Best Garden Cart for Seniors: Buyer’s Guide
There are many reasons why people tend to their own gardens. It’s relaxing, you have control over how your vegetables are grown, and it keeps us busy during the long, lazy summer afternoons. However, taking care of a garden can be quite demanding, and the biggest challenge that any person faces, young or old, is lugging around heavy gardening equipment and plants.
Carrying heavy items isn’t something that the elderly should do too often, so to help them with their gardening hobbies, they can rely on garden carts to do the heavy lifting for them.
What is a Garden Cart?
Essentially, a garden cart is a cart that sits atop four wheels. The cart is made of durable materials in order to carry heavy loads and transport them from place to place. They come with large beds for carrying numerous items – from shovels to garden hoses to pots and plants – so fewer trips are required to bring everything you need from your shed to your garden and back.
Garden Cart for Seniors Buying Guide
In this section, we’ll describe the various features to pay attention to when looking for a garden cart for seniors. Even though no garden cart is actually marketed for the elderly, there are a few things to consider if you’re looking to gift one of these to a senior.
Types of Garden Carts
There are four types of garden carts to choose from – utility wagons, dump carts, foldable, and flatbed.
Utility wagons are wagons with four metal sides that can be opened or removed for cleaning. A utility wagon is maneuvered by pulling on a long handle. This is the best type of cart if you need to transport heavy plants, bags of fertilizer, and mounds of dirt.
Dump carts look similar to wheelbarrows, but the biggest distinguishing feature is that the bed can be tipped to dump its contents out. The load capacity varies from model to model, but most dump carts are designed to carry fertilizer, soil, and even bundles of firewood. This cart really helps with unloading heavy materials quickly.
Foldable carts have sides made of fabric and metal frames which can be collapsed to save storage space. The sides of a foldable cart aren’t removable so loading and unloading can be a difficult task, especially if you’re lifting heavy bags of fertilizer or chips. However, the overall weight of the unit is much lighter compared to the previous types of garden carts since it doesn’t have thick, heavy sheets of metal for sides.
A flatbed garden cart is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a cart with a flatbed on wheels. There aren’t any sides to this cart so even though loading and unloading is easier, maintaining the items’ balance can be a challenge. This unit is meant to transport heavy items across flat terrain.
The material used to make the bed is an important consideration. If possible, find a model that comes with a steel bed since it offers the most durability against bumps and heavy loads. Even though steel beds are preferable to composite beds, you need to be careful when transporting acidic items like animal waste since it can cause rapid deterioration.
Composite beds are another viable material for garden carts since they are more resistance toward scratches and dents. They also require less maintenance since damp environments like the garage won’t leave long-lasting damage. Another benefit of composite beds is that they’re lighter than steel. However, lightweight, in this case, means a greater risk of becoming cracked.
There are two types of wheels that are used to carry and move garden carts. The first type is pneumatic tires which are tires made of durable rubber. Like the tires on your car, these tires need to be pumped every once and a while or whenever they begin losing pressure. If reaching your garden requires traveling over rocky or bumpy terrain, then pneumatic tires are the way to go.
If you don’t have an air compressor or don’t need to travel bumpy roads to reach your garden, then consider plastic tires instead. They can come with threads or without, so if you need extra traction then get threaded tires. The best thing about plastic tires is that running over sharp rocks or hidden nails won’t puncture the tires.
The size of the garden cart varies depending on how heavy-duty of a cart you need. Some can be around 40 x 20 inches while others can be 60 x 20 inches. Obviously, larger beds can handle heavier loads – up to 1,200 pounds in some cases – but for our parents and grandparents, perhaps something smaller with a moderate load capacity of around 200 pounds or so can serve them well.
In addition to looking at how heavy a garden cart is, you also need to consider the strength of the person using it. This means considering all of these factors at once.
Having a large garden cart can make transporting several items at once easier to do, but only if you have the strength to pull a large cart laden with heavy materials and equipment. Most of the time, our folks are just looking for a cart that’ll transport a maximum of 100 pounds unless they’re some hardcore gardening aficionados.
In this case, if they have a lawn tractor, then consider purchasing a garden cart with a 1,000-pound load capacity that can attach to the vehicle.
Growing older doesn’t mean we can’t stay active, and tending to a garden can be one of the most rewarding things, regardless of age. Having a garden cart can make growing crops and caring for flowers much more enjoyable, especially if you don’t enjoy carrying heavy items under the scorching-hot sun. If you’re looking to purchase a garden cart or gift one to an older loved one, then make sure that they have the strength or means to lug around a heavy, large-capacity cart. Otherwise, consider giving them something that’s light-duty, easy to store, and can withstand long storage times.