Gardening is a great past time for every age. It’s a good way to relax, to give back to the earth and your community, and even to save money. But like anything else you take on, gardening has its dangers. Exposure to sun, misuse of equipment, even the natural toxicity of some plants or weeds can be a danger to a novice gardener, and that’s just for a start. If you want to be safe in the garden, there are a few things to keep in mind. Remember basic safety equipment
These should be sturdy and ideally rubber. Not thick enough to make your hands uncomfortable when you’re working, but enough to keep prickling thorns out, and protect your hands from anything that might produce rashes or burns.
This is a flat, firm cushion that goes under your knees, so that you can comfortably kneel in the dirt for longer periods. Investing in one of these means you won’t strain your back bending up and down, or hurt your knees from putting too much pressure on them.
Specifically, if you use power tools, like a leaf blower, or a strimmer, you’ll want ear plugs to protect your ears from high powered sounds (and gloves will help with the vibrations.)
You may think you can pull all those weeds by hand, but many weeds have protective thistles which can bite into your skin as you work, or leave chemical burns. Bring a trowel to dig away the weeds, rather than yanking them up. It’s much easier to grasp the root that way, and a lot safer for you!
Gardening all day in the hot sun can be very dangerous. Heat stroke can come on suddenly, and leave you very ill. Be sure to dress for the weather. Wear clothes that cover you, to avoid being cut on brambles, or branches, or exposing your skin to mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting critters. Lather up the SPF-30, even on milder spring days. For best effect, use sunscreen and insect repellent 20 minutes before going outside.
Be sure to reapply often while you’re outside. The sweat from physical activity and heat will wash it away quickly. Wear lighter colors, since black absorbs more heat. Depending on the size of your garden and work you will be doing, you might want rubber-toed boots.Bring a wide-brimmed hat to protect your head from the sun. Tie your hair from the back of your neck, if it is long.
Power tools for the lawn and garden have become increasingly popular. If you have a favorite tool, like a leaf blower, mulcher, or strimmer that you use to keep your yard and garden neat, it’s important to know how to use these tools safely. Here are some things to keep in mind. Check everything before you use it at the beginning of the season. Look for frayed outlet cords, battery leaks, and loose parts.If anything is damaged, don’t use it! Get a replacement, or call the manufacture to see if it can be fixed.
Look over the instructions of anything that you don’t use day-to-day. Most power tools come with safety tips that include how they should be used. We have covered getting ear plugs, but some cordless strimmers and heavy-duty leaf blowers also recommend goggles, or suggest a recommended length of time it’s safe to use. Read your instructions. Never leave a corded power tool plugged in when you’re not using it. Always flip a battery powered tool into the off position before you set it down, to avoid accidentally injuring yourself, or someone else. Never leave garden tools out, either powered or manual. Manual tools can rust and be dangerous when stepped on. Electrical power tools, when exposed to the elements, can cause shorts and shocks that can seriously injure someone.
It can be tempting, when you’re working in the garden, to just pluck some of the fruit and veg you find and pop it into your mouth when you get a little hungry. This isn’t a great idea. Even in the most organic gardens, toxins and bacteria are still a concern.
And the last thing you want is to accidentally bite into something that looks healthy and has something living in it! Resist temptation, harvest your garden, and rinse everything thoroughly in cold water before you eat it.
This one seems obvious. But after you’ve been cooped up for few seasons, it’s tempting to get out and start at the first sign of sun. Take inventory of what you want to do. Try and alternate your gardening routine so as to not put too much strain on one part of your body, especially on your back and neck. Continued repetitive motion can lead to joint pain, muscle strain, even carpal tunnel syndrome. With this in mind, remember to take regular breaks. Take time to rest in the shade, stretch, and drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is the best way to ward off heat stroke.
Gardening can be a great past-time for the whole family. A garden is a lot of work, but it’s also very rewarding. Not only does it keep your yard beautiful, and give you a great way to relax, it can even provide your family with cheap vegetables throughout most of the year! Gardening does involve a bit of physical labor, though, and like all hobbies, it comes with a bit of risk. Gardening in the sun for a day or so is a great way to spend your summer weekends, but it can also be dangerous. Modern gardening tools make our lives a lot easier, but certain precautions need to be taken to use them safely. With these safety tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy your garden for years to come, without risking illness or injury.
I started this blog to provide advanced home improvement tips, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable home, kitchen, garden experience. I deliver more than home guides, and motivate people to get nice home!