Gardening is a rewarding hobby that can be inspiring and fulfilling. There’s nothing like spotting a butterfly on the zinnia you planted or seeing a hummingbird snacking on your monarda. Working outdoors is also a great way to get moderate exercise and vitamin D. But there are also some challenges, especially as we get older. You may find that all that bending, kneeling, lifting and pushing is taking a toll on your body.
And then, at the end of the gardening season, comes some downright exhausting clean up work. It may seem like it’s just not worth it. But don’t despair. There are some things you can do to make gardening feel less like a difficult chore.
Here are some way to avoid trouble while working in your fall and winter garden.
Choose the right time of day. While 3 p.m. in August is often too hot for working outdoors, you may want to take advantage of being outdoors at the warmest time of day in fall and winter. Be sure to dress for the weather. Layers are best for staying warm, but not overheating. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
Splurge on a great pair of garden gloves. Gloves will help you avoid cuts and scratches and protect your hands from drying conditions.
Knee pads or a garden kneeler can make chores much easier on your joints. Raised planters are also an excellent way to avoid all the bending if your knees or back is giving you trouble.
Using a moisturizer with sunscreen will help to keep your skin from becoming dry and irritated.
Wear boots with good traction and watch out for ice. Icy patches are hard to spot when they’re hiding under fallen leaves, so be extra careful this time of year.
Ask for help if you need it. Our community hosts a biannual garden clean up for elderly residents. My daughters and I enjoyed volunteering with friends to prep a neighbor’s yard for winter. Check to see if your town hosts such events. Not only will you get a hand with gardening, but you’ll feel a part of the community as you chat with volunteers.
Vanessa Tsumura is a gardener, writer and mom living in Wisconsin. She blogs about crafts and DIY projects atwww.bluetandclover.com.
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