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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Gardening with Limitations

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Joyce Friels

Local Gardening


If circumstances have kicked you ‘out of the loop’ for tending to your garden, don’t be discouraged!  Look at your limitations as an opportunity to get outdoors to enjoy the early morning fresh air and to get a little sunshine, the best way to soak up some vitamin D! Don’t let yourself be ‘locked in’ to a situation that may not change.  If you no longer have access to the existing flower beds or vegetable garden in your yard, get creative!

If you have always enjoyed growing flowers or vegetables, there are ways to make it happen.  These suggestions may help you figure out how to grow a greener and bigger garden than you thought possible!  And you will be the envy of your neighborhood.

To get yourself ready to make this change, make a plan.  First, do you have easy access to the outdoors: a porch, a patio, a deck, a wheelchair ramp, or even the driveway?  Perfect!  Now, decide what you want to grow: flowers, vines, vegetables.  Okay!  Next, what kind of containers do you have sitting around?  Gather them all up to see what you can plant in each one.  You may want to add some twenty-four inch or thirty inch window box planters.  These are just the thing for growing crops of lettuce, radishes, onions or herbs. The next step is to determine where the containers are to be placed so you can have easy access to them for watering, weeding, and harvesting.

A wheelchair ramp that provides the necessary access to your home can be unsightly and awkward.  Take advantage of this space by placing an old potting table or picnic table along the length of the ramp.  Use the window box planters on the table.  You can also place window box planters along the railing of the deck, porch, or along the edge of the patio where they can be reached easily. Use the larger pots for tomatoes and peppers.

To increase accessibility, raise their height by placing them on stacked cement blocks filled with rocks or sand for stability.  Try to keep your ‘gardening area’ within the confines of the ramp or patio for ease in caring for your garden.  This will make it easy for you to get close to the plants when watering and harvesting your crops.

Fill each container with a light mixture of compost and garden soil.  Sow seeds or put in potted plants, water them daily and watch them grow! You can plant a squash or a zucchini in a container and train them to climb up over the ramp railings.  Plant a few morning glory seeds in a pot set next to the ramp.   These grow quickly and the pretty blooms will make you smile when you come outside each morning to tend to ‘your garden’.

For more activity around ‘your garden’, place a bird feeder on a pole and keep it filled with black sunflower seeds.  Not only will the song birds come to your yard, you will be able to view them close up!  Add a decorative bird bath and a small metal garbage can with a locking lid to store the supply of sunflower seeds.  You could add a second container with tight fitting lid for storing your gardening tools.  This would make them easy to get to when needed.

With a little imagination, you can grow the garden you have always wanted and be proud to call it your own!


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