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Getting ready

Taking a bit of time to get ready can really make a difference. Some of the stresses and strains of gardening happen when we begin a job on impulse, without any planning. 

In this section, there is general information on how you can make getting ready to garden easier, and details of some equipment and tools that you might find helpful.

There is additional information on getting ready: sitting down and from a wheelchair; with sight loss; with a weak grip; with one hand; if you can't bend easily


Top tips for getting ready

  • Ready to garden
    Think about the job you’re going to do and plan what will make it easier for you. It might be as simple as making sure you have a kneeler with you to save your knees, or a stool or seat to work from to take rests.
  • Get all the tools you’ll need together to save trips back and forth to the shed or garage. Try and keep your storage area tidy and you’ll be able to find your tools more easily.
  • Make sure you choose the right tools for the job. Try out tools before you buy them and check for weight and comfort. Choose well balanced lightweight tools to help prevent stresses and strains in your hands and arms.
  • Find the best way for you to carry your tools.  You could use a garden cart, wheelbarrow, tool carrier, bucket, or a tray or basket attachment if you use a wheelchair. A garden cart with an aluminium frame allows you to carry long tools and hand tools with smaller items in its tray. It also holds a refuse sack.
  • Hand tools can be carried in a tool belt, apron or bag – whatever you find easy.  Secateurs can be safely carried in a holster. 

Taking care

  • Taking care
    Make time to 'warm up' first with some simple bending and stretching exercises to loosen up your muscles and you will be less likely to strain yourself. On very cold days, it might be worth waiting until the air warms up before you begin or start work in areas of the garden that are sunny.
  • Stick to one job at a time, and have breaks - with a warm or cold drink according to the weather. Stop work before you get too tired. 
  • You might find it easier to move your equipment around the garden in relay fashion, taking your chair out first, then your tools.
  • Hand rails and resting places can ease the strain of moving around the garden. Also, make sure that your paths are even and have a non-slip surface.
  • If you find it difficult to carry things, you might need to base your activities near the house or the place you keep your gardening equipment.


Equipment and tools

In this section, there is general information on equipment and tools to help you get ready to garden, and a few examples that you might find helpful.

You can see the full range of tools, and search for equipment and tools which are easier for people with a specific disability to use, in Equipment and tools to help you

  • Make sure you choose the right tools for the job. Try out tools before you buy them and check for weight and comfort. Chose well balanced lightweight tools to help prevent stresses and strains in your hands and arms.
  • Find the best way for you to carry your tools.  You could use a garden cart, wheelbarrow, tool carrier, bucket, or a tray or basket attachment if you use a wheelchair. A garden cart with an aluminium frame allows you to carry long tools and hand tools with smaller items in its tray. It also holds a refuse sack.
  • Hand tools can be carried in a tool belt, apron or bag – whatever you find easy. Secateurs can be safely carried in a holster.
  • To avoid over-reaching, choose tools with longer handles. Multi-change tools give you a choice of handle lengths for working at different heights and you simple change the tool head for different jobs. When working in lower beds, avoid strain and over reaching by using lightweight tools of the correct length.
  • Look at tools with different grip options. These include fist-grips at right angles to the tool, T shaped grips, grips made from soft materials and tools with extra wide handles – they are all designed to make gripping the tool easier.
  • You can make standard hand tools easier to hold by sliding some plumber’s insulating tubing over the handle, or look at specialist ranges with wide spongy grips.


Tub mover  

Tub mover

Lightweight trolley designed to transport plastic tubs. The two wheels give good stability and the bar style handle can be used comfortably with one hand.

Find out more about tub mover


Wolf Garten multi-change  

Wolf Garten multi-change

This range of tools is available with two options of shorter handles and numerous tool heads.

Find out more about Wolf Garten multi-change


T-handle long reach trowel and fork  

T-handle long reach trowel and fork

These long handled tools have a T shaped handle which helps you push the tool into the soil.

Find out more about T-handle long reach trowel and fork