Lets start with what is necessary. Hats, gloves, protective clothing, good shoes, sun block and lots of water to drink. You should always have fun in your garden but you should always be thinking about safety as well. Buy quality tools, you will always get your moneys worth!! There are a huge list of ergonomic tools that will help make the work load lighter on your body. Most gardeners have different opinions about gloves because each of us has our own preference. My preference is a leather palmed glove with an elastic exterior that velcros at the wrist so your glove doesn’t fill with dirt. I also like the rubber dipped gloves when I am working with wet soil. (potting and such)
It is really important not to wear flip flops or other flimsy shoes when you are gardening. Wear tennis shoes, rain boots (there are lots of cute ones 😉 or work boots, your feet will thank you later.
The tools you are using outside should always have a central location. Choose a bench or table that everything you are using goes back to as you are reaching for a new tool. ALWAYS stand long handled tools like shovels, hard or soft racks, sharpshooter, etc, against the house or fence when they are not in your hand. Never leave these on the ground while you /are working. It is very easy to trip or worse on these painfully sharp tools .
Sun protection is essential, there is nothing fun about a great day in the garden that results in a sun burn. I save my husbands old button down light colored dress shirts to garden in. They have long sleeves, they’re cotton, lightweight and comfortable, and it beats paying a fortune for landscapers clothing. A good hat with something to protect the back of your neck from the sun is also important. I wet a handkerchief and tuck it in the back of a baseball cap. You can also find the landscaper hats at REI or Academy. Sunglasses and Sun block should be a staple in the garden.
Be sure to stay hydrated. By the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and refill it often. If you become over dehydrated, do not drink excess water, it is better to drink Gatorade or other sports drink. Your liver cannot process water fast enough to recover quickly from dehydration, but the electrolytes in Gatorade will help you recover faster without consuming such quantities. Never drink alcohol when spending time in the garden. Hmmmm, booze, sun exposure, sharp tools?? “One of these things just don’t belong here”. Seriously though, it will dehydrate you even faster.
Finally, be careful bending over to reach your beds. Never stand bent at the hips with strait legs in an “L” shape to reach the ground. This is very strenuous on your lower back. ALWAYS, bend at the knee, kneel (preferably on a garden pad) or squat. If this is difficult for you, get yourself a garden cart you can sit in. I have one on wheels and I love it because I can set my hand tools and my water bottle right next to me while I work and I can roll sideways along the bed. When lifting heavy plants, ask for help, if that’s not an option, be sure you are holding in your stomach and lifting with your legs, not your back. Carry large loads in a wheel burrow instead of hauling it a distance. By remembering these easy tips you can make every day in the garden a great one!
Lisa’s Landscape & Design
“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”
Quote of the day: “You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.” – Unknown
Plant of the day: Bearded Iris.. this plant comes in an array of colors and makes a lovely spring bed, super easy to grow and share.