Gardens bring a lot of joy and life into our homes and hearts. The pain and limitations of arthritis may prevent us from enjoying gardening or the fruits of gardening. Below are a few tips to help you participate in gardening this season.
- Break the project into steps
- Don't do it all at once
- Take frequent breaks
- Don't stay in one position too long
- Use larger muscle groups when possible and respect pain.
Consider asking a neighbor to turn your soil…then planting will cause less stress to your joints. If you do work the soil yourself be sure to use your larger muscle groups, use tools that allow you to do the task standing, and work a small section at a time.
Use hand tools that have large handles to take the stress off your finer joints. Use a rag to build up handles if they are small.
Consider planting in pots and containers. You can work at table height and eliminate a lot of stress to the hips and knees. Get a neighbor or family member to help get you set up.
Use a cart with wheels or wagon to carry tools, plants etc.
Many of us want a lot of flowers early in the season and we plant them closer than recommended. If you spread them out in the ground you will have less work - fewer holes to make, fewer plants to plant and it will cost you less. The beauty will come and you will have more time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
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