COLUMBIA, Mo. –Elderly or disabled gardeners can find practical tips to continue gardening at Gardens for Every Body, a website from University of Missouri Extension and the Missouri AgrAbility Project.

“The elderly or persons with disabilities should not have to give up gardening if it is something they really like,” said Karen Funkenbusch, MU Extension rural safety and health specialist. “We show that with a little creativity, disabled people can continue to get the benefits from their gardening.”

The site, at, features information on topics such as container gardening, raised beds and gardening tips geared toward specific health problems and mobility limitations.

A section called “Tool Shed” looks at ergonomic tools and tools designed to help gardeners with disabilities through features such as trigger grips, telescoping extensions and wrist supports. This section also discusses adapting existing tools. For example, bicycle grips or insulation wrap can make a hand fork or trowel easier to use, Funkenbusch said. Other tips include lengthening tool handles with polyurethane pipe, painting tools so they are easier to spot and transporting tools in a golf bag, sled or wagon.

“The key is to adapt your gardening to your own physical capabilities,” she said.

The Missouri AgrAbility Project, a grant-funded program of the USDA, has assisted Missouri farmers and family members since 1994. For more information on AgrAbility services, call 1-800-995-8503 or see

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