Gardening gets you outside, keeps you active, and produces colorful and tasty rewards for your efforts. Even people who have a physical impairment can enjoy gardening with the right tools. The types of tools used depend on the needs of the gardener. With the right tools, anyone can reap the benefits of gardening.
The handles of gardening tools such as hoes, hand pruners or trowels for people with impairments should be brightly colored and have good gripping surfaces and thick handles. Bright colors allow a gardener with limited vision to easily spot and grab the handle of a tool instead of the working end. The material used around the handle should allow for a good grip, no matter how tightly your hand is holding the tool.
Large or specially shaped handles let gardeners with arthritis comfortably hold and use the tools.
Work gloves, along with providing hand protection, can help people with a loss of grip strength to hold things better. Nitrile-covered gloves designed for gardening are thin and lightweight, and the material prevents objects from slipping out of your hands. Use thicker gloves coated in nitrile when doing heavy garden work, such as weeding or pruning, that may rip thinner gloves.
Kneeling to reach plants in beds is a part of gardening for anyone, not just the impaired, especially when the garden does not include raised beds. People with impairments that require them to get closer to the plants frequently kneel. This group includes gardeners with visual impairments, who must kneel down so that they can feel their way around the garden bed as they work. Kneeling for extended periods of time without knee protection is painful for anyone, and the longer you stay in a kneeling position, the more likely you feel pain in the knees. Knee pads or a padded kneeling stool can prevent knee pain resulting from gardening. Protecting the knees can also help gardeners with arthritic knees to work with less pain. Even people without impairments find it more comfortable to use padding under their knees when gardening.
Your wheelbarrow should be easy to push, steer and leave standing if you have physical impairments. An even number of wheels on a wheelbarrow makes it easier to move and less likely to tip.
The handle should be padded, and brightly colored for visibility.
Carrying all the tools you need in a pouch around your waist makes gardening easier. The pouch should have easy-to-access pockets that can hold the tools you use most often. You can carry tools too large for the pockets in a bucket with ergonomically designed handles for easy gripping. The easily gripped handles reduce the chances of dropping a bucket full of garden tools.