Making Gardening Easier
Gardening is one of life’s great joys, however many people find their time in the garden is reduced, not for lack of enthusiasm, but by what they are physically capable of.
This list of garden aids is designed to help extend your time in the garden. With the right garden tools you should be able to garden for longer, more comfortably and with less aches and pains. Some you will be familiar with, others may be new to you.
- Secateurs: If you suffer from arthritis, or have poor dexterity in your hands, you will appreciate the rolling handle of the Fiskars Power Gear Secateurs. An everyday gardening secateur, cutting branches to 26mm in diameter, you will find you will be able to prune for longer with less effort. What’s more, you will reduce the aching hands often experienced when you have spent the afternoon pruning.
- Extendable Pruners and Loppers are particularly useful, allowing gardeners to prune, lop and even clip their hedges, without having to resort to climbing a ladder to do so. Handles extend from between 70cm to 3m, depending on the tool, making it easy to manage plants in hard to reach spots of the garden, and excellent for pruning fruit trees. There is a range of quality and price points for these tools. Look for the one which most suits your budget and pruning needs.
- There is nothing as uncomfortable as kneeling on cold soil or on concrete paths to do your weeding. Garden kneelers and kneepads take the cold and the discomfort out of this tedious job. And if you like to take a rest during your gardening, look out for the kneeler which flips over to become a seat when you need a break. Not to be overlooked are knee pads, which are easy to strap on over the top of your favourite garden pants, and like the kneelers, make gardening easier on your knees.
- Long Handled Tools make working in your veggie beds and flower garden a breeze, and reduce strain and stress on the back. A range of dutch hoes, swan neck hoes and weeders are available. Their beauty lies in the fact that you don’t need to bend down to weed as you would if you were using the more common short handled tools.
- Fruit pickers alleviate the need for gardeners to climb ladders to pick home grown produce. With a long broom like handle this tool is perfect for picking summer fruits, and for citrus which are too high to reach. There are several varieties on the market, including bag like pickers which are great for soft fruits like peaches and nectarines, and cage like pickers which are more suitable for thick skinned fruit like citrus.
- Quality Gloves for aging and frail skin are a must: Cuts and abrasions to frail skin is a common complaint of older gardeners, and sometimes the source of nasty infections - particularly for those gardeners who grow roses!. There are lots of gloves available to gardeners with various levels of protection to the hand. None however, surpass the Tough Touch glove which is a specialty pruning glove offering an excellent level of protection against thorns while retaining good dexterity and comfort.
- Slip on garden shoes: There are several slip on garden shoes now on the market. Most have comfortable and replaceable inner soles, and are water proof, making them perfect for long hours in the garden. Easy on the back, (no bending down to tie up tiresome laces or pull on elastic sided boots) and on your balance, slip on shoes make getting into your garden, popping out to feed the hens, or collect firewood, quick and simple.
- Garden hands are fabulous for those looking to make the job of picking up leaves and garden rubbish quicker and easier. They reduce some strain on the back (you don’t have to bend down as far), and reduce the chance of cutting yourself on sharp prunings.
- Hand weeding garden beds, the lawn and paths and paved areas can be hard on the back. There are several aids which can help you here. Consider using a Weeding Brush which, with it’s long handle and brush applicator, allows you to get chemical (organic or non organic) directly onto your weeds. Also available are weeders with a beak like tool which allow you to ‘pluck’ weeds from the lawn without bending or kneeling, again reducing stress on the back..
- Water Tap Aid: If you find turning garden taps on and off difficult, then you will appreciate this inexpensive, yet clever plastic tap fitting. Garden taps, unlike their indoor cousins, have a single metal bar which can be tough to shut off tightly, or even turn on. The design of this smart tap cover, which slips without difficulty over your existing garden tap fitting, makes turning water on and off easier and more comfortable
- There are a myriad of raised garden beds and planters on the market. Some are permanent or semi permanent (galvanised raised beds), others are on wheels or more easily located if you are following the sun through the seasons (Vegepod). All of them make it easier to garden without having to bend, bringing your work space to a comfortable height. If you are use a wheelchair or garden with the use of a walking frame, then be sure to look out for the VegTrug planter, which has a unique V-shaped design, allowing you to pull your wheelchair or walker right up to the bed for an easy, comfortable gardening experience.
If you need assistance choosing the right tool for your garden, please do speak with our garden staff …. We too are gardeners, and all of us have experienced aches and pains after a day in the garden. We are always looking at ways to make it easier on our bodies as well!