Container Garden with Ease and Tips for Gardeners with Arthritis

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Container Garden with Ease and Tips for Gardeners with Arthritis

Gardening when you have arthritis in your hands, knees, or back can be a real pain.

Literally! But it doesn’t have to be. With a little forethought, gardening can be an enjoyable activity for anyone who loves plants and being outdoors.
First and foremost, pick the right tool. Twelve of Fiskars garden tools in the PowerGear line were studied by Georgia Tech Research Institute and awarded the Ease-of-Use Commendation by the Arthritis Foundation. The smart design of these pruners, loppers, shears and weed remover give gardeners with arthritis more power while reducing strain on joints. For example,

The PowerGear Pruner amplifies cutting force by as much as 5 times, making it easy to cut through branches even when you don’t have much hand strength.

The great thing about container gardens is that they’re raised off the ground. If you have arthritis in your back, or it just hurts to constantly bend down, raise your pots up even higher with shelving units or plant stands. A potting bench that allows you to re-pot your plants while standing up is often helpful. On the flipside, when dealing with large pots, it may also be easier for you to garden if you’re sitting down. Pull up a chair or use a storage caddy that allows you to take a seat on it once you’ve gotten the tools you need.

It’s also important to pick the right time of day to garden. If you feel stiff in the morning, then wait until your joints have loosened up before you start to garden. When cold weather aggravates your arthritis, wait for a warmer day or wear gloves to help keep your hands warm and protected. Additionally, consider talking to your doctor about some stretches or exercises that you can do to help your body become more limber.
Similarly, it’s a good idea to avoid repeating the same motion for more than 20-30 minutes, and stop the second you start to feel a little pain or stiffness. So, if you start off pruning some of your roses, take a break to water your containers, pull out a few weeds that have sprouted up, and then go back to pruning.

Finally, remember that you are in control of your container garden, not the other way around. You don’t have to grow annuals that need to be pulled out and replaced multiple times a year. Instead, pick slow-growing, low-maintenance perennials. They’ll need to be pruned and repotted less frequently, giving you more time to enjoy your garden and less time wasted on potentially painful garden chores.