If gardening is your passion, but you’re finding it harder to do, this information is for you. Many companies design and sell tools that make it easier to perform everyday gardening tasks. From tools with ergonomic handles to cushioned garden kneelers, gardening has never been easier on those stiff joints and tired muscles. Here are some special-needs situations and the garden tools that have been adapted to help, plus mail-order sources for all of them. Now you can keep gardening as long as possible.
Grip not what it used to be because of arthritis or painful swollen joints? Or perhaps you have problems with weak wrists due to carpal tunnel syndrome?
Ergonomic trowels, cultivator and weeder hand tools (Natural Radius Grip) —Garden tools by Lee Valley 1-800-871-8158
These durable, yet lightweight, aluminum-magnesium alloy tools have large curving handles to prevent hand and wrist strain. Plus, if you constantly lose tools in the garden like I do, the fluorescent green handles make these easy to find.
Fiskars® pruners — Life with Ease 1-800-966-5119
If your hands are weak, or you have stiff painful joints, the unique gear system in these pruners reduces the effort needed to cut.
GT Ergonomic garden trowel — Life with Ease 1-800-966-5119
You can minimize wrist strain with this unique trowel because it relies on your arm muscles. The cushioned supports and grips prevent your wrist from twisting and straining as you work.
Fist Grip® trowel, fork and cultivator hand tools — Life with Ease 1-800-966-5119
The pistol grips keep your wrists straight as you work so you don’t strain them. And the bright yellow color makes these tools easy to find if you forget where you laid them as you were working.
Oxo® GoodGrips trowel — Life with Ease 1-800-966-5119
Gel-e, a special material used to cushion the handle, provides a comfortable, soft grip to make digging less jarring on painful hand joints.
Bionic gloves — Hand Helpers 1-888-632-7091
No, they won’t do your work for you, but I find these durable gloves improve hand comfort without interfering with motion.
Woman’s Pallina Vegan gloves — Garden Gate Store
Liquicell® padding on the palm and thumb is easy on joints and prevents blisters.
Knee joints make it difficult to get up and down? Or perhaps it’s painful when you kneel?
Padded garden kneeler — Gardener’s Supply 1-888-833-1412
Nothing’s worse than kneeling on hard ground. This kneeler cushions your stiff, sore knees as you work. Plus, I like the handles on the sides so I can use my upper body strength to hoist myself up when I’m finished working. After I stand, the handles make it easy to move the kneeler without bending over. That means it’s easy on your back, weak legs and painful joints. And with a simple adjustment, the kneeler can even be used as a garden seat when you need a rest.
Garden scoot — Gardener’s Supply 1-888-833-1412
Kind of like a tricycle, you sit on the comfortable seat, use your legs to pull yourself along and simply roll through your garden. There’s no more getting up and down, stressing your back and knees.
Knee pads — Garden tools by Lee Valley 1-800-871-8158
Strap one of these cushioned pads onto each leg and you won’t have to worry about injuring tender knees as you plant or weed your garden. There are several different styles so you can find the one that works best for you.
Unable to lift and move heavy pots?
Pot caddy — Garden tools by Lee Valley 1-800-871-8158
Use your head, not your back. This moving dolly was designed specifically to move heavy containers, up to 165 pounds. Plus it’s handy for moving other heavy items around your home or garage, too. I like the compact, lightweight design because it’s easy to store.
Confined to a scooter or chair? Maybe your balance doesn’t allow you to walk into a shrub or flower border?
Expanding rake with telescoping handle — Life with Ease 1-800-966-5119
I can use this rake in tight places, like between shrubs, and on my lawn — the head expands from 7 to 21 inches wide. Its lightweight, extendable handle helps prevent back fatigue from either a sitting or standing position.
Long-handled hoe or cultivator — Garden tools by Lee Valley 1-800-871-8158
With durable, 60-in.-long wooden handles, these tools help you extend your reach into deep borders and beds.
Corona® extendable-handled cultivator, hoe, rake, loppers and hedge shears— Corona 1-800-234-2547
Before you extend the handles, these tools are easy to carry on a scooter or in a basket. When you’re ready to work, the lightweight metal handles can be lengthened to extend your reach, even on the hedge shears or loppers.