Even though it’s only February and our gardens are under a fresh blanket of snow, now is the perfect time to start planning for those April showers and May flowers. But gardening isn’t just about designing brag-worthy beds and yards; caring for plants and working in the dirt is an excellent mood booster and can be a great physical workout. It’s also one of the most adaptable activities for people using wheelchairs. Starting now gives you plenty of time to not only map out your growing schedule, but also stock up on the tools and devices needed to get the job done. Read on for 8 devices to help people who use wheelchairs get down and dirty with Mother Earth.
1. Elevated Garden Bed
The Williston Forge Raised Garden is a stylish elevated garden bed that can be easily accessed by people using wheelchairs. It has enough clearance to wheel your lap under the bed and is narrower than other raised beds so you can comfortably reach across to plant seeds and tend your plants. It’s galvanized metal offers a timeless, industrial look that will not corrode or rust, leaving you free to brush up against it without worry of rust stains.
Perfect for housing your herb garden, or giving you the ideal spot to grow a set of flower bushes, a planter box like this is a great option for rounding out your home with a perfect home for all your plants.
Increase lap clearance on almost any raised garden bed by placing bricks, wooden blocks or other risers under each table leg.
2. Modular Garden Bed
The Southern Patio FlexSpace Garden is a modular raised bed that allows users to fill individual planter boxes on a table top then transfer and arrange them in a variety of configurations on stands. For seasonal gardeners, the boxes can be repurposed as storage bins or collapsed to store flat when not in use.
Grow your garden in small or large areas with the modular design of the FlexSpace Garden. With a tool-free assembly process, set-up is quick and easy. 1 raised garden bed kit includes 3 planter boxes and 2 connecting legs to create multiple configurations. Constructed with durable polypropylene, the FlexSpace modular raised garden bed is designed to withstand outdoor weather elements year-round. For seasonal gardeners, planter boxes can be repurposed as storage bins or collapsed to store flat when not in use. Whether you have a small balcony or a large patio, the FlexSpace Garden makes gardening more convenient for you.
Create your own modular arrangement using a variety of planters and flower pots placed on stands, small patio tables, wooden chairs etc.
3. Wheelchair Umbrella Mount
The Yobee Umbrella Mount is a must have for long days toiling in the sun. Compatible with almost any chair, the Yobee Umbrella holder is an inexpensive and effective way to practice sun safety in the garden.
Check out this video for how to create your very own straight handled umbrella holder and carrier.
4. Watering wand
With the Orbit hose even the most precarious hanging baskets, shrubs or window boxes are within reach. This watering wand has 9 spray options so you can take good care of even the most delicate plants and flowers.
The Orbit 36-inch Fireman Grip Wand with ratcheting head offers 9 spray patterns for a variety of watering needs. Its 36-inch length makes this wand great for watering hanging baskets and hard-to-reach areas. Spray patterns for this turret wand include center, cone, fan, shower, angle, flat, flood, mist and jet watering to provide you with the right selection for every task. The ratcheting head rotates 180 degrees, making for a highly versatile product. Easy adjustment of water flow can be done with the lever fireman grip.
5. Long grip tools set
The Easi-Grip® long reach garden tool set is the perfect solution for gardeners working from a seated position. The set includes a long reach cultivator, fork, hoe, trowel and an arm support cuff to provide optimum control and minimum strain on the wrist. The combination of tools allow users to reach ground level while performing a variety of gardening and landscaping tasks.
For gardeners working from a seated position we offer four long reach Easi-Grip® garden tools so that you can still reach ground level, alternatively you may find it comfortable to use these from a standing position.
if your garden hand tools are threaded, simply replace the handle with a threaded broom handle (available at most home/garden stores). Replacing a non-threaded handle is more of a process, but can also be done. There are tutorials available online that can walk you through the steps like this one. Note: the video simply replaces an old handle with a new one, you would need to source an appropriate long-handle option to replace it with.
6. Tool Rack and Caddy
The Rack Assassin Tool Caddy is a must have for people who want to avoid multiple trips back and forth from the tool shed. It holds up to 5 long handled garden tools and has an easy carry handle. When used with a hook attachment like the LifeMount’s Universal Flex Mount, it can be transported completely hands free. The caddy is made from a high quality steel but only weighs 5lbs, making it a durable yet lightweight way to transport your tools.
They feature Life Mounts patented flex mounts that adapt to any mounting location desired and rotate 360 degrees for full adaptability. They are made of rubber coated stainless steel that hold more weight than the competition and will never slip. They are an essential mobility accessory to improve you and your loved one’s convenience.
Use a golf bag on it’s own or with a golf bag cart to transport your long handled tools.
7. Pole Chainsaw
Earthwise’s 2 in 1 Convertible Pole Chainsaw is a versatile power tool for various cutting and trimming tasks in your yard and garden. The lightweight, telescopic pole can reach up to 8ft and the saw has a 20 to 60 degree rotating head with 5 positions allowing seated gardeners to reach and trim branches on a variety of bushes and trees.
Earthwise 2-in-1 Convertible Pole Chain Saw has a powerful 2-in-1 pole saw with an eco-conscious corded electric plug-in design. It is a versatile power tool for various cutting and trimming tasks in the user’s yard. Users can easily reach branches that are up high with its 8-foot extension pole. It has a powerful motor that is powered by electricity, so it does not emit harmful fumes to the environment. Its telescopic pole is lightweight yet durable and the saw has an automatic bar and chain oiling making it easy to use.
8. Easy to Steer Utility Cart
Rubbermaid’s Big Wheel Utility Cart is a great solution for wheelchair users who need to move earth and garden supplies while also propelling their chair. The cart is equipped with large 20” pneumatic wheels and an ergonomic push handle that allows smooth, one-handed, maneuvering over almost any surface.
The Rubbermaid 7.5 cu. ft. Plastic Yard Cart offers a wheeled cart for heavy-duty use around the yard. The sturdy, structural-foam construction resists denting, rust, chipping and peeling for lasting durability. The molded-in 1-piece handle provides stability and the pneumatic tires lend versatile mobility to tackle your chores in a timely fashion.
Use a kids pull-along wagon for a less expensive lightweight and steerable option.
Other great gardening from a wheelchair resources and inspiration:
Accessible Gardens is a site dedicated to all things gardening and disability. The site includes free resources including; design plans for building raised garden beds, a list of accessible gardens to visit, tips for growing container plants and much more!
Before starting Fred’s Shed, Fred worked as a Horticultural Therapist researching equipment and techniques to assist clients with various disabilities. On this page he outlines important principles for working with tools in the home and garden and features tools that are particularly good for people who garden from a wheelchair.
And, like always, check out evika.io to learn more about these great products and other assistive devices designed to help you get the most out of your garden this season!