Springtime in Chicago is like a guessing game – is it going to snow? Rain? Be hot? Cold? It’s always a surprise. Springtime also means the start of baseball, trees becoming green, and time to garden.
Just this past weekend I got the patio furniture out of storage, rearranged the furniture, grills and pots on the patio, began weeding and prepared the garden for planting. I also took stock of what came back from last year, moved some plants around and planned for what I need to purchase in order to complete the garden this year.
Gardening is physical work and thus you can be prone to injury if you are not careful how you use your body. Here are some tips for gardening safely:
Tips to garden safely:
- Be sure to hip hinge when need to reach down for something
- Squat properly when lifting
- Sit on a stool
- Take breaks as needed
- Drink a lot of water and electrolyte drinks such as coconut water or Gatorade
- Wear a hat, sunscreen, gloves, and maybe long sleeves and pants to protect your skin
- Kneel on a pad
- Know your limits – when my Hosta needs to be divided, I have my son do it, as anyone who has ever tried to divide a Hosta can relate, it is quite challenging
- Use a cart or wheelbarrow to move heavy bags or have a strong helper, like my son, move the bags
- Wear sturdy boots or shoes to protect your feet
- Choose tools that are ergonomically designed to protect your hands
- Use raised beds to avoid bending over and squatting
Gardening is a wonderful way to get exercise, manage stress, and be present. I so enjoy the final outcome of the garden all summer long beginning in the early morning with a cup of tea on the patio listening to my fountain.
I’d love to hear your gardening stories and see pictures of your garden. Please send them in!
Here are some references: