Tips for Gardening with Bad Knees

Gardening is not only a fun sport, but also a healthy activity for your body. It keeps your mind diverted from everyday stress and helps you relax. Gardening is a part of horticulture and has been proven to be stress-relieving. It helps reduce cortisol levels in the blood. While many people enjoy it passionately, some end up being too obsessive. 

However, for some people, bad knees come in the way of peaceful gardening. Due to primary illnesses like arthritis, bursitis, and reduced cartilage from wear and tear processes, people suffer from extreme knee pain when sitting in the garden in a certain way for a long period. Some people also suffer from chronic knee pain as they grow older. If you are into gardening but your knee pain keeps interfering, then check out our article to learn some tips on how you can garden, even with your bad knees.

Gardening is about your green thumb, these tips will keep you going with weak knees!

How Do I Protect My Knees When Gardening?

Knee pain occurs when you are putting stress on your knees. Kneeling and squatting puts a strain that causes sharp pain and often result in injuries. Covering your knees with protection might help. When you are sitting or pressing your knee against any solid surface, you are exposing your knees and causing discomfort to it. Putting a soft cushion, padding, or even cotton cloth folded to act as a barrier between your knees and the ground can help prevent knee pain and potential injuries.

If you are someone who walks around the garden and does not stay still in one position, we suggest you use a knee pad or a knee harness. Knee harnesses are good at preventing knee pain. If you are levitating, knee pads help to absorb shock and cause less friction between knee joints. Thus, helping you relieve knee pain.

What Is Some of the Best Knee Pads for Preventing Knee Pain While Gardening?

Knee pads worn during gardening are for comfort and to put less strain on the knees. There are three features that people should consider before choosing a knee pad for themselves. All knee pads or knee harnesses should have comfortable pads made of foam, should be flexible and adjustable.

Comfortable padding

The pads should be made of comfortable material like soft EVA foam. The foam should be strong and thick enough to withstand any pressure. While the person levitates, it should act as a shock absorber and prevent friction between joints. 


People who choose to wear knee pads or knee harnesses are usually those who frequently work in the garden and move around; bending and squatting often. These people need their knee pads to be flexible so that any form of movement does not cause aching or stiffness in their knees.

Knee pads made of premium neoprene material are very resilient and helps to maintain a flexible range of comfort along with movements. Choose knee pads that have good ventilation too, as it will help reduce your sweat and allow air to flow into your skin.


Your knee pads should not be too tight or too loose. If it is too tight, it will restrict blood flow and build up pressure. It should also not slip away from its position while you move or bend. Make sure your knee pads are made from non- slippery material. It should stay in its position and protect your knee.

How Can I Prevent Injuring My Knees While I Plant Trees in My Garden?

Maintaining a good posture is essential for gardening. Too much bending can cause back pains and joint pains. When picking something up, try keeping your shoulders and backbone tilted and do not press too much pressure on your knees. Bend your knees to lift weight. Always remember not to make your body too stiff. Do not try to stay in the same position at all times. Change your movements frequently. Moreover, after a long day of gardening, rub your knees with soap water and apply cold packs. Cold packs help to decrease inflammation. If you have a cut or a wound near your knee area, cold packs will help to reduce your pain and any burning sensation. 

Will Dungarees or a Pair of Overalls Keep My Knees Safe During Gardening?

Dungarees or any other similar sort of garments, like pair of overalls or strong trousers may help to protect your knees from scratches, insect bites, dirt, and debris. But it certainly does not guarantee the safety of your knees or prevent knee joint pain.  

It is always safe to put a kneeling cushion, pillow, or any other soft object beneath your knees. If you are someone who is not comfortable with knee pads or knee harnesses, you can always get dungarees with built-in knee cushions or attach soft foam padding. If you are good at sewing, you can also sew a soft foam cushion beneath your dungaree leg pairs. It’s wise not to garden with bad knees if you have nothing to protect your knees from any harm that might occur.

Will Exercise Help Me Get Rid of the Knee Pain I Face After Gardening?

Undoubtedly, exercising is great for your body. Doing stretches, going for small runs, or any other light exercises can help you with your knee joint pain. Exercise helps you strengthen your muscles and lift your joints. If you can do squats, it will greatly improve your knee ligaments. Experts suggest squatting with heels off the ground and keeping your weight balanced is a great way to reduce knee pain.

But if you are someone who has underlying illnesses, or a patient of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or frozen shoulder, we suggest you consult a doctor and take proper medications beforehand. Otherwise, you will have a fatal knee joint displacement or you may even suffer from high levels of inflammatory responses in your joint area.

How Can I Put Less or No Pressure on My Knees While Gardening?

During gardening, you need to dig, plant trees, trowel, carry soil of different sized plants with various weights along with their baskets. To put as less pressure as possible on your knees, you need to realize how much weight you can pick up and how much you can carry. Your hands and knees cannot balance excess weight. If you can carry a 30-pound bag, then let that be your limit, try not to extend it to 40 pounds. You will be putting much more stress on your knees than you can imagine.

If you need to carry several things altogether, then use a wheelbarrow or cart to pull all the weight. You can put all your belongings in the cart and carry them every time. If you do not have a cart or a wheelbarrow in your garden, take a bucket. Put mud, soil, or your plants in which you want to move using a bucket. In this way, you will be putting less strain on your knees, as it takes a lot of effort to pick up heavy things and move it from one place to another.

Alternative Methods of Gardening Without Bending Knees

There are a few alternative methods of gardening which you might prefer. If you have knee joint pain, dislocated joints, or any other form of discomfort that affects knees, you will love the idea of a hanging garden. Instead of planting trees and flowers in the soil, you can plant them in baskets, garden bench, or a potting bench. 

A gardening bench or a potting bench is table gardening. You plant trees in pots that are placed on a bench. The bench is placed in such a spot that easily receives sufficient sunlight, water, moisture, and can grow smoothly. You can place the pots at a height that is the most convenient for you.

This method of gardening has been a practice of many people with back pains, knee joint pains, or other difficulties. People who had less space for gardening tend to prepare potting benches inside their houses too. Potting benches do not require much space, it only needs a healthy environment where plants can grow with all the right conditions.   


Knee pains are troublesome but they are not impossible to prevent. You just have to be careful and keep your knees safe. Now that you have read our article, you will have a better idea of how to garden with your bad knees. Hopefully, all your queries have been answered and you will have an easy time planting trees and farming in your garden at your heart’s content.

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I've been raised in a family of international gardeners spanning multiple generations, from vegetable growers in Germany to fruit tree growers in Iran. I hope you find the information you read useful to using electric gardening tools in gardening.

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