Any disabled gardeners out there?


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Greetings!
I’ve been fairly severely affected by a reaction to a group of antibiotics, leaving me able to walk with a rollator for short distances, and a motorized wheelchair for outings.
Gardening is my passion, and my garden is quite large.
It has become overwhelming.i still prefer to be “down in the dirt”, but I have a hard time getting up and down.
I’m trying to figure out how to use some kind of all-terrain vehicle to get around, with the ability to attach a cart to carry tools and supplies I might need.
I’m very close to ordering a rideable cooler, of all things, because I believe I could get down and up from it, and I could use the cooler space for carrying my tools.
The downside to the cooler is that it has a pull-start engine (that I’m not certain I could manage myself), and the price tag is around $1,000, (which I could justify if I could get it started.)
I cannot find one locally to try. I’ve only seen them online.
There are electrical coolers as well, but they aren’t made for grass, especially our lawn, which is uneven terrain.
Does anyone have any other thoughts or suggestions?
I’m installing a few raised beds that I’m going to incorporate in my gardens, but I truly enjoy being in the dirt, and couldn’t really afford converting the garden to an accessible garden with raised beds and pathways.
 
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alp

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Welcome to the forum, @lput00 !

It might be easier to get a raised trough rather than trying to get up and down. I have a bit of arthritis and just bending can be painful. I hope you can get used to get down to the dirt on a higher level. Get some free top soil or chip wood or horse manure. You can still have your fair share of fun of getting down to the dirt, but on a higher raised bed or trough!
 
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Welcome to the forum! :)

I agree that raised beds are a good idea. If you want to 'get down in the dirt' then the alternative to raised beds would be to lower yourself - ie dig trenches - but I wouldn't recommend it ;) Alternatively there are lots of long-handled tools out there, but if you're going to spend on tools then it may be a better long-term solution to make raised beds. There are ways to minimise the costs by using cheap / free materials and doing the work yourself if you can.

What kind of gardening do you want to do? Ornamental or fruit/veg or both?
 
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Yeah "comfort height" raised beds would be your best bet, hook up with some drip irrigation and mulch real well.
I'm guessing 30" would be the lowest you should go.
 
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Welcome to the forum! :)

I agree that raised beds are a good idea. If you want to 'get down in the dirt' then the alternative to raised beds would be to lower yourself - ie dig trenches - but I wouldn't recommend it ;) Alternatively there are lots of long-handled tools out there, but if you're going to spend on tools then it may be a better long-term solution to make raised beds. There are ways to minimise the costs by using cheap / free materials and doing the work yourself if you can.

What kind of gardening do you want to do? Ornamental or fruit/veg or both?


Both ornamental and veggie.
Our property is about one acre, with large boarder gardens all around.
We live on a ravine that is full of goutweed (nearly impossible to eradicate),
So I’ve bought fabric raised beds, and I will be planting masses of a single species, like foxglove, delphiniums, etc in back.
My prmary problem, for now, is getting about the garden.
My little electric chair can’t make it through the uneven grass.
 
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Welcome to the forum, @lput00 !

It might be easier to get a raised trough rather than trying to get up and down. I have a bit of arthritis and just bending can be painful. I hope you can get used to get down to the dirt on a higher level. Get some free top soil or chip wood or horse manure. You can still have your fair share of fun of getting down to the dirt, but on a higher raised bed or trough!
Thank you. Troughs are a good idea! I would still need a way of getting to the trough, or any raised bed.
My problem is that I don’t have a wheelchair that can handle the large swath of uneven turf that lies between our garage (where I store my gardening supplies, and the beds.
 
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You're welcome Iput00. :) Please let us know what you decide to do and I hope you find a way around your problem soon.
 
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How about the very large heavy plastic black pots I get at Lowes? about 24" high and 18" wide. I can grow anything in them, control all soils, ferts, water that go in them. And they are perfect for someone sitting next to them to work in them. Our garden soil is poor so I grow lots in these pots.
 
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Thank you. Troughs are a good idea! I would still need a way of getting to the trough, or any raised bed.
My problem is that I don’t have a wheelchair that can handle the large swath of uneven turf that lies between our garage (where I store my gardening supplies, and the beds.
Would gravel paths help? It would probably help improve traction, but I don't know how the cost would compare to getting a buggy / golf cart type thing. Guess it depends on how long the paths are!
 
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Well, my little power chair isn’t working properly! We do plan on repairing it, but the parts are from Malaysia, and we travel frequently, and need s chair soon, so I’ve ordered an all-terrain, lightweight (52 pounds) electric chair .
That should get me around the garden beautifully. Now I just need to find a little cart to trail beh the chair to carry tools plants/bulbs, etc., and hopefully, I’ll be in business!
I’m considering adding a few garden benches around, so that I have something quite stable to help get myself upright.
Thank you, everyone for your suggestions!
 
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I’ve ordered an all-terrain, lightweight (52 pounds) electric chair
That sounds perfect Iput00. (y) It shouldn't be difficult to find a cart that works with it and the garden benches sound like a good idea too. It's surprising how we adapt with a bit of thought, to the challenges set for us.
 

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