Love it or hate it gardening is one of life’s relentless challenges, especially when clearly, I am about to recommend you remember to pace yourself and consider your posture but as most of you currently have covid-19 related time on your hands this is the perfect opportunity:
Why do we even have gardens when they are such hard work?
There’s nothing like sitting outside admiring your handy-work on a summer evening, chatting with virtual friends over a zoom barbecue or playing swing-ball with your kids. I wouldn’t, however, recommend an inflatable limbo set from amazon, that will definitely end in tears.
So, what is the answer?
If you can maximise your garden enjoyment by minimising your workload and therefore your spinal risk with low maintenance options, then you are onto a winner. This approach can be great due to its modern aesthetic appeal and the promise of easy care, hopefully just leaving you a few pots to water.
Have you considered going artificial?
Why not throw out your mower in favour of artificial grass, contraversial I know, but this is far more convincing than ever before, and it may even cut down your summer allergies.
If this is not for you then perhaps getting someone in might help you avoid all those garden pitfalls, where/when social distancing allows.
Raised beds are another option, but what are the benefits?
There is more room for the roots to spread in search of nourishment, so you won’t need to water as often, therefore there’ll be less need for heavy watering can carrying once that hosepipe ban kicks in. Although from a back-care perspective it is well worth considering filling your can with less water and consequently making more trips, to reduce the strain caused by heavy lifting and carrying.
Weeds cannot spread as far in a confined space and tightly packed plants will crowd them out further, again reducing your workload. Learning to like your weeds may also be well worth consideration.
Bending and reaching are a great cause for concern, raised beds can help on this front as crouching may be sufficient and if you can get all the way around the outside of them then this will cut down on your need to over stretch.
Otherwise, long handled tools can greatly reduce your bending requirements, and where this cannot be avoided padded kneelers can make all the difference, limiting your time and varying your tasks will also help plus please avoid digging and do invest in some good quality supportive garden furniture if at all possible.
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