Staying Active While Preparing Your Lawn and Garden for Spring
By: Kelly Bonner
Did you know the CDC considers active gardening like raking the lawn, bagging grass or leaves, digging, hoeing, or light shoveling, as well as pushing a lawn mower or tiller as moderate level physical activity? This means you could burn anywhere from three and a half to seven kilocalories per minute while working on your yard! (Check out this CDC resource!) With spring time right around the corner, that’s good news and a great incentive to get outside and be active.
This year you can be on the lookout for much more to come on inclusive gardens from NCHPAD, but for now, you need to make sure your yard and garden are ready for planting season. Here are four tips to staying active while prepping your yard and garden for spring.
4 Steps to Garden Prep
- Mowing the lawn. If you live in a cooler climate and have been waiting for that first mow of the season that time is probably almost here if it hasn’t already come and gone. If you are able get out that push mower and get the job done. Lawn care experts recommend that first post winter mow to be whenever your grass is visibly starting to grow again and is about 2 to 3 inches high. Make sure the current temperatures have reached above 40 degrees, and start with a high cut on dry grass to avoid any damage. Mowing the yard for 30 minutes with a push mower could burn up to 210 calories.
- Trimming trees and bushes. Timing is certainly key for this chore and it all depends on the purpose of your prune. Winter pruning is typically done after the coldest part of winter has past. So now is most likely the perfect time. This helps promote new growth in the spring. Another way to judge which ones are appropriate to prune now is if they flower in mid to late summer according to the Arbor Day Foundation. While trimming those trees certainly evokes some physical activity remember the biggest bang for your buck comes when you haul all those branches and limbs to trash pile.
- Making your bed. Prepping the land or garden beds is known as making your bed. If you are creating a new bed all together you will need to dig out the grass and kill off all existing vegetation. Click here for more on how to do that. Once your bed is made new or old, you will then need to turn the soil. You want to turn the soil when it is moist but not wet and to a depth of at least 12 inches. This can be a great upper body workout so be careful not to overdo it. There are a number of adapted tools that may help with this chore. Watch this video to learn more about inclusive garden tools.
- Compost. One of the best things you can do to help your garden grow is to use compost in the soil. Besides items from your kitchen you can also use leaves, grass clippings and brush trimmings. So get to raking up those leaves and clippings and not only could you burn about 50 calories in 10 minutes time but you can have a healthier garden as well.
Be sure to check back in over the coming months to see how our garden grows.
Click here for an infographic.