Whether is it urban or rural, the end of May in New England seems like the time to put in a garden. There is already fresh produce at the farmer’s market gleaned from hot houses as well as spring treats like fiddle heads. Folks in the office were all commenting on the wonderful weekend weather and along with that, the sore muscles that resulted from hours of tilling, turning, weeding, hauling and planting. Time in the garden can be also so relaxing, but hours or a day later the effects can be felt.
George Cook’s comment was, ” by the end of Sunday my back needed to sit down” Sounds about right. Back strain seems to be common at the beginning of the season. Sunburns and bug bites are too.
Proper lifting techniques, using the right equipment, covering the spots that can burn, protecting yourself from creepy crawlies…. we all know this, yet do we take the time to actually practice it?
I use a pale to put my weeds in, instead of a old wheel barrow. I will make more trips to the weed dumping spot, and it gives me more chances to get up and stretch out after being down in the dirt pulling for hours. I have seen these great wheely seats that scoot around too, so you don’t have to be all the way down on your knees.
Another trick is wearing a long sleeves, ball caps or straw hats, and light long pants. I don’t like lotion much, or bug dope, so I would rather cover with material then goo….. but if the bugs are really bad, I will cover up with the stuff. And I will admit to wearing sunscreen if it is just too nice to be in long sleeves.
The general rule is, if I’m gonna make my kids cover, then I should too.
And kids love helping in the garden, but there are certain things that they should not be doing. Hauling big bags of potting soil that are bigger then them. Using machinery that they are too young for or have no experience with. Just because your teenager can drive a snowmobile, does not mean that he can drive that Bobcat. Should go without saying. But sometimes we take shortcuts because we are just so excited to finally be out in the nice weather, or we want our kids to be helping out too.
Time well spent, and done safely will preserve the time you want later to enjoy the harvest.