Spring is finally hear, after a very long winter. Most people start thinking about gardening – what flowers to plant, which vegetables to buy this year, which shrubs need pruning? Some people are more passionate about it and get antsy thinking about digging in the dirt…er…soil.

But if you have
– arthritis in your hands
– had a total knee replacement
– broken your ankle and it’s just not as limber any more
– any type of low back pain
planting 1 tomato plant might make you feel like you’ve planted an acre. What can you do?

1. Plant a container garden. By keeping your plants in containers, you do not have to bend down as far. You can also put plants in locations where you could use a chair.

2. Planting raised beds literally brings the ground closer to you so you have to bend less. If building a new one, make it narrow enough so you can reach into the middle of the bed and allow enough space between beds so you can walk easily or allow a wheelchair between them. Raised beds also improve drainage.

3. Ergonomic tools. There are MANY items on the market now that can help make your gardening life much easier and less painful. Do a Google search for “ergonomic gardening tools” and start shopping!

4. Watering aids. Consider the grip of a watering can when buying a new one – does your wrist have to bend down towards the pinkie side of your wrist? Look for one that allows you to keep your wrist in a neutral position. Or look for a comfortable trigger if buying a new nozzle for a hose. 1 gallon of water weighs about 8 pounds, so weigh your options [pun intended!] of carrying a watering can versus dragging a hose.

5. Kneeler / seat. Again, search online for a “garden kneeler” to see a nice tool that gives you padding to kneel on, arm rests to push off when trying to stand up after weeding, and a bench to sit on when you get tired, all in one package.

SHOULD YOU HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW YOU CAN GET INTO THE GARDEN WITHOUT ENDING UP IN BED FOR 2 DAYS, CALL ECRC PHYSICAL THERAPY FOR A CONSULTATION. PHYSICIAN REFERRAL NOT REQUIRED.