to protect those knees.
Gardening Equipment And Hand Tools
So, you’ve found a comfortable spot, either on a stool or using a kneeler, and you're ready to reach for the tools and tend those flowerbeds. However, as we mentioned earlier, for those with limited mobility in their hands or wrists the tools available at gardening stores or DIY shops don’t always suit our needs and, to be honest, can make things more difficult for us.
The run of the mill tools have handles that can be tricky to hold, or are chunky and cumbersome, making what should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, a stressful and painful one. Fear not, there are some fantastic products out there designed with this exact scenario in mind.
Introducing Ergonomic Tools
Let us introduce you to the these guys - the Easi-Grip range of garden tools. This clever range offers a smart solution to a common problem by adding ergonomically angled handles to its products, along with non-slip grips, allowing you to grab the gardening tools in a way that feels natural, reducing stress to the hands and wrists.
This brilliant mobility aid range boasts a host of ergonomic tools, including a weeder, cultivator, trowel, and fork along with add on handles. The handles can be fitted to your existing tools, transforming them into easy-to-use gardening must haves.
What is also fantastic about this range is that the cultivator, towel, hoe, and fork come as long handled tools. The long handled gardening tools mean you can remain in an upright standing position whilst the long reach allows you to easily garden without having to bend over.
Moving Around The Garden
Another issue we know we’ve faced before when tending a garden with multiple growing areas, is the annoyance of having to keep picking up all our gardening tools and taking them over to the next bed, not to mention the aching back and legs from constantly being up and down!
A Rolling Garden Seat makes all the difference and can help to reduce strain in the legs and back. This is a smart way to move around the garden effortlessly. One thing we like best about the rolling seat is that it features a space under the seat for you to pop your gardening tools (or whatever else you fancy) in.
Seeding The Lawn
Ok, the budding flower beds and vegetable gardens are looking pretty good, they’ve been lovingly weeded, planted, and pruned and now it’s time to turn our attention to the big one: the lawn. It’s weathered the harsh winter pretty well but is a little patchy in areas and probably would benefit from a light seeding and fertilising.
There are a couple of ways to do this; a handheld manual seed spreader offers a quick way to cover smaller spaces, easily spreading seeds on those unsightly patches. We suggest the Home and Garden Manual Seed Spreader which features an arm support, letting you comfortably disperse seeds and fertiliser.
If you've got limited hand or wrist mobility the Home and Garden Lawn Seed Spreader might be a better option as it allows the user to push it around the garden from standing height. It's also a more suitable option for larger lawns.
Watering And Fertilising
The garden is now looking like the oasis you had envisioned, but it’s forecasted to be warm in the coming months and in order to bloom, your seeds will need to be watered. Traditional watering cans can be heavy and difficult to handle for some people, that’s where a Pump Action Pressure Sprayer is a good alternative to consider.
The sprayer can be operated from standing and sprays continuously, meaning you’ll have the watering done is no time. It can also be used for pesticides and fertilisers with its generous 5 litre capacity.
And Finally... Relax!
Now there’s only one thing left to do, it’s time to down gardening tools, take a seat in your comfy garden chair with your favourite refreshment (whether that be a coffee or a gin and tonic!), admire all of your gardening and celebrate a job well done.
Sitting back in your very own outdoor haven, you can feel proud that with the help of some handy products, you’ve created a little slice of the outdoors to nurture and enjoy over the coming months.
You can enjoy your plants knowing that whatever gardening needs doing to maintain your outdoor space, whether its an oasis of colourful blooms or a simple collection of low maintenance plants, you’re well equipped with a range of gardening tips to tackle it and we at Ability Superstore will be with you every step of the way.
We're Here To Help
Ability Superstore is one of the top mobility and disability aid websites in the UK, and now with our first mobility shop, we are adding an extra level to our customer care experience.
We stock hundreds of items from simple jar openers right through to mobility scooters and more.
Ability Superstore has a team of friendly and knowledgeable staff and Occupational Therapists that are always on hand to answer your questions, and to help you find the perfect gardening aid or daily living aid to help make your life easier.
At Ability Superstore, we also have a large range of indoor and outdoor daily living aids. Visit our website today to find out more!
Get In Touch
For more information, or advice call our customer service team free on 0800 255 0498, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send us a message via this Contact Us form on our website. You will find us on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.