Monday, November 21, 2016

Ergonomic Gardening?

This is an idea that Joseph Lofthouse has recently put into my head....selecting plants based upon ergonomics. My body is getting older so I need to make things easier on it. I've been thinking about what changes I'd like to make, where feasible. Time to make gardening more "old person" friendly. 

... Change to more trellises and less ground beds. Bending over to pick large harvests of bush beans and bush peas is getting harder on my back. 
... On a related note, save seed from plants that produce their harvest at 4'-5' for easier gardening. For example, corns ears at a comfortable to pick height on the stalk. And save seed from the taller pea plants producing pods that can be picked without bending or stretching. 
... Switch from wide garden beds, which require leaning to reach things, to narrower beds or even rows that are easier to straddle. Straddling is easier for me now than kneeling or leaning. 
... Go with more pallet grow boxes and other "tabletop" methods to bring crops up to a height where I don't have to bend over. 
... Get an edger tool for my tiller so that I can easily work the bed edges to cut the invasive tropical grass roots that want to invade the beds. 
... For any new beds being created, make them so that the ATV and cart can drive over them so that it will be easier to deliver mulch and compost. 

I've already switched to a two wheeled wheelbarrow. Much easier than a one wheeled type, though it's a bit different to handle. And I will be adding a garden cart, like a Gardenway, to my equipment list. And getting away from hard to start gasoline garden tools. This is something that I'm already doing, so I'll update you soon. 


  1. I like to sit on a 4-wheeled toolbox, so that I can reach into a garden bed without stooping. It could use some softer and larger diameter tires, and maybe a swiveling and soft-cushioned "tractor seat", but not one of those super-spendy jobbies in the glossy garden catalogs. I stroll through the kiddie toy section of department stores to see if one those tricycles or sit-on riding toys might be adaptable to replace my rolling toolbox some day.
    I am perpetually prototyping (means that they all have been fails so far) adjustable trellises, to more easily train veggies vertically as they grow. I guess I could maybe even build "table-top" garden boxes, but my wood-butcher skills are too easily exceeded, I fear.

    1. Sounds like you're an experimenter like myself. Sometimes I hit upon something that works for me, other times my experiments are simply learning lessons. Nothing wrong with that!