DIY Network

Easier Gardening for Seniors

Learn about the benefits of raised beds and vertical gardening, the proper way to kneel and to bend, and how to position your hand when pruning to avoid wrist stress.

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invest in a pair of high quality pruners
Photo 6 of 6It's also a good idea to invest in a pair of high-quality pruners.

High-Quality Pruners(6 of 6)

Ergonomic pruners, which are specifically designed to be easy on the hands, often have comfortable handles and gears that make cutting easier. Some handles actually rotate as you cut, which reduces the strain placed on your hand muscles.
Make sure you get pruners that are the right size for you. Test for length by holding a closed pruner in your hand. The handle should stick out about a half-inch below your little finger. Test the width by placing them in your hand with the pruners open. With one handle in the crook of your thumb and your hand comfortably extended, your little finger should extend about a 1/4" beyond the other handle. If you can't reach the handle with your fingertip, your hand won't be able to rest properly between cuts.
Even with good tools and equipment, it's important to take breaks every now and then and to rotate tasks. Alternate pruning with raking every 15 minutes or half-hour, or alternate hoeing with hand-weeding so you're working different sets of muscles.