By now even the most fair weather gardeners will be out. I enjoy growing veggies, but gardening used to be one of the worst things for setting off my back pain. The temptation is to get all you can done while the conditions are right “I must dig this whole plot and get the potatoes in this weekend!”. But unless you garden a lot these are unfamiliar activities for your body – you will not be conditioned for them. So just take it easy and accept that you might not finish everything. You still being in a good physical state to enjoy a glass of wine this evening is more important than planting ALL the potatoes.
As with the veggies, rotation is the key. If you have to do lots of digging then rotate it with sowing, watering, having a cup of tea, and having a semi-supine in the sun. 20min at a time is good, but less might be better for heavy jobs (use a timer- you will forget!).
Then pay attention to the “how”. The more challenging you make something the more likely you are to tense up and use way too much effort. So, dig smaller spadefuls, let the weight of the spade cut into the soil. Stop regularly and go through the mental exercise in last week’s post. Keep checking in on your physical state- you can then stop when it’s starting to get too much rather than ploughing on through and regretting it tomorrow. By gardening thoughtfully you might find you can finish that plot, but pain- free! Enjoy the garden