4 Great Tips To Reduce The Stress Of Gardening
It is finally (I cannot stress the finally enough!) warm enough to be out doing yard work and gardening. Before now I wasn’t able to do much more than clean out dead leaves from my garden beds and other clean up work in my yard. Although this is a necessary task (and I actually kind of like it), it doesn’t do much for adding color or making my yard look pretty. So this past weekend I went to the farmer’s market, purchased my first (of many) round of flowers and vegetables and went to work in my yard. I am always so happy to be planting, my girls are usually helping me (let’s use the word helping loosely), and I love to step back and admire my work when I am finished. I forget though, how physical gardening is during my enthusiasm and as I stood up at the end of Sunday, I could feel the strain in my back and the pull in my hamstrings. As a PT, I should know better and I want to review some simple suggestions to keep the strain that gardening can put on your body to a minimum.
Here’s a list of examples and ones I am trying to work on for myself:
1) The Stool
Instead of bending forward to plant, work on a gardening table, kneel on a garden mat or sit on a garden stool. The mats and stools are readily available from garden stores to Target and Walmart. Using these tips can help decrease the strain that can build up on your back muscles and joints.
2) The Grip
Using garden tools with a larger grip can help decrease the strain to the muscles in your wrist, hand and forearm. You shouldn’t feel like you have to squeeze the life out of a tool to hold it steady and the grip shouldn’t be so large that you can’t control the tool.
3) The Can
I find lugging a hose around the yard can cause a strain to not only my low back, but also to my arms, shoulders and neck. A simple solution would be to use a watering can. This may increase the amount of time it takes to water, but if it saves you some pain at the end of watering session, it may be worth it. I personally use a rain barrel to fill my watering can so I can save my water bill in the Summer, too.
4) The Wagon
Finally, it may be useful to use a wagon to place your plants and bags of dirt on and wheeling them to their location rather than lifting and carrying everything.
I hope you find some of these tips helpful whether you are a master gardener or planting a pot on your patio. I hope the weather has finally turned!