List of gardening tools for elderly and disabled.

aaaaaaaa(6)April 25, 2014

Hi All,
I usually hang out in vegetable gardening forum. I am looking for list of gardening tools for elderly and disabled. I myself have back issues. And also I am documenting the list to aid other gardeners in my fb group. Please do not suggest Google.
Appreciate your help and thanks in advance.
Anna

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posieh(3)

Since I am handicapped I have found a couple tools that I use a lot. One is a hoe that has three tines so is about 2-3 inches wide and has a handle that extends from about four feet to 6 ft. long. Also a rake that is about six inches wide that can be extended wider and handle adjusts from about 4 ft. long to 6 ft. long. I believe I found them at a Farm and Fleet Store or a Menards. I don't know of any list that might be available. Hope this helps you.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 9:54PM
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aaaaaaaa(6)

Thanks posieh, certainly a start of my list:)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:38AM
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SadieRose(6b)

I'm to the point where I'm having to make adjustments to how I garden. I just found this resource.

Here is a link that might be useful: garden tools

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 6:22AM
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lucille(Houston)

I'm not sure if you are asking just about hand tools, so I would like to include here the Greenworks line of electric mowers and trimmers. They are MUCH lighter and easier to deal with than their gas counterparts. So far I have the cordless mower and trimmer, will be buying the blower soon. There is even a cordless cultivator, but since I have raised beds and containers I don't use a cultivator.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 6:46AM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Not quite tools, but layout of a garden with accessibility in mind will help make gardening easier. For instance, having raised beds really helps. Likewise, mulching will help reduce the need for watering and weeding. Wide enough paths for a walker or wheelchair (or even a garden cart to help reduce lifting) may be important.

A comfortable seat at a good height to work in beds is helpful. There are garden stools made with wheels and seats that rotate which would reduce the need for getting up and down often.

Ways to move things around the garden more easily will depend on the needs and abilities of the user, whether it is a tarp that can drag leaves, weeds and clippings to the compost pile, a garden cart, either powered or unpowered, or a dedicated basket or bag of some kind that can be strapped to a walker or wheel-chair.

One of my favorite weeding tools is a stirrup hoe AKA scuffle hoe which cuts on the push and the pull. I use one standing that has a blade of about 8", but getting a 3 1/2" wide one (linked below) and installing a shorter handle, length depending on the arm length and strength and comfort of the user, would make it useable from a seated position. A long handle is easy to use standing upright, and I don't find it stressful on my back at all since it doesn't require any bending or lifting while I am using it.

In general, longer-than-standard handles will help reduce the need to bend one's back while working, and wide handle grips make tools easier to hold, especially if they are rubberized or textured. Something like dip coating (http://www.plastidip.com/home_solutions/Plasti_Dip) or even the first aid stretch wrap could be added to retrofit tools to make handles thicker and easier to grip.

I like tools that reduce the need for repetitive snipping or clipping, which I find hard on hands and wrists. I have a pair of standard hedge sheers that can prune back an entire perennial with one or two whacks.

If one has the skill and/or strength to use them, power tools are useful in reducing strain of the body. For instance, a trimmer like a string trimmer but with a blade is much less strain on me than hand pruners for removing unwanted woody plants when worn with vibration dampening gloves and a full harness (and of course a helmet with ear and eye protection and protective chaps.) My quite elderly FIL who has difficulty walking with a cane, gets himself, plants, tools, and materials moved around the garden with his riding lawnmower and a cart. Light-weight tillers may be easier to use than hand digging. An electric knife may be useful for pruning tough perennials like some large grasses.

DH and I both use long-handled sharpened spikes for dandelion and other tap-rooted weeds like pokeweed and dock. They can pry weeds loose or be used to cut the tap root. We added longer handles so they can be used without any bending. http://www.centralgarden.com/garden-tools/cultivators-tillers/ames-true-temper-lh-weeder-with-leather-loop.html

Here is a link that might be useful: 3 1/2

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 8:35AM
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samsaraedu(7)

Glad I found this forum.
I'm recently disabled and it is frustrating after gardening for decades, I can no longer do what I used to. I'm learning to be more creative since getting the job done either takes 10x as long or getting assistance (difficult).

A tool I found invaluable so far as a garden seat/transporter is Harbor Freight's mechanics roller seat #61653. Cheaper than other garden seats(coupon) but the best part is the wheels move in any direction, not a straight line like most. I scoot around patio edges and paver paths easily and have even used it to carry plants rolling over short grass.

I bought a Coleman PVC folding wash basin which is very lightweight when empty. I can clean up outside using hose or rain barrel water to rinse vegetables, clean off tools or not get my walker dirty.

I also have Collapsible Market Basket by RSVP I found on Amazon. Although I've used it in the supermarket since it fits on the frame of my walker, it is also great in the garden for harvesting.
You can fold down the sides so it's long like a trug or full for larger fruit like melons. Wipe off or wash the polyester material and it has light aluminum frame with a wide handle. I like the phone pocket too which will fit a cell or home phone handset just in case you have a problem while out there.

Looking forward to learning about more stuff to help out in the garden.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 2:29PM
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PRO
Alecia Bane

I make my gardening tools using my old kitchen pot. I never bought tools ever for my gardening. My neighbour suggest me to escape to extravagant and show me how. I have a little garden that is decorated by me using designed and colored plants and markers. I collect gardening tools idea from (www.IDealGardenMarkers.com) for applying in garden.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2015 at 12:19AM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

All of the above are great! I wish I had made wider paths when we first started gardening!

My chiro would roll his eyes when I talked about gardening, but he then realized wasn't going to stop.

A few things I have done are:

Buy a set of long handled hand tools. I've had my set for almost 10 years. Way less bending over and less weight.

I use a 3-4' length of plastic water pipe to dig down and then roll bean seeds into the hole, then cover with the pipe. This is pretty much only good for larger seeds.

CARDBOARD! If you don't have snow, the weeds will do you in! I cover all the raised beds that I'm not using with cardboard when not in use. It actually lasts a couple of years if stored right. It's also great to keep cats from doing their thing in the beds. 0 weeding!

Lastly, I bought a 50s mini tiller from a neighbor that tills in my compost to about 4" (I have hardware cloth at about 6" deep). It cleans things up and doesn't wreck my back! Nancy

    Bookmark   February 19, 2015 at 6:36PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Sorry, also a bulb planter will give you the perfect sized hole for vege starts. There are some with a handle that you squeeze to dig a hole and some that you just dig in with your foot. Hole dug is 75% of the work! (I'm talking starts, not BIG plants!) Nancy

    Bookmark   February 21, 2015 at 6:44PM
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