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Garden Tools for Accessibility

Gardening is good for mental and physical health. It helps you stay fit, nurtures friendships, and promotes relaxation. People with disabilities are not exempted from reaping the benefits of gardening. This goes especially if you’ve planned your outdoor space to accommodate people with disabilities. Make gardening for people with disabilities comfortable and accessible. Here is our guide on garden tools and gardening tips for people with disabilities.

Garden Design Considerations

woman using ecogardener raised bed

When planning the garden for accessibility, you have to do this intentionally. Unless the garden was designed for people with disabilities right from the start, you might need to make some modifications to improve its accessibility. Here are some tips to get you started:

Go for Vertical Gardens and Raised Beds

We suggest investing in walls and fences to create vertical gardens or raised garden beds for accessibility. The goal is to make your garden more accessible and safe to access. Vertical gardens and raised bends eliminate physical restrictions. Disabled people could take a short stroll in the garden and see the flowers at eye level. There is no need to bend down, kneel, or stoop to appreciate the greeneries.

Add a Seating Area

Make the most out of a shady spot in the garden by assembling a seating area. You don’t need to spend a small fortune on a seating area; just be sure that it’s wheelchair accessible. A seating area is a great place for disabled people to rest, relax, and enjoy the garden. You can also use this space to do potting and planting together as a group!

Use Containers of All Kinds

plants using recycled container as pots

From pots to window boxes, upcycled drums, and wheelbarrows -- these could be used to build a beautiful container garden. A container garden is more accessible compared to a traditional gardening setting. You can use plant shelves to showcase your precious perennials and make the most out of the tiniest of spaces. This is also a great idea for areas in the garden with limited sunlight.

Hanging Baskets and Climbing Plants

hanging plants

Turn every corner of your outdoor space into a lush, green garden by hanging pots or baskets filled with climbing plants. Apart from transforming the space, climbing plants are within easy reach, perfect if you’re hosting a get-together with folks who are suffering from mobility issues. This is also an excellent idea for making bare spots appear fuller. We suggest using retractable hanging baskets and containers/pots with wheels so you can move them around into any setup.

Non-Slip, Level Paths

It’s essential to keep any paths level, non-slip, and accessible for disabled individuals. Use a rake to level the soil, especially near the seating area. Be sure that paths have a slight slope so water can run off and prevent slipperiness. Brush hard surfaces with a stiff broom to remove moss, algae, or lichen. Spread coarse sand on wooden steps and improve drainage on hard surfaces.

Easy Access Work Area

Create a space where everything from tools to storage is easy to access. You can build a workbench, so people don’t have to walk all the way to the shed to get or store the garden tools. You can also create a shaded area for working in the garden during the summer season. Essentially, you want to create a space where you can work in the garden without walking too far between activities.

Garden Activities for Disabled Gardeners

What garden activities are safe for people who have disabilities or use a wheelchair? Here are some recos:

old waman watering plants
  • Watering
  • Digging
  • Planting
  • sowing
  • Pruning
  • Weeding
  • Mulching
  • Flower picking
  • Flower arranging
  • Craft activities
  • Harvesting garden produce
  • Cooking food from the garden

Accessible Garden Tools for Disabled Gardeners

When it comes to garden equipment, these can be adapted to fit various disabilities. Generally, you should choose garden tools that are easy to handle, with ergonomic design to improve grip, reduce fatigue, and fit the hands. Here are some suggestions:

ecogardener telescopic pruning shears

Telescopic Pruner: A telescopic pruner features adjustable handles so you can prune and trim plant foliage at any height. You don’t have to bend over or stoop down to do your pruning; just lengthen the handles. You can also use telescopic pruners if you need to trim trees and work on high or tight spaces and hard-to-reach areas, even if you’re in a wheelchair.

ecogardener hedge shears

Long-handle Pruner: An alternative to a telescopic pruner is a long-handle pruner, aka hedge pruner. This tool looks like a giant scissor with long handles. The long handles let you cut, trim, and prune shrubs and bushes of all kinds, even when you’re using a wheelchair. Also, the long handle and sharp blades let you work in the garden without breaking a sweat!

Collapsible Garden Bucket: It’s hard to carry around a large bucket if you’re disabled, but with a collapsible garden bucket, you can take it anywhere in your outdoor space and work quickly in the garden. This is a terrific tool that has tons of uses in the garden! Use it as a portable watering bucket or tote it around the garden as you prune or weed for easier cleanup or composting. It’s easy to store too!

Raised Garden Beds: Planting is back-breaking because it requires kneeling and stooping down to work the soil. With a raised garden bed, you can grow all sorts of plants even if you’re disabled and using a wheelchair or cane. What’re more, raised beds let you create an organized space for your plants.

The raised container means you don’t have to kneel or bend down to start planting. Since the soil is contained within the space, weeding and amending the soil becomes easier too! We offer different types of raised garden beds to choose from, including tiered raised beds and elevated raised beds, which work well for disabled gardeners.

Long Handle Spade Rake and Spade: Rake and spade are two of the most vital gardening tools, and no gardener tools are complete without these. Get one with an extra-long handle so you can dig holes, turn the soil, gather fallen leaves, and remove unwanted debris on the ground without much effort. A long handle spade is also perfect for digging, while the long handle rake lets you level the soil without moving your body as much.

Weeder: Weeding is perhaps one of the most taxing garden activities; it’s not something you do once. Weeds are aggressive growers; they’ll be all over your yard in no time at all. If you suffer from mobility issues, it’s hard to eliminate weeds completely without proper tools.

ecogardener weed puller

A weeder lets you remove weeds without bending over, kneeling, or stooping down. The ECOgardener weeder features a lightweight body and a claw-design head that grabs weeds firmly, allowing you to pull them from the roots without much effort.

Ergonomic Trowel: A basic trowel is a must if you are always working in the garden. But if you suffer from joint pain or mobility issues, we highly suggest investing in an ergonomic trowel. An ergonomic trowel fits the hands perfectly, allowing you to work in the garden without fatigue and stress. Opt for an ergonomic trowel that’s lightweight yet sturdy, one that doesn't require much maintenance.

Gardening promotes better mental and physical health - it’s an activity that all can enjoy, including disabled people. However, having the right tools is necessary to make gardening safe for everyone. If you are disabled, invest in ergonomic gardening tools and modify standard gardening tools to fit your needs. Make sure that your garden is landscaped to make it accessible and safe.

Finally, create a safe space and always have someone with you when working in the garden if you suffer from mobility problems. With these tips, you can create a beautiful garden that you and your loved ones can enjoy no matter our physical limitations.

backyard garden