The Indispensable Garden Tool
The Indispensable Garden Tool
There is one essential tool that every gardener, whether a vegetable gardener or flower gardener, cannot be without. This critical tool is purely organic and does not leave a carbon footprint. The versatility of this tool is amazing due to its ability to do any and all gardening chores you can think of, from digging, planting, weeding, watering, fertilizing and harvesting; it does it all. It is the one tool that is absolutely indispensible because without it, nothing will get done, and if you abuse it and damage so that it cannot work, it nothing will get done until this tool is repaired.
By this time you have probably figured out that what I am talking about is you, Mr. or Ms. Gardener or at least your body. Before you jump into your gardening routine, take the time to assess your physical fitness. Being in fairly good physical condition is always helpful, but by doing some stretching exercises to loosen and warm up your muscles, you will alleviate the aches and pains that come with over doing the physical stuff on the first day.
Do not try to get everything done the first couple of days, instead spread the chores out over several days and work at a relaxed pace. Remember, gardening is supposed to be enjoyable, not punishment under the hot sun.
Taking care of your body is of the utmost importance and using good common sense while working in your garden goes a long way in staying fit and staying in shape. When you are working in hot weather, remember to drink lots of water, not carbonated soda, not beer, not tea and not coffee. These drinks are diuretics and will only increase the amount of urine in your system. Water is the safest and best beverage to ingest in hot humid conditions.
The other garden tools that you will use also have a bearing on your well being.
Purchase tools that fit you, for example, if you are buying a shovel or a hoe, check to see if the handle is the right length. I have seen many people hunched over while working their garden instead of working in a more comfortable upright position which is much easier on the back, the source of most problems. Tools also are available in smaller sizes which are scaled down for women, children and older persons.
Keep your body as erect as possible. Bend over as little as possible and if you have to pick something up, always lift with your legs, not your back. The spine is wonderfully complex but it is a fragile structure and if abused, it can cause much pain and many problems which can be long term and difficult to rectify.
Squatting is probably the best body position to have when gardening because it keeps the spine in alignment, but for most of us it is difficult to achieve a squatting position, so kneeling is an alternative way to get closer to the ground in order to work. To save your knees from grief and pain, use knee pads. There are also small hybrid carts on the market that carry your tools and can double as a seat for you to sit on while you roll up and down the plot or bed as you weed. These carts are especially helpful if you employ raised beds for your garden,
The good news from all of this is that while you are tending to your veggies, you are getting a great workout in the fresh air and sunshine. What more can you ask for?
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