As summer swings into full force, it may be a great time to consider the hobby of gardening. With a range of benefits and restorative qualities, getting started with gardening could be a great choice for those living with or without disabilities.
Working in the garden can boost a person’s sense of physical, emotional and social well-being. Not only is it great physical exercise, it has also been proven to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. Emotionally, gardening can boost confidence as the gardener masters a new range of skills, plus it provides a wealth of new knowledge about the environment and nature.
To help more people have access these benefits, Scioto Properties can work with caregivers to provide a safe and enjoyable gardening space with modifications designed to accommodate a range of needs. Here are a few ways you can help create the perfect accessible gardening space for you or your loved ones…
Raise Garden Beds
Beds raised at least 18 inches and up to table height make gardening much more accessible for wheelchair users and standing gardeners with disabilities. Raised garden beds can be easily constructed using a box planter and trestle table. If raised beds aren’t possible, try using hanging baskets or deep planter boxes to create an accessible gardening space.
Clear the Way
Wheelchair users often need more space to move around the garden, and require level pathways as well. Take care to prune back trees and shrubs and relocate any plants that block pathways.
Adapt Garden Equipment
A variety of companies make adaptive gardening tools, offering extra-large and textured grips for older adults and those with limited hand strength. Or, consider making your own modifications using tape, foam padding, bicycle grips or PVC pipe to improve grip and handle length on gardening tools.
Invest in Garden Aids
For those who need additional support, look into purchasing a garden stool or a rolling work seat that moves easily around the yard. Foam knee pads are another popular, and inexpensive, garden aid that offers nice support. To keep essential tools close at hand, pick up a portable wagon or handyman’s tote as well.
Don’t forget Irrigation
All gardens need to be watered. Look into placing water taps at least two feet of the ground, and making them easy to operate with levers instead of traditional spigots. Keep an eye on hoses and irrigation lines, as well, to be sure they’re installed securely and won’t tangle