Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Arthritis Research UK article 3, gadgets and tools

Handy tools and nifty gadgets for gardening with arthritis

Handy tools and nifty gadgets for gardening with arthritis

Over the last year or so I have been lucky enough to have done lots of garden tools product testing some of which I have found so useful I don’t know what I would do without them. Here are just a few to that you might also find useful and easy to use.
One of the most annoying things for me is pruning. I have always found it difficult, from small flower stems to roses and bigger woody shrubs. Not anymore with my array of snipers and secateurs. Unfortunately they are not all cheap but some are definitely worth the investment.
The most useful all rounder is Wolf Garten’s product, cordless secateurs. Priced at £119 these are some of the most expensive secateurs however if you were ever to invest in anything to make your garden life easier this is the product. It is very lightweight, left or right handed, one handed action or two in my case.
Niki 1Once you get it started you don’t have to keep pressing the trigger it just keeps going until you let go. It is not shy at chopping through most stems and I can now prune the garden all I like, when I like much to my husband, James’ annoyance as I prune everything very low and never clear up. The chopped off bits are too low for me to bend down and pick them up.
Some of the very best and most useful tools I have had tested are the garden tools from www.peta-uk.com  these tools are very competitively priced and I could not garden without them. They are ergonomically the best designed tools for people with arthritis. They are light weight and take the strain out digging, weeding and planting.
One thing that is really useful is the arm support cuff that can be attached to the tools. it really helps to support weak wrists and hands. I would highly recommend these tools and at £9.95 for one or £25 for three it really is worth it. They also do long handled versions so if, like me you garden mostly sitting down you can still reach everything, they are also great for reaching further away without the need for bending.
Niki 2Watering also used to be a big no no for and I used to have to watch my hanging baskets wilt waiting for James to come home and save them. I had to give this some serious thought. Firstly we put all the baskets lower down and although this made it easier for deadheading I still couldn’t lift a watering can full of water. However one 5 litre garden sprayer and a shopping bag on wheels later I had invited my own portable watering system.
The long hose reaches the baskets with no heavy lifting I just squeeze the trigger and away I go. James cut a short piece of garden hose that attaches to the outside tap so that I can fill it up. I know have two, one with just water in and the other with soluble plant food. All bases covered, all baskets, pots and beds watered
Another invaluable piece of garden equipment is my box trolley. I used to spend ages going up and down with this tool and that, back again for the plants and compost, by which time my legs ached and my back hurt and I didn’t feel like planting anything. Then I remembered I had a great box trolley that I used to have when I was at work. Now I fill it with everything I need and wheel it about between planting areas. There is a theme here I think, wheels! Put everything on wheels and you are away

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