- Disabilities & the Disabled
Accessible Gardening For People With Disabilities
Therapeutic Gardening Is Within Your Grasp!
Sticky, Grippy Gloves Help You Hang Onto Your Tools!
Plant Seedlings and Pick Up Dropped Items With A Reacher
Plan Your Accessible Garden Carefully
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Tips To Help You Garden From Your Wheelchair
Whether you have a permanent disability or are simply recovering from a skiing mishap, if you are an avid gardener, you will not let a little thing like using a wheelchair keep you out of the garden! Luckily, gardening is an activity that anyone can enjoy at any level of ability. It just takes some creativity and some adaptation. Read on to learn how you can enjoy gardening from your wheelchair.
Make The Most Of Gardening Therapy With Adapted Tools
When you are using a wheelchair, you do not want to drop whatever tool you happen to be using. It’s really hard to pick things up from the ground, and if the item rolls off into an inaccessible area, you are out of luck. You can avoid dropping things by using sports gloves with sticky fingers. These can be purchased online at any big website such as Amazon or eBay. You can also make gardening tool handles bigger if that helps you by adding pipe insulation wrap or bicycle handlebar grips.
It’s often hard to reach things when you are sitting in a wheelchair. That’s why a reacher (a tool that extends your reach) is a good investment for planting things and for picking up the occasional dropped item. You can also make the handles of your gardening tools longer by extending them with PVC pipe. To get a secure fit, you would get PVC pipe of a circumference that will just almost fit around the handle of the tool. Cut the pipe to the desired length and then set it in a 325 degree oven for five minutes. Using oven mitts, remove it from the oven and quickly push the handle of the tool into the end of the pipe. Carefully set it aside until it is completely cool.
Good Wheelchair Garden Plans Enhance Access
You can eliminate a lot of reaching and struggling if you adapt the height of your garden to the height of your wheelchair. You can do this by having raised bed gardens built about two or two and a half feet high. Don’t make them too big because you won’t be able to reach the center of the bed if you do. They shouldn't be any wider than four feet across. If you just have a porch, patio or windowsill for gardening, use containers for a compact raised bed option that allows you to place your containers at exactly the perfect height.
Other ways to make your garden more accessible include using trellises and hanging baskets. Which you choose depends on your abilities. If it is easier for you to sit up straight and reach up, growing climbing plants using trellises, walls, string, fences, arbors and so forth is a great idea. If you only have a small space, hanging baskets can work really well on a balcony, patio or porch. You can hang them at just the height that is easiest for you to reach.
Accessible Gardens Need Smooth, Safe Pathways
No matter what type of wheelchair gardening you choose, you must be sure that you have safe, smooth, wide pathways for easy wheelchair access. It’s hard to find just the right material because ideally, you would want something that is smooth and firm and won’t hurt too much if you happen to fall out of your chair. Gravel is right out! Soil that is highly compacted may be alright. Wood chips are good, but they get displaced easily and have to be refreshed often. Wood decking pathways with ramps of no more than five percent grade are good and are a nice investment in the garden.
What Are Your Accessible Gardening Tips?
It’s easy to see that no matter what your ability level, gardening can be an enjoyable and satisfying activity. It just takes some creativity and determination to choose the right type of gardening and design the garden in a way that makes it easy for people of all levels of ability to be involved. If you have come across adaptive ideas that make gardening easier for people with I hope you will share them with us in the comments section!
Copyright:SuzanneBennett:March 7, 2013