At the Garden Club's April Regular Meeting, Marilynn Cech and Niedra North gave a very informative and educational presentation on Adaptive Gardening. Marilynn has worked as a Surgical RN for the past 39 years and has also served as a Wisconsin Master Gardener volunteer for the past ten years.
Niedra works as a Life Coach and has volunteered as a Master Gardener wtih Ozaukee County for the past four years. Both Marilynn and Niedra work on the Lifelong Gardening Committee. Together they presented tools, tips, and techniques that will help gardeners adapt to physical limitations and advanced years.
Highlights from the presentation include:
Getting started - Start with warm-up exercises, switch tasks every 30 minutes,
rest 15 minutes of every hour, hydrate, plan ahead, use a cart to transport materials
Hands - good grasp, prolonged pinching, pressure on pads of thumbs- use wide
handles to ﬁt your grasp; OXO tools; Homemade tools- foam pipe insulation can wrap
around handles to make wider, increase leverage on hose shut-offs; choosing hand
pruners, anvil for dead materials and anvil for living materials; recruit more muscles to
do the job (Garden’s Pride tool by Union tools)
Gloves - Bionic gloves (available on amazon.com); proper hand positioning-radius tools (Peta-UK.com); Telescoping tools; Sure Grip tools-arm support
Choosing a Lopper - consider weight of tool, width of branches to be cut, telescoping handles, ratchet system
“Leverage handles” as back savers - attach to handles on your own tools, diamond hoe, Hula Hoe, Fiskars, Oswego’s Grandpa’s weeds, and the Garden Rake offer outstanding options
Garden Seating/Kneeling - “the Garden rocker”, knee/stool combo, some have bags for hand tools, some collapse for storage, gel knee pads (Ace Hardware), use 2 kneeling mats to move along the garden
Planting - use a garden seat, use proper ergonomic tools, don’t lean too far forward, use seed tapes, use seeding augers
Raking/Shoveling - “Garden Shark” for raking mulch; "dance" with your rake (walk forward, walk back, don't twist); O-handled tools; don't bend your back; don’t lift and twist. Use a smaller face on the shovel so the weight is reduced
Energy saving tools - garden vest; 2 wheeled garden carts (not wheelbarrow); self watering pots; hydro powered auto re-wind hose reel; raised bed gardening; use heavy lifting tools to reduce strain; ergonomic water cans (Fiskars); “Gator-Grabber” clean up tool (Garden supply.com)
Please see RESOURCES page on the WFB Garden Club website for links to websites with additional information and tips.
Handouts from Meeting:
The Lawn and Garden Tips page is updated by members of the Whitefish Bay Garden Club.