Your garden is supposed to be relaxing, to help you feel at peace and enjoy your own little slice of nature. However, it does require you to take care of it and, sometimes, that’s not always easy. This is especially true in the fall when the weather can start to really act against us. It’s important to mind your safety when you’re out gardening, no matter what the weather is, and here we’re going to look at a few steps you can take to do that.
Stretch and warm-up
Gardening might not be the most strenuous exercise in the world, but it is physical work. Standing, kneeling, reaching, and all the rest of it is good for your body but, in that cold weather, your muscles can be a little stiffer, as can the connective tissue on your joints. You want to avoid the increased risk of pulling something by taking the time to stretch when you head out there. You might not necessarily need to do your pre-gardening stretches in the summer, but it’s always a good idea to do it regardless, just to help you stay limber and avoid the aches that can come with working outside for so long. It doesn’t take that long to add that little bit of safety.
Don’t forget the sunscreen
You might think that because it’s not quite as hot, you don’t need to worry as much about keeping your skin protected from the sun, but that’s not strictly true. For one, fall can bring its heatwaves, and it feels like they’re sticking around for longer, and getting stronger on top of it. What’s more, you need to protect your skin from the sun no matter what season it is. Even in the winter, UV radiation can do real damage to your skin. To that end, make sure you equip the right sunscreen for your skin type and consider investing in a nice hat and even a pair of shades to make sure that you’re as protected as can be.
Move plants that are likely to get destroyed
If a storm rolls through your garden, you want to make sure that there’s as little as possible for it to lift and throw around. When it comes to your plants, one of the easiest ways is to get containers for them. Lightweight, portable planters allow you to quickly scoop up those plants and move them inside, whether you’re able to dedicate some space in the home by the window to your plants, or you’re able to bring in special lighting that can keep those plants happy and fed with the UV light that they’re going to need.
Let the pros handle the higher jobs
If you have any particularly tall shrubs or trees, then you are going to need to trim them. Overgrown trees can become a real risk in the fall, when the change in weather, especially windy weather, and storms, is a lot more likely to cause branches to break, fall, and cause either damage or injury. You might be able to handle the lower branches yourself, but it’s probably best just to entrust the task to tree trimmers near you, who bring the equipment and the training to make sure that they’re able to handle those heights safely. What’s more, it’s all too easy for amateurs to trim a little too much off the tree, which can be damaging to its health. Just another reason to let the pros handle it.
Take care of your surfaces
Smoother hard surfaces, be they walkways, driveways, patio pavers, or otherwise, can become something of a risk in the fall. The leaves are coming off the trees and there’s going to be more organic residue in the air, as well as rain in the air. When combined, these can form algae or a film or organic green residue that can cling to the top of these surfaces and can make them a lot slipper, making you more likely to trip or fall. This is a particularly dangerous prospect if you have gardening tools in hand. Take a pressure washer to these surfaces after it rains to make sure that you’re not giving that film the opportunity to form in the first place.
Extra care is required when lifting
No matter what time of year it is, you should always be mindful of how you lift objects, especially heavier objects. You want to engage your legs and your knees, not your back, when lifting, and to stretch beforehand to make sure that your body is ready for that extra stress. In the fall, try to be extra mindful of your surroundings, including any flooring or surfaces you have to move over. If it has been raining recently, then you might want to put on a pair of heavy-duty boots that can help you maintain your footing’s grip, regardless. Or you might just want to wait for better weather to be on the safe side.
Be mindful of pests
When fall starts to come around, so can the pests. After all, many of them are looking for new places to set up shelter. First of all, be aware of any wildlife in your area, and what you should do if you spot them, especially the larger creatures. You should also look out for the smaller pests that can become a real hassle. Check your clothes and body for ticks every time you finish gardening, and watch out for things like wasps, mosquitoes, fire ants, and fleas. Aside from protective clothing, you might want to keep some insect repellent at hand to make sure that these pests can’t cause any health problems by getting too close.
Reduce the amount of maintenance it needs
If you don’t want to spend as much time working out there in the ever-changing weather, then one of the ways you can do that is to simply reduce how much work you have to do in the garden in the first place. For one, you can look at bringing in more low-maintenance plants, typically plants that are native to the area, that aren’t going to need your attention as much, or you can build shelters that control the light levels over certain beds. A more drastic option would be to install an artificial lawn so that you need never to worry about mowing or watering your grass ever again. This does come with pros and cons to consider, of course.
Store and maintain your tools
Your handy gardening tools make pruning, clipping, and otherwise managing your plants a lot easier. However, they are prone to degrading over time, especially if they’re left out in the elements. Any moisture is going to make them a lot more prone to rusting, which can make them more difficult to use and more dangerous, on top of that. You can help prevent accidents by taking better care of them. Getting a good tool storage box for the home or shed can offer them an extra level of protection. You might want to look at how you can keep them effective and maintained, too, such as by oiling any joints or moving parts on them. Depending on the tools, there are maintenance guides you can find online.
With the advice above, you can make sure that you’re taking care of your garden while being as mindful of your safety as possible. A clean and tidy garden is a great addition to the home, but it’s not worth risking your health for.