Thorny roses, heavy pots and summer sun – all this and more means it’s worth investing in some protective gardening gear to avoid injury. Watch this short video with Alan Titchmarsh, as he gives his advice on what to have to hand.
Protective gardening gear and equipment: transcript
There are three words guaranteed to strike fear into the heart of any gardener. And those words are health and safety. Don’t switch off. It is important that we all take a bit of care. They’re the simplest things to think about.
When the sun is shining, it’s better if it’s out of your eyes. Get yourself a broad-brimmed hat – it’s quite nice under here; and even this, you know, is health and safety. This, coupled with some suntan lotion on your nose, even on the backs of your hands if you want, just to stop you from being burned. It’s a sensible precaution
and you’ll feel a darn sight more comfortable as a result.
Ears. If you’re using powerful, noisy machinery, it makes sense to get yourself a pair of ear defenders. Stick them on and then the noise…(silence) of the mower when it’s going, it protects you. If you’re using machinery like a hedge trimmer that can flick up pieces of growth and sharp stems, a pair of goggles like this. Do make sure they’re clear. They’re cheap to buy – get yourself a new pair every year so they’re really clear and give you a good view.
Most gardeners, myself included, liked to feel what they’re doing, but there are times when you have to be sensible and put on a pair of gloves. I do find myself using gloves more than I would like, more than I used to, but it makes sense to do it. It also makes sense to check that your tetanus jab is up to date. Those are what you
might call normal gardening gloves. You can get these long gauntlet types as well. If you’re pruning thorny roses and you do want a bit of protection, this is giving you protection right the way up to your elbow. Really useful, though you do have to take them off when you want to tie something in.
Look after your knees. Either with these hugely glamorous kneeling pads or just use a kneeling mat like this. It’s lovely and thick, it’s got a waterproof bottom and that means it can go on soggy grass or soggy soil. You want to be able to kneel down for as long as you’re able. If you’re using power tools, do make sure that
they’re connected to an earth leakage circuit breaker. Or better still, use tools like this, which you can recharge between use.
Which takes us right down to your toes. Provided you’re comfortable in them and you can still be nimble and agile, steel toe-capped boots are really, really useful. And then just straight back up to the eyes, because if you’re using canes and you’re sticking them in to support plants, these little plastic tops, they’re not a
mess are they? They’re not unsightly. Stick them on the top of your canes and they will make it much easier to see the canes and also less damaging, if you do happen to get them.
So you see, health and safety needn’t send fear through your heart. You can actually, with a bit of luck, turn out to be quite glamorous.