3 Ground Rules for Healthy, Safe Gardening
Publish Date: 05/12/2013 15:42There’s nothing like spending your Sunday morning getting your hands dirty – in a good way. Gardening is a great activity for reducing stress. You’re out in the sunshine and fresh air, getting your daily dose of exercise through gardening. You want to do it safely, without back pain and insect bites. Follow these ground rules to enjoy gardening in good health. Grow Basil and Rosemary Herbs Get more from your patch of green by growing easy-to-plant, healthy basil and rosemary herbs in your garden. Basil is a highly fragrant plant packed with vitamins K and A. It’s essential oil has antibacterial properties, providing protection against unwanted bacterial growth. Basil herbs prefer sun and moist, well-drained soil combined with compost. Water them at least every other day and harvest leaves when the plants are about 10 inches tall. Rosemary leaves have compounds that help improve memory, digestion and the immune system. Plant the herbs in the ground during warm periods or in pots you can move indoors during winter. Rosemary suits slightly alkaline soil and lots of sunshine. Keep the soil moist until its leaves are established, which may take one year. Buy a Quality Pair of Gardening Gloves Most people think infections aren’t a gardening hazard, but the soil in your garden might be contaminated with lead and other toxic chemicals from plumbing, or contaminants from parasites and pesticides. These substances make you susceptible to tetanus and E. coli bacteria. The best defence against infection is wearing a quality pair of gardening gloves. Use thin and fitted gloves for tasks that require handiness and leather ones when you’re clearing out thorny bushes. If you get a nick or a cut, wash it thoroughly with warm water and soap to avoid infection. Position Your Body Properly when Gardening Position your body properly to avoid back pain later. Keep your back straight with your knees bent slightly and shoulders relaxed while standing. When lifting heavy items, keep your knees bent and back straight by squatting down and engaging the muscles in your buttocks and thighs. When getting low, sit on a stool or kneel on a cushion, as long as it’s low enough to maintain a straight back. Use gardening tools with longer handles and plant a raised bed about 10 inches high to access the plants easier. Gardening is only good for your health if you practice it safely. Avoid back pain, bites, and other common garden-work hazards by following these tips. Browse our website to start your journey towards healthier gardening.