Sunny weather gardening

Sewsy Member Posts: 10

I have a large garden that I have adapted over the years. Is anyone else struggling with gardening and Rheumatoid Arthritis? I was diagnosed for many years with Osteoarthritis but now find it is R A.

I love the outdoors and it benefits my mental health but gardening with RA in my spine hands and toes is difficult. I try to pace but there's so much to do.

Any tips or equipment help?



  • Anna
    Anna Moderator Posts: 925

    Hi @Sewsy ,

    There's a few posts on gardening that you might like to read - have a read through and feel free to join in the conversation, or post any questions you've got. Here's the link:

    Anna (Mod)

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Fran54
    Fran54 Member Posts: 171

    Hi Sewsy

    Yes I agree there is lots to do in the garden, especially this time of year. I have osteoarthritis in my right knee and try to time myself when in the garden. It is very tempting to try and do a bit more, but usually my knee dictates when to stop! Also I have been turning a "blind eye" to certain tidying jobs and am finding to my surprise that I prefer my garden to look more natural. I have been growing more perennial plants/shrubs now and find that they need little maintenance. I love lavender and the wild geraniums and verbena "lollipop" as they tend to self seed anywhere and this saves on any weeding.

    I do have a seat/kneeler which I use occasionally when tending the plants in pots and my long-handled hoe is a great all rounder tool. Otherwise I have had a gardener in to help initially dig the veggie beds and my dear hubby to plant the veggies for me!

    Let us know how you are getting on. Take care.😊

  • Sewsy
    Sewsy Member Posts: 10

    Glad you have some help. I'm finding it more and more difficult now. We are also on clay.

    I have tried to change the garden to meet my needs and budget but it is difficult.

    I will slowly change some of my tools to more ergonomic ones recommended by Arthritis sites.

  • Fran54
    Fran54 Member Posts: 171

    Hi Sewsy

    with all this heat and no rain for about a month ( until 2 days ago) my garden is looking very different. Like you, I garden on clay soil, so at the moment the soil is too hard to do anything with. Apart from my tomato plants, the other veggie are not fairing well. Saying that, I was away for a week towards the end of June, beginning of July and upon returning a lot of the veggie had wilted and died. My pear tree which is in a large pot on my patio lost most of it's leaves and any fruit, but having watered it the leaves are growing back, but too late for this year.

    Some of my perennials have faired better, but now we have a hosepipe ban starting next week, I have more or less given up for this season. Hopefully with more rain the plants will recover.

    I may look at getting some sort of rotivator for the soil for next year, so it may make it easier to dig over the soil.

    Please keep us updated on how your garden is doing. Take care.

  • Browsing this site, again, I saw the word 'gardening' - definitely my thing.

    I have a wheelie tug/chug/trolley... from B&Q. I've looked in garden centres/trying to replace my worn out one... it means I don't have to get down with a kneeler (painful), though the seat height is useful.

    These wheelie tugs fit all your tools in, and comfy to sit on for weeding/or filling bird feeders, etc.

    I do have some long-arm tools (you twizzle the tool off its pole, and replace with other attachments). They are increasingly useful.

    Best thing - little and often! Get my fix by just walking slowly round garden (or sitting/have seats for every angle), and then I 'see' the job that needs doing. As for watering, I've used washing up water. Have 3 water butts. And I've planted lots of lavender, rosemary, grasses... that survive well. And Salvia Hot Lips - spreads everywhere/flowers for months. So only water the 'babies'... some dying in the heatwave, but most are ticking over (front: naturalistic formal beds! Back: Lawn with island beds and veg plot/not large). Yes, the grass looks terrible - but I swear by 'green manure' (see seeds, big packet)... puts nitrogen back in the soil/and can overwinter without bare soil on the veg plot. Some of these packets are useful to just sprinkle any edges to fill...