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Arthritic hands and forward planning

(21 Posts)
ExDancer Wed 15-Sep-21 11:36:14

I've really struggled with keeping on top of the deadheading of my surfinias this year because of worsening arthritis in my hands and fingers. So I'm thinking its time to forget my love of petunias and transfer it to something else next year.
Would the continental style training geraniums (pelagoniums) be less of a problem do you think?
All suggestions seriously considered, I don't want to do without my hanging baskets just yet.

Shelbel Wed 22-Sep-21 10:00:33

My sympathies with the arthritis, I'm the same and it's really hard to live with as a gardener.

I'm afraid that geraniums need dead heading too, in order to keep them flowering.

I have a rechargeable electric shearing tool. My husband calls them my finger cutters as they're very sharp and I've cut myself badly twice and now use stout gloves, they reduce the wear on hands as you just hold them and they cut. But, I wish I could find some with a small cutting head, that would be perfect for dead heading.

Shelbel Wed 22-Sep-21 10:54:32

I'm wondering if something like this might work

Blossoming Wed 22-Sep-21 11:11:21

Would a long reach pruner help?

Aldom Wed 22-Sep-21 14:22:49

I am showing a photo of one of my hands, they are both the same, in that I can't close them. Being unable to close my hands makes holding tools difficult. The pressure required to use tools causes great pain and inflammation. An electric tool would be useful, but I'm wary of a tool that can cut fingers easily. I can't use long handled loppers as besides the problem with my hands the weight of them makes my arthritic shoulders ache.

Blossoming Wed 22-Sep-21 16:13:35

The pruner I was thinking of isn’t a pair of loppers Aldom It’s like electric secateurs. Spear and Jackson do one, but if you can’t hold it up then I guess it still doesn’t help. I have seen something like a glove for people with grip problems, I’ll see if I can find it.

Blossoming Wed 22-Sep-21 16:24:20

I think the gloves are called Gripeeze. I’ve also seen these battery powered pruners.

I have only one fully functioning hand and I am developing arthritis, though fortunately not very far advanced yet, so will be interested in anything you find helpful.

Aldom Wed 22-Sep-21 16:43:41

Blossoming Thank you for the link. I will have to try holding a pair of the battery powered pruners to see if my fingers fit. Could be helpful. smile

Tizliz Wed 22-Sep-21 16:49:42

The trouble I find with tools like this is that you have to hold down a switch. My fingers just give up, then I have to adjust my grip and start again.

Aldom Wed 22-Sep-21 20:40:46

Tizliz Exactly. I can't hold down switches or triggers on equipment.

BigBertha1 Wed 22-Sep-21 22:37:47

You all have my empathy. I have very arthritic hands too...middle fingers dont bend and the others are swollen and grow water filled cysts on the joints. However I love petunias in hanging baskets so I'm carrying on with them and trailing fuschias. I wish I could open packets Tec so I use a sharp knife and stab myself regularly. There must be loads if forensic evidence of my blood in the kitchen.

BlueBelle Thu 23-Sep-21 03:23:06

Why not pay someone a small fee to help you out, there are always young people (schoolage) looking for odd jobs you could be with them to make sure they do it right and a fiver once a year would be worth it

freedomfromthepast Thu 23-Sep-21 04:22:18

I have no idea if you have this option in the UK, but you may look at the Proven Winners Supertunia instead. They do not need to be deadheaded and get huge and will trail from a pot. Where I am at in the US, you cut them 1/3 back in mid summer and they will bounce back nicely.

The photos are the black cherry one when it was small and then as it grew. It is in a 12 inch pot.

The third is a photo of the Supertunia Vista variety. It has Bubblegum, Fuscia and Silverberry. That is in a 24 inch barrel. It gets HUGE! At least 3 feet around.

The Supertunia variety need to be fed every week and watered 2 - 3 times a week. They do need quite a bit of sun though.

And if you do not have these available, I apologize. I love petunias as well and these have become my favorite as they are fairly low maintenance.

freedomfromthepast Thu 23-Sep-21 04:27:08

Sorry about my weeds in the photo. It was an unusal year here and I could not keep up with them for some reason. At least it keeps the bunnies away from my flowers.

Aldom Thu 23-Sep-21 10:17:29

BlueBelle I, like many others with arthritis do pay for help in the garden. But dead heading is not an annual job, it's a daily task. Pottering in my garden brings me peace. Like others, I try to find new ways to do the things that are awkward and or painful. The same applies to food preparation and many other household tasks when one's hands are affected by arthritis.

Tizliz Thu 23-Sep-21 10:32:53

I love half an hour in the garden in the morning just pottering around. Pull up a few weeds, bit of dead heading etc. Now it is a bag of leaves every day if I can cope. I have a young lad come in now and again to help. He is the under gardener’s under gardener at a local stately home so he is good with machinery and digging - happiness is using the strimmerr! Do have to tell him exactly what I want him to do.

Shelbel Thu 23-Sep-21 10:43:35

This has made me wonder how that disabled lady on Gardeners world copes with it. She's amazing.

Purpledaffodil Thu 23-Sep-21 10:59:43

OP have you thought of using trailing begonias or calibrochea in your hanging baskets? The former obligingly drop their dead flowers and the latter do not need dead heading but look like tiny petunias.

Purpledaffodil Thu 23-Sep-21 11:04:21

I think I might have misspelled the name but they are also called Million bells . Recommendation from another GN gardener a couple of years ago. Love them!

Aldom Thu 23-Sep-21 11:10:57


This has made me wonder how that disabled lady on Gardeners world copes with it. She's amazing.

Yes isn't she amazing. She also uses her feet.

Whatdayisit Thu 23-Sep-21 11:11:44


This has made me wonder how that disabled lady on Gardeners world copes with it. She's amazing.

I agree she is amazing. I have really enjoyed her presentations she fills me with awe.

Ex-Dancer I like callabrachoa which I don't think needs dead heading or at least I haven't. I bought my first lot as a treat off Sarah Raven but after that I saw it everywhere. I think i got it from JParker this year.
I have loved the trailing ivy leaf geraniums which don't need dead heading often it's more a snip of the stem.