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PREVENT

Work smarter in the garden

Minnesota summers are too short—especially if you're a gardener! Making the most of a limited season to make your garden shine can sometimes cause aches and pains, even lingering injuries. You can prevent gardening injuries:

Plan

  • Think about the planting you will do and how much maintenance your garden will need; consider whether annuals or perennials will be easier to maintain.
  • Determine where your water supply is located. If you're carrying a heavy watering can from place-to-place, consider a hose that is able to reach all areas needing water.

Protect

  • Use tools with padded and curved handles, and keep your wrist in a neutral position.
  • Use spring-loaded pruners and clippers to decrease the force felt by your hands and arms.
  • Sit on a stool rather than bending over to tend your garden. Being closer to the work can greatly reduce back strain.
  • Vary your tasks. Repeated movements can cause inflammation, pain and swelling.
  • Wear gloves.
  • Keep your arms covered to avoid cuts and bites.
  • Store tools with the blade edge down.

Work smarter

  • Make pulling weeds easier by pre-watering the area. This makes weeds come out pretty effortlessly.
  • Planting in raised garden beds decreases the strain on your back. 
  • Use a basket or cart to keep your tools in and to conveniently move them. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO

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