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Video: Tools and accessories for older gardeners

TODAY
updated 4/25/2006 10:57:26 AM ET 2006-04-25T14:57:26

Gardening is one of America’s favorite leisure outdoor activities. According to the National Gardening Association, more than 91 million U.S. households (28 million of which are over age 55) participate in some type of lawn or garden activity. But for those who suffer from arthritis or other physical limitations, gardening can become difficult and frustrating. Jim Miller, editor of the Savvy Senior syndicated newspaper column, was invited on “Today” to demonstrate various ergonomic tools that can help seniors overcome their limitations and continue to garden.

Ergonomic tools

Bionic Gardening Gloves
These gardening gloves are simply the best gloves you’ll find for yard and garden work. Granted the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease of Use Commendation, the Bionic Gardening Gloves provide anatomically positioned padding for enhanced comfort and improved grip strength. You won’t believe how good they feel.

Price: Garden Classic Gloves, $39.95; Garden Rose Gloves, $44.95.
Web site: www.bionicgloves.com Phone: 877-524-6642

Radius Garden Tools
Don’t let wrist pain and fatigue interfere with your gardening pleasure. This nifty line of new hand tools (cultivator, weeder, trowel and bulb trowel) is designed to position your wrist at a natural angle, reducing hand stress while providing more digging power.

Price: $45.95
Web site: www.gardeningwithease.com Phone: 800-966-5119

Fist Grip Garden Tools
Another great option to help reduce hand and wrist pain is this ergonomically designed set of Fist Grip tools. All four tools (trowel, fork, cultivator, and weeder) can also be fitted with an optional arm support cuff that allows the strength of the forearm to be used. Each tool weighs only 8 ounces and has a brightly colored yellow handle to make it easier to locate if you lay it down in the grass.

Price: Four-tool set ,$49.95; arm support, $12.95
Web site: www.gardeningwithease.com  Phone: 800-966-5119

Hound Dog Lawn and Garden Tools
Save your back with Hound Dog lawn and garden tools. Each tool offers a different feature that will handle almost any lawn or garden chore without bending or stooping over. With Hound Dog tools, you can weed, aerate, trim grass, edge, till and cultivate the garden, and even plant bulbs.

Prices: $22 to $30 per tool.
Web site: www.hound-dog.com Phone: 800-694-6863

Mantis Electric Tiller
If you are a serious gardener, the Mantis Electric Tiller is a tool you need to consider. This lightweight little tiller is a perfect size for small gardens and, weighing only 21 pounds, is very easy to lift and maneuver. Quiet and powerful, the Mantis tills even the hardest soil up to 10 inches deep. Also included is a border/edger attachment that cuts neat borders along walkways and garden beds.

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Price: $329.95
Web site: www.mantiselectrictiller.com Phone: 800-366-6268

New Tractor Scoot
With the new steerable tractor scoot, you can sit comfortably while you garden, and steer around garden beds without getting up. The contoured tractor-style seat is adjustable in height and swivels a full 360 degrees, so you can harvest the beans and pick weeds with free movement in all directions. A handy built-in accessory tray and rear basket mount lets you carry tools with you.

Price: $69.95
Web site: www.gardeners.com. Phone: 800-955-3370

Poly-Tough Cart
The back-saving design of this versatile wheelbarrow is perfect for any job. With its large (20-inch high) center-mounted wheels, this rugged polyethylene cart is stable and easy to maneuver, even when hauling heavy loads. Its unique design allows the front to tip all the way to the ground while the wheels stay put — that means you can scoop heavy items into the cart instead of lifting them.
Price: $149.00
Web site: http://www.gardeners.com/ Phone: 800-955-3370

Accessible gardening

If you can’t get out and work in the garden like you use to, then bring the garden to you. There are literally dozens of different style containers and raised or elevated planters that can make gardening easier and more accessible as you age. Here are some options to consider.

Window Box Planters (self-watering): These can be mounted on a fence, wall or window sill, providing an easy option to gardening. Their “self watering” feature reduces your watering chores and helps keep plants moist and healthy.
Price: $29.95
Web site: www.gardeners.com Phone: 800-955-3370

Railing Planters
Made for deck railings, these planters have built-in grooves that slip right over the railing without tools and fasteners. They can fit 2x4 and 2x6 railing sizes.
Price: $24.95 to $44.95
Web site: www.gardeners.com Phone: 800-955-3370

Raised Container Gardens
Perfect for patio gardening, elevated planters allow you to garden standing up, with no stooping to weed, harvest or water.
Price: $140 to $160.
Web site: http://store.yahoo.com/nga-gardenshop/raisedcontainer.html Phone: 800-538-7476

Hanging Baskets
These offer patio or porch gardeners another easy, low-maintenance option.
Price: $12.95
Web site: www.gardeners.com Phone: 800-955-3370

TIP
If you have a difficult time reaching up to water your hanging basket, the E-Z Up Plant Hanger is the perfect solution. Its pulley system works like a Venetian blind, allowing you to easily lower and raise hanging planters. Made with nylon cord, supports 20 pounds and allows 5 feet of travel.
Price: $9.95
Web site: www.gardeners.com Phone: 800-955-3370

Watering tools

Mini-Reel Hose
This lightweight hose is a great watering tool for container gardening, indoors and out. It attaches quickly and easily to any outdoor faucet or hose, or to a sink faucet with a special adapter. Includes a removable spray tip with an angled end for getting beneath foliage, and a trigger-grip wand to control water flow and misting. This well-designed wand lets anyone get to hard-to-reach plants without struggling. The 60-foot hose rewinds easily for storage.

Price: $59.95
Web site: http://store.yahoo.com/nga-gardenshop/13-4001.html  Phone: 800-538-7476

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