Maintaining the garden with Arthritis Research UK

Maintaining the garden with Arthritis Research UK

Having arthritis and joint pain may make some things difficult, but it doesn’t have to stop you doing the things you enjoy. Changing the way you do certain things in the garden can help you maintain it all year round.

Mowing and clipping

Most lawnmowers have power-driven blades and many electric models are fairly light to push. Cordless battery-operated mowers are now available. These can be easier to move around, although some models do have heavy batteries.

Petrol-engined mowers are not recommended for people with arthritis because they’re usually very heavy to move and manage. If you prefer a manual mower, look for one with a single horizontal handlebar rather than two separate handles – you can then do some of the pushing with your stomach to reduce strain on your arms and wrists. If you have a large garden, a ride-on mower might be an option.

You don’t have to collect grass cuttings– in dry weather especially it’s better to leave them on the lawn – so you can reduce the weight you have to push by leaving off the grassbox.

Lightweight edging shears with long handles that are generously padded will give a more comfortable grip and reduce jarring of the joints. Or you could use a nylon cord strimmer that operates vertically – you simply walk along holding it against the edge of the lawn.

Keeping the garden tidy

A rake can be fitted with a smaller head for raking between plants in the border. You can collect small amounts of weeds, leaves and so on in a bucket or bag. There are tools available to help pick up garden rubbish without bending.

If you have a large garden, you may need a wheelbarrow. A barrow with two wheels and a bar-type handle can be helpful.

The weight of the contents rests mainly on the axle rather than on your arms. This type of barrow is more stable and easier to empty without bending down or twisting. A barrow with two wheels and a bar-type handle can be helpful.

Download our information booklet about gardening and arthritis here

How can I find out more?

If you would like to find out more information and how you can support Arthritis Research UK through fundraising or donating at