Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time

Garden Safety

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!

Happy Gardening!

Lisa LaPaso

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.

5 Comments

  1. I want to apologize to any of you who are receiving more than one copy and some that are unedited. I have been completing my final draft on my home page, unaware that some of you are receiving unedited versions, than an edited version. I will be working on correcting this so you will only receive the edited version, but in the mean time, please accept my apologies for the confusion, and hopefully you are finding the information to be valuable, edited, or unedited ;-). Lisa

  2. Rose

    Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for the great tips. Where did you get the rolling cart? I have had two hip surgeries and still love to garden. The Avery newsletter discussed our curb strips for landscaping, do you have any suggestions as to what we should use there instead of St. Augustine? I really like Nerbena, would that be good?

    • Hi Rose, I found my cart at the Lowe’s a couple of years back and I have not seen it there again, but I will do some home work and see if maybe I can find it online because it is really handy. If I do, I will post it. As for the death strips along the street, you do need to get permission from the HOA first, but you can put in anything that is under two feet and isn’t spikey. Verbena would work, but be mindful that it is susceptible to mites in a hot dry summer and it will go away in the winter leaving your bed bare. You might consider Pink Skull Cap, Bulbine (if you don’t have deer problems) or Society Garlic ( Google for pics). These are all evergreen, very prolific bloomers and low water, low maintenance.

  3. Nancy

    Hi Lisa !

    Thanks for hooking me up to your site. I LOVE to garden. I’m just not very creative so I hope to get some ideas. Ohhh ……..and the gatorade tip?……..I agree. I dont go outside without it !

    • Hi Nancy, I will work on some tips to encourage your creativity, I hope you find some inspiration here.

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