Our guest author today is Pano Savvidis. Pano is an MSc Marketing graduate working in the digital marketing industry for over 5 years and specializing in content marketing new media strategies for mid-sized and large companies. His passions include travelling, swimming and listening to good music:
When we moved from the family home to our retirement bungalow, I was thrilled for two reasons: I now had the dining kitchen I’d always wanted but more importantly, I finally had a proper garden. What I hadn’t considered was that a larger garden equals more maintenance. Although loathe to admit it, my joints are arthritic and my back….well, that’s another story. I refused to give in and hire a gardener, so I did some research into what could make the maintenance easier.
The first thing that started to go were my knees, which made getting down to weed or sow seeds a nightmare. I solved this by getting a padded ‘kneeler’.
Of course if you are even less mobile, you may wish to use the variety of long-handled garden tools that are available. You can get everything from a trowel to a fork, where little or no bending is required. My particular favorite are the long handled weeders you can get. There are those where you push the prongs over the weed and twist the handle, but my personal favorite is something called Grandpa’s Weeder. With this, no twisting is required; you simply center the prongs over the weed, push down and lean. An old concept but it works. My back was very grateful.
I’m also finding the strength in my wrists is decreasing and that my grip is pretty pathetic. To help with this, I invested in some easy grip add-on handles, which fitted over my regular garden tool handles.
I have a plethora of plants in pots: herbs, lilies, even an olive tree. They break up the garden beautifully but watering was a nightmare. I solved this by investing in several water butts with gravity fed watering systems to dot round the garden. No more lifting heavy watering cans for me. I also use bark chips as a mulch, which not only keep the moisture in, they help to keep weeds out.
So where do I put all my new tools and equipment? Gone are the days of climbing into lofts or navigating the assault course otherwise known as the garage, so they had to be stored somewhere easily accessible. My solution is unobtrusive and all mine!
Raising Your Beds
Raised beds make my life easier too. We used old railway sleepers but even a couple of old tires stacked on top of each other can suffice. I keep my raised beds narrow, with access on both sides. If this is impractical for your garden, you can lay planks every so often, to minimize stretching.
If you’re as keen on gardening as I am, you shouldn’t let age or strength keep you from it. There are plenty of ideas and products out there to help you carry on gardening.