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Sometimes a physical need limits what we are able to do in the garden. However it is often possible to create a tool, or adapt a tool you have, to help you perform a specific task.

A Planting Tool

The act of planting seeds can be harmful for back or knee conditions. Creating this simple tools will help you to reduce the amount of bending or squatting necessary to plant seeds.

To make the tool, you will need a 2 ½  inch PVC pipe that can be found at your local hardware store, they can also cut it for you here. Make sure it has a 45 degree angle at one end. The sharp end of this pipe can be used to poke holes in soil, so you can slide a seed in the top hole, and then you can use the pipe to cover the soil over it. This tool removes the need to bend or squat to plant your garden.

Creative Thinking

You can turn everyday household items into helpful gardening tools. Toilet paper rolls work great for those with weak grips, arthritic fingers, or impaired fine motor skills.

Place your seeds on a piece of cloth that is a different color from the seeds, dampen a square of toilet paper with a spritz from a spray bottle, and use this to pick up the seeds. Drop the tissue square into the prepared hole. Don’t’ worry about the paper; it breaks down naturally, leaving the seed right where you wanted it. For seeds that do not need specific placement, and are small and fine, consider the use of a spice jar to shake out the seeds in the desired area.

Create Lighter Plans

Container gardening can alleviate a lot of gardening issues, but these still can affect back, knee, and hand pain. If you need to move and lift planters often, use only the required amount of soil depth, and fill the bottom with a lightweight substance like packing peanuts or perlite. So the plants are at the desired height.

If you rotate of shift your containers because of changing light, try placing your containers on a 4-5 inch wide strip of a strong cloth that extends past the pot on all sides. Use the cloth to turn the pot when needed. Do not use these handles to lift the pot or move it from a shelf, as this could cause it to break or drop.

Adapt the Tools you have

The addition of medium density foam to the handles of your tools, often helps those with poor hand strength grip the tools. This will make the tool more comfortable, easier to use, as well as help to increase hand strength by allowing you to continue to work in your garden setting.

These modifications are not expensive, and with a little creativity, you can come up with easy ways to make your current tools more user friendly!

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