Gardening Techniques for the Visually Impaired

Those with visual impairments can enjoy the benefits of gardening by making a few simple adjustments to their garden's layout and their gardening techniques:

Garden Layout
  • Layout the garden using as few curves as possible, using predominantly straight edges and right angles for better navigation..
  • Use markers such as shrubs or trees, or a change in path color or texture to indicate changes in path direction.
  • Place railings on all steps.
  • Make single-side access flower beds and raised beds no more than 3 feet across to allow the gardener to reach all plants; two-sided accessible beds can be wider.
  • Avoid plants that have thorns and don't allow plants to overhang into the pathway.
  • Use sound markers such as wind chimes or moving water.

Plant Selection
  • Select plants that are not overpowering in their odors.
  • Pick brightly colored plants for individuals with partial vision.
  • Group particular colors together.

  • Run a string with knots tied in it every few inches along your planting area, this allows the gardener to feel their way down the string and plant seeds at the knots.
  • Use a damp finger to pick up tiny seeds and place them a few at a time on small pieces of tissue paper, place the paper in the garden and cover with dirt. The paper will quickly disintegrate, fertilizing the plants.
  • Drill holes into a board at regular intervals and drop seeds into the ground through the board.

  • Purchase or paint your tools bright colors to make them easier to find.
  • Use one-handed versions of tools whenever possible, freeing the other hand to feel the plant.
  • Keep tools in a bag that you can carry with you as you move around the garden.
  • Use one handed carts to transport tools and attach a radio or other sound making device to them to allow them to be easier located.

Accessible Gardening Websites
Visually Impaired Gardening Websites