Adaptive gardening

Fri. Dec. 13, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Adaptive gardening

There’s no better stress reliever than to play in the dirt!  I have often taken for granted my ability to move through my gardens easily.  Oh maybe my knees give me a little trouble now and then, but I can bend down and pluck a weed or snip a flower with ease.  Other gardeners can’t.

adding composted material – GardenBite – this is me in 2013. Gratefully in 2019, I can still do this!

The other day I was browsing the National Garden Bureau site and found an article on Adaptive Gardening by Toni Gattone. For me, gardening is such a wonderful time. I get to be outside playing in the dirt and communing with nature, even if it is a bug or three!

It’s proven over and over how being outdoors, being in nature, is so healthy for us, it’s important to keep at the gardening game even as our own bodies change.

Maybe kneeling for hours weeding isn’t the dream you thought it would be anymore (or perhaps ever). There’s creating a raised bed, or finding proper tools to make the job easier or that perfect kneeling pad!

photo taken from Adaptive Gardening by Toni Gattone

Ergonomic tools, those tools that fit YOUR hand better, making the use of them easier, have really exploded across the market over the last 20 years.

Radius garden tools

Gattone offers some other helpful tips including vertical gardening for those with bad backs. One of the best things you can do for your body is to stretch, stretch, stretch before you start gardening. Do yoga, tai chi, or dance to some upbeat music that gets you moving and warmed up. She also advocates doing a different chore every thirty minutes using a different part of your body as repetitive movements can cause pain. Here is the LINK to the full article.

Some resources:

Carry On gardening

Ergonomics Info

Gene Rothert, the author of The Enabling Garden, is the Director Emeritus at the Chicago Botanic Garden and his book is a fantastic resource for those looking to make gardening easier for themselves or loved ones.

There’s a table top method of gardening where you buy a bag of quality garden soil, lay it on a table, cut holes in the bag and plant!  Of course they need to be shallow rooted plants like marigolds, geraniums, lettuce blends and herbs.  You also need to slit some holes in the bottom of the bag for drainage.

Gardening in a bag
Salad box by Tim Freeland