There is much dialog about the need for proper tools for gardening. And yes I am a big supporter of ergonomically designed, multi-use hand tools and gas powered pieces that make my work more efficient and with a sustained quality in outcome. But my 22 years digging in the dirt has taught me a valuable lesson in selecting tools for the gardeners health and work sustainably. This is by no means an endorsement of particular brand of product, but a recommendation to “take care of the gardener” with the proper “health tools” in your gardener’s bag
1. You will not doubt become dehydrated long before thirst hits you. So I always have a water bottle or ice filled sippee cup @ my fingertips. Never start my day without it in my truck
2. We all need some sort of sun protection…so make sure you get your sunblock on before you head out to the garden.
3. Proper head wear is an essential. When I first began my gardening, I never felt the need to wear a hat. How ridiculous was that? In addition to another layer of sun protection, it keeps you cooler. I searched long and hard for comfortable breathable hats and finally came up with using runner style baseball caps. Believe it or not color makes no difference, it breaths and wicks sweat beautifully! Runners have had the right idea for years!
4. OK, so maybe I do have a lip moisturizer addiction, but my Burt’s Bees is in my pocket all day long. Nothing like dried out and sun blistered lips during the season. Packing it in my pocket has all but eliminated those seasonal ills of the gardener. But make sure you remember to pull it out of the pocket before those gardening pants go into the wash….that’s my favorite trick to losing a lot of lip balm over the season!
5. The black flies may be dissipating now, but the mosquitoes are taking over! I always have some sort of insect repellent spray or wipe in my truck and trailers. Time of day and work site can dictate a host of critters that can “bug” you all day.
6. At the end of the day, after scrubbing the dirt out of your fingernails, you end up with very rough hands. Despite using garden gloves, working the hands in the soil and running mulch can really do a number on them. I found this out when I tried to have fingerprints taken for a permit recently and was told by the operator, “oh your fingers are too rough, fingerprints didn’t take, you will have to come back for a re-do”. So now I make sure I use good hand cream every night!
7. And last but not least, we will no doubt suffer a myriad of aches and pains throughout our season. No matter how much I tell myself I have kept myself in shape over the winter, the first 2 weeks out in the gardens are a killer. I have tried many pain relievers over these 22 years, and hands down, my Alleve takes care of it all.
So this season, take care of your gardener’s health with these essential tools of the trade. As always making “sense and sustainability” a garden practice!
Need free Garden tips this Season? Check out the Summer Garden Goddess Workshop schedule @ Saratoga Spring’s oldest greenhouse Dehn’s Flowers and Greenhouses on Beekmann Street. 11:00am every Saturday through July 16th.