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Gardening For People With Disabilities

Gardening is a favorite hobby or pastime of many people. It gets us out in the sunshine and gives us a closer connection to the earth. In addition, gardening also results in beautiful flowers and healthy fruits and vegetables for you and your family to enjoy. While gardening is beneficial for everyone, it can provide the disabled gardener with special benefits. Today we’ll be looking at gardening for people with disabilities.

gardening from wheelchair

Why Gardening Is Good For Disabled People

Old age and some physical disabilities can leave individuals feeling depressed and frustrated. Too often they find themselves focusing on the things they can longer do, which can lead to depression and a loss of interest in life.

Gardening can provide disabled gardeners with many benefits that can lead to them feeling better about themselves and seeing that they still have value. Here are just some of the reasons why gardening is good for disabled people.

  • Provides them with an interest in things around them – Growing a vegetable garden can allow people who are unable to work a job outside the home a way of significantly contributing to the family’s well being allowing them to feel good about themselves and their contribution.
  • Keeps them active – It can be hard to stay active and get healthy exercise when you are constantly in pain often leading to inactivity and a feeling of stagnation. Gardening gets them moving while doing something useful and pleasant. Staying active helps the disabled remain healthier and happier despite any pain or limitations.
  • Gardening is relaxing – Being able to relax and enjoy the moment helps people stay positive, and can result in much better sleep. Gardening can be incredibly relaxing for many people reducing the stress that often accompanies being disabled. 
  • May help to improve motor skills – Reaching, planting, weeding, and other activities associated with gardening can help improve motor skills and range of motion, leading to a disabled person being able to eventually regain some of their strength and do more than they may have thought possible.

Types of Gardening Best Suited to Disabled Gardeners

One of the great things about gardening is that, depending on the type of disability, gardening can be suited to almost anyone. Here is a look at various types of gardening that may be suitable for the elderly or people with disabilities who may have difficulty getting down on the ground.

Raised garden beds

tall raised garden bed with flowers

Raised garden beds can be lifted from the ground, making this type of garden ideal for the wheelchair-bound or people who have difficulty bending or kneeling. In addition, raised garden beds can prevent weed growth making gardening easier for many people.

Another benefit of raised bed gardens is that you can garden even if the soil where you live is poor because you use potting soil and compost instead of needing to plant in the soil that you have.

In addition, if someone has difficulty using longer tools such as hoes and rakes a raised garden can be tended without the need for these longer tools.

Container gardens

woman in wheelchair repotting a plant

Container gardens are ideal for people with different types of disabilities for several reasons. Plants that are grown in containers can be adjusted to a comfortable height to make gardening easier for people with different disabilities.

In addition, no weeding is needed when container gardening, and you aren’t required to use any heavy tools.

Like raised garden beds you can grow a garden even if your soil is poor simply because you can use topsoil and mulch that is brought in to grow your garden.

Regular garden plots and specialized tools

man weeding from wheelchair

Many people with disabilities can garden in a regular garden patch thanks to a number of tools that have been created that make gardening easier. There are a number of different tools that can be used by people who have joint difficulties, weak grip, inability to kneel or bend over for long periods, etc.

Gardening Tools for Disabled Gardeners

There are a number of gardening tools that can make gardening easier for people with different disabilities. Here is a look at some of those tools.

1. Extendable handles

Corona Clipper GT3080 Extendable Handle Trowel

Extendable handles are handles that can be fitted on gardening tools to help those gardeners who have difficulty bending for long periods or kneeling to reach areas they normally would not be able to reach. These handles can be fitted on rakes, hoes, and shovels.

2. Easy Grip Tools

Jardineer 4 PCS Gardening Tools Set, Garden Tool Kit with Fork, Trowel, Cultivator and Garden Gloves, Garden Tools Set for The Old, Garden Tools Gifts for Women and Men

Easy-grip tools may include pruners, hand hoes, and rakes, hand spades, as well as many other tools. Easy-grip tools are tools that are designed to keep the hand and wrist at a natural angle. These tools eliminate strain on joints as well as blisters. Most easy-grip tools have handles that have soft grips and are easier to hold onto for people who may have a weak grip.

These tools are ideal for people who may suffer from arthritis in their wrists or hands as well as those who have difficulty with their grip.

3. Knelling pads

Smart Value Set of 3 Foam Kneeling Pads Perfect for Long Gardening Hours (3 Kneeling Pads Assorted Colors)

Kneeling pads can ease the aches on joints for people who suffer from knee joint pain. Almost all kneeling pads are made from thick foam often covered with easy-clean materials. Some of these kneeling pads come with handles to help disabled gardeners lower and raise themselves when gardening. Learn more about garden kneelers.

4. Gardening seat with storage

INNO STAGE 10 Piece Gardening Hand Tools Set with Garden Storage Tote Bag and Seat-Best Garden Tools Kit Organizer Valentine's Day Gifts

There are a number of different garden seats many with wheels that allow people with various physical disabilities to sit in comfort rather than kneeling while working in the garden.

Many of these gardening seats have storage areas where the disabled gardener (or any gardener) can place tools so that their tools are easy to bring along with them. Most of these seats have large wheels that allow them to roll in both grass and dirt so you won’t get bogged down when working in different rows in your garden.

Goplus Garden Cart Rolling Work Seat Outdoor Lawn Yard Patio Wagon Scooter for Planting, Adjustable 360 Degree Swivel Seat w/Tool Tray, Basket (Green)

5. Push-button water wands

YESTAR 24-33 Inches Watering Wand Adjustable Front Trigger Shower Wand with 8 Patterns 180° Rotating Head Garden Spray Wand Flow Control

A water wand that is made from lightweight materials is ideal for disabled gardeners giving them an easy way to water their raised bed or container gardens, as well as hanging plants.

It also makes it easier to reach the back rows in your garden to see that it gets sufficient water. The easy push-button feature allows you to turn your water on and off at the simple push of a button.

6. Stand up weed grabber

Walensee Weed Puller, Stand Up Weeder Hand Tool, Long Handle Garden Weeding Tool with 3 Claws, Hand Weed Hound Weed Puller for Dandelion, Standup Weed Root Pulling Tool and Picker, Grabber (1 Pack)

Stand-up weed grabbers come equipped with a foot pedal that allows you to open the weeder grasp the weed and pull it up out of the ground without worrying about having to spend hours on end bending or kneeling in order to keep your garden well weeded.

Gardening For People With Disabilities Conclusion

If you know someone who has a physical disability and seems to need a hobby that gives them a new lease then life, then why not purchase some seeds and a few of the tools mentioned above, and help them get started on a new relaxing hobby?

Give someone you love a new lease on life!

Gardening for people with disabilities
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Adriana Copaceanu is a passionate nature lover living in the country on her dream property where she grows vegetables, lavender, and wildflowers that she shares with the wildlife they attract. When she's not in the garden, she loves spending time with her chickens and planning her next nature project. Check out her books below:

How to Grow Lavender for Fun and Profit: Lessons Learned from Planting Three Hundred Lavender Plants

How to Raise Chickens for Eggs: A Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens for Nutritious, Organic Eggs at Home

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Container Gardening Ideas For Beginners

Tuesday 23rd of August 2022

[…] Great for people with disabilities –   gardening is hard (and sometimes impossible) for people with health restrictions, but a container garden is possible even for a disabled person. Learn more about gardening for people with disabilities. […]