And this summer, I'd like to apologize to gardeners everywhere. I used to scoff at the image of the little old lady labouring away in her garden; you snip a few stems, plant a bulb or two, and pour water on the whole thing. Weeding sounded annoying and pruning confusing, but really, what was so hard? Man up, ladies.
But as a lady of certain age who enjoys her greenery, I'm realizing that I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Gardening is challenging, it is an art, and it is physically hard! And as your dedicated chiro-gardener, I will pass on what I've learned so that you need not suffer. Learn from my mistakes, and do as I say, not as I've planted.
Dr. Michelle's Gardening Tips
1. Get down and dirty
Gardening is not for the squeamish. There are bugs and worms and mud. Its a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it. Staying clean by bending over is hard on your back. Sit down. Get close to your work to minimize bending and reaching. Get dirty. Live a little!
2. Say no to weeds
My garden is lush and green, and there are even a few plants in there. The weeds... the damn weeds... they flourish. Weed removal is labourious, monotonous, and neverendingous. But aha, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure or something, so order up an ounce of mulch and use liberally. Stop those weeds from growing in the first place! I've also noticed that weeding is so much easier after a rainfall - those suckers just slide right out.
The best way to do something hard is to get someone else to do it. Kidding! Sort of! Invite your friends over for a garden(ing) party, and give out weed whackers as party favours! Got a partner or a kid or any other able-bodied person around? Make them... I mean ask them to help! And when bribing and begging don't work, money usually does. Seriously, be realistic about your abilities. There are plenty of gardening services around, and the cost of hired help or favours owed may be worth saving your back.
4. Dress for success
Remember my mantra, people: cute and functional. Wide brimmed floppy hat to protect from sun. Waterproof and light weight shoes - crocs really are great. Comfortable clothes that can get dirty and allow you to stretch. Gloves to protect your hands from cuts and bugs. Knee pads can help immensely.
5. Stretch, ice, see your chiropractor!
We can help your body - from sore green thumbs to achy backs. Or better yet, get your spring spinal tune-up so you will able to garden to you heart's delight!