more essential tools for disabled gardening - a place to rest

more essential tools for disabled gardening - a place to rest

If you are disabled, particularly if you have fatigue issues, it is critically important that you have somewhere to rest near your garden.

My "table" is an old wire spool with a handy hole in the middle. I say handy because you can out an umbrella in it and aim it against the sun. I do have an umbrella, but it is currently out back at my larger garden.

My seat is just a plain metal chair on a broken paving stone so it won't sink.

Here's why you need a designated resting spot...

If you just decide you will rest on the seat on the edge of the bed while gardening, you won't. You will seed a patch of weeds that you can almost reach and just wind up working more.

You need a spot that is not only designated for rest, but where you can't just reach out and keep working. And you need to take more frequent breaks than you think you do.

From The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe:

Resist completionism. It's emotionally satisfying to finish a job. It's so satisfying that I am strongly tempted to try to do huge chunks of one kind of work at once. "Today I'll hand-weed within te rows in all the garden beds," I tend to want to say. And if I actually do that, I'm likely to strain or overwork something or other.

For those of us with fatigue issues, it is crucially important to learn to STOP. Maybe I am 90% done with weeding this particular patch. But if I'm at 90% of my energy and keep going, I may sleep the next day away. I may get out of bed, but be unable to do more than sit the next day. It may well be a week before I get out to the garden again. Finishing up that last bit of weeding is not worth it; better to do it tomorrow.


Being even slightly dehydrated reduces muscle strength and increases fatigue. You need to not let yourself get thirsty at all. Every time you take a break, drink.

This particular day, I was only planning a half hour garden session before sunrise, so only had a half liter drink with me, in a drink container that allows my ice to melt.

For longer sessions, I add 2 thermos cups that hold another liter between them stuffed with ice and liquid, and then I will have a two liter container of liquid that I can refill them from.

Now, here's the thing... when you garden, you get dirty. So you tend to not want to go in and out of the house repeatedly. So you might not want to drink enough to make you pee for fear of having to go in and out. So part of staying rehydrated is erasing that fear so you will drink as much as needed.

my dirty little secret

I pee outside. ;)

I live fairly rurally, so can "get away" with some things. But not as much as you'd think. There is a farmer who raises cattle on the square mile surrounding our acre who shows up at random times. And I-81 is in my backyard. Because shopping often exhausts me, I order a lot of stuff online and get deliveries several times a week. In fact, there may be people around more here than in a suburban backyard.

I wear ankle-length skirts to garden in, with nothing underneath. I can sit on the edge of that metal chair and just pee off it, in relative privacy, with nothing exposed.

I can either continue my break until things have dried off well, or get up and hose myself off.

It may sound crazy, but knowing I can pee without tracking dirt in the house repeatedly is an important part of keeping myself hydrated while I'm out there, and thus keeping fatigue at bay.

And now this page will show up on Google searches by pee fetishists who will be terribly disappointed. :)