Tips and tools for easier gardening


By PAM BAYTOS

OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer

CANFIELD

It’s a sunny day and you head out to your garden, kneel down to do some deadheading and you hear an explosion of popping.

Gunshots? Firecrackers?

No. It’s only your knees.

This is why the right tools make all the difference when working in your garden.

Think of gardening tools as an extension of your body, allowing you to work in the most-efficient way possible.

The most-important thing to consider when choosing garden tools is your physical capability. You know what your body can and can’t do. The right tools will keep you active in the garden, allowing you to overcome physical limitations and to possibly increase your stamina.

Tools that are ergonomically designed help conserve energy and prevent injury caused by repetitive motions. These tools incorporate natural body movements with a more-comfortable fit. You can purchase specialty tools or adapt your own tools when possible.

Hand protection: Choose tools that are the correct size for your hand and the job. Pruning tools that fit your hand size and strength make repetitive tasks such as pruning or deadheading more comfortable. Use the correct blade size with spring tension and the smallest handle opening size to get the job done.

Handles: A morning in the garden tightly grasping tool handles causes fatigue and strain on hands. Look for tools with wide-textured handles or add foam or pipe insulation to build up handles, softening and enlarging the grip area.

Knee protection: Garden surfaces are hard on knees, so use kneepads that attach to your knees or kneel of a foam pad. A kneeler bench with handles makes getting up and down much easier. I have one that you can flip over so you can either kneel on it or use it as a seat.

Back protection: When you work from a seated or standing position, you will find that lightweight hand tools with longer handles extend their reach. Using long-handled tools allow for less back strain.

These “energy-saving” ideas can make your time in the garden more enjoyable and relaxing. With a little research, any of these items would make excellent holiday gifts for your loved one who loves to garden.

To learn more about getting and using the proper tools for the job, go to: http://go.osu.edu/righttools.

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