The Q&A Archives: Gardening With Osteoarthritis

Question: I have osteoarthritis and am very limited in ability to garden. However, I would love to have vegetables and flowers. Any "gardens" must be waist-high because I cannot bend over nor can I kneel. I would appreciate suggestions for flowers, plants, and vegetables would be the easiest for me to grow in this situation. Thank you!

Answer: I'm so glad you are continuing to garden! Do you have your gardens built already? For most vegetables to thrive, your elevated garden should be able to hold 12 to 18 inches of soil. You can grow lettuce, carrots, beets, and bush varieties of bean, cucumber, squash, and compact tomato plants. If seeds are difficult for you to handle, you can purchase plants and/or seed tapes (the seed is imbedded in paper strips -- you just plant the whole thing and the paper will biodegrade as the seeds sprout and grow). Easy, low-maintenance flowers include annuals like bush nasturtium, dwarf zinnias, and marigolds. I can direct you to a couple of resources that can open up a lot more possibilities for you, too.

GardenScape: Garden Forever

A book: The Enabling Garden: Creating Barrier-free Gardens by Gene Rothert (published by Taylor Publishing Co.)

American Horticultural Therapy Association
AHTA National Office
909 York Street
Denver, CO 80206
Phone: 720-865-3616
Fax: 720-865-3728

I hope this is the information you were looking for. Enjoy!

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