#GetGardening – Making gardening easier for the elderly

Although autumn is fast approaching, there is still lot to be done in the garden at this time of year.

As part of our #GetGardening series, we’ll be giving you lots of helpful tips and advice on what you can be planting during the cooler days of autumn and what jobs you can be doing on your plot. But before that we wanted to share with you some top ideas for making your garden easier to access and more age-friendly if you have reduced mobility or a disability:

Install raised beds

Installing waist height raised beds is a great way to ensure you can keep sowing and growing even if you can no longer bend down, cannot kneel or have back problems. The raised beds allow you to stand and sow, or even sit and sow. They can also boost drainage and can be used to introduce a different soil type to your garden. Many people particularly like raised beds for growing a wide range of fruit and vegetables in.

You can build your own raised beds using materials from a garden centre or purchase ready made packs. You may just need a handyman or a helpful family member to build them for you.

Invest in more ergonomic tools

Using heavy forks, spades and pruners can make gardening tricky for someone who is elderly or has reduced mobility/a disability. It’s important to invest in tools that are made specifically to be easy to use.

There are tools available made of lighter materials or with plastic or wooden handles and special grips to enable people to hold them easily.

There are also lots of tools readily available in garden centres and DIY stores that have special long handles, so you don’t have to bend down to do any digging or weeding or reach up high to prune.

Use drip watering system

Installing a drip watering system for pots or borders can make life much easier. There’s no need to lug heavy watering cans or use a hosepipe, which can waste precious water.

Choose drought tolerant plants

Choosing plants that require little watering and attention could be the way forwards. This will help save your back from carrying heavy watering cans.

Plants that don’t constantly need water and feed include lavender, rosemary, sempervivum or sedums. You could even introduce alpine plants, which need very little attention at all.

Elevate pots

Elevating pots off the ground makes them more accessible and makes watering, feeding and weeding easier. You can recycle any old household items for pots. An unused stepladder or an old table or shelving unit can be used in the garden.

Don’t forget to read our blog on how gardening can help the elderly here and check out our series of helpful #GetGardening posts here.

For any more help and advice, check out Thrive charity which helps people with a disability to start or continue gardening.