When the frost lifts and the sun begins to shine weakly in the sky, it’s time to think about sowing seeds. Arthritis or reduced flexibility in your joints can make this simple task more difficult as you get older, but there are measures you can take to make sowing seeds easier and there are even tools on the market designed to help you out.
Ways to Make Sowing Easier
If you find gardening easier sitting down you can plant in containers. Or consider raising your flower beds, there’s an article in this section that tells you all you need to know about that. Adapt tables in your greenhouse to a height that is comfortable for you. Mix fine seed with sand, which will make it easier to sow, or use pelleted seeds, which have a coating to make them larger and less fiddly.
Seed tapes are lengths of paper with seeds stuck on at regular intervals. You can cut them to the length you require, dig a groove in the soil and bury the tape. An added advantage is that the tape is easier to see than individual seeds, which are often the same colour as the soil. Not every type of flower, vegetable and herb is available in tape form though. Alternatively, sow seeds in small pots and transfer them to the garden when they grow into a manageable size.
Stick with what you know and use tried and tested seeds with good germination rates. You don’t want to have to worry over seeds that need special treatment and require more attention to grow.
Seed Dispensing Aids
There are seed dispensers for people who have trouble bending down or sitting. One design is a syringe style sower. You put a handful of seeds into the barrel of the tool and push down to eject a seed. There is also a plastic ball, which uses suction to dispense the seeds. Simply squeeze the ball and eject your seeds one at a time. They can both be operated with one hand and are particularly good if you have a weak grip.
A root trainer is very useful for sowing seeds. It is a tray which you can open regularly to check how your seeds are getting on. When the plant is at a suitable size for replanting you can easily remove it with no damage to the roots. There are different root trainers for different plants, available from garden centres or catalogues.
Seed Tending Without Bending
To prevent the need to bend down and enable you to garden at the perfect height for you there is the compost tidy. It’s like a large square washing up bowl with a low lip at one end and you can put your pots and seed trays in it, all in one place without them moving about. There are holes in the side of the tidy to hold small tools such as dibbers and labels. It’s light and small enough to carry around so you can use it in your greenhouse or on an outside table.
Self Watering Propagator
A self watering propagator is ideal for germinating seedlings. It is the size of a normal seed tray with 40 individual cells, a clear cover and a built in watering reservoir which allows the seedlings to draw up just the water they need, and no more. You can water your seeds at a comfortable height just once a week.
Take it Easy
Gardening can be hard work and it’s easy to get carried away and do too much. Little and often is the way forward. Take frequent breaks and try not to do everything in one day. With the hints and tips outlined above, gardening should become a much more pleasant experience.