Gardening with Arthritis

My arthritis is keeping me from spending as much time in my garden as I would like. Do you have any gardening suggestions for those of us who can’t get around like we used to?

For many of us spring means getting outdoors and enjoying all the pleasures gardening can bring. But for over 47 million Americans, arthritis makes gardening much more of a challenge.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, gardening can be a great activity for maintaining joint flexibility, range in motion as well as a better quality of life.

By following a few basic rules of thumb, time spent in the garden can be more enjoyable for those who suffer with this disease.

Do your work in the garden during the time you feel best, but always warm up your joints and muscles first by walking or stretching. And avoid doing the same task in the same position for too long.

Save your energy by keeping your water source nearby to minimize carrying watering cans or hoses. And make sure your tools are kept in a place close at hand to avoid hauling them back and forth. If you have an old children’s wagon around, you will find it ideal for transporting tools around the garden. And rather than hauling heavy bags of soil or mulch in a wheelbarrow, use a dolly. This will prevent heavy lifting.

Also you’ll find gardening in raised beds and containers can make tending a garden easier by minimizing bending over.

Here’s something else to keep in mind, enlarging the handles of tools with either grip tape or foam rubber can actually make them easier to handle and keeping them sharp always makes cutting easier. You will also find many companies are offering gardening tools that are ergonomically designed, which makes them easier to use and reduces fatigue.

These are just a few suggestions that can benefit any gardener but particularly those who may be suffering from arthritis.

If you’d like a more detailed list of tips, visit the Arthritis Foundation online at

There is no reason to give up the pleasures of the garden just because arthritis has come into the picture.