Her garden was a magic place. Hanging fuschia were my favorite. Being the happy grandmother she was, she brought the step stool for me to stand upon as I popped open each fuschia bud. Little fingers indulged by Granny.
It was one day in her garden that she gave me the following insightful advise. She was planting gladiolus bulbs (one of her favorite flowers) and I was helping. Using the small hand trowel, I was struggling to loosen the soil. She suggested that I use the big shovel.
"Spare your small finger joints, and use your bigger leg joints to dig."
At the time I thought that my fingers were fine, they weren't hurting (being only teenage fingers), but it did turn out to be easier to dig with the shovel.
Now as a 51 year old physical therapist with chronic joint pain, I truly value that advise. Whenever I find myself struggling to dig with a trowel, I hear Granny and get the shovel.
My current hand tools have wooden handles. They are smooth which makes it difficult to maintain a firm grip when wearing gloves.
My easy solution is to apply tape to the handles for more traction. I use cloth athletic tape, the type used to tape your ankles before sports.
Start with the tape at an angle so it will be easier to move down the handle.
One layer is usually adequate.
|Bessie May (my dog) approves.|
|Tape was applied to this shovel a year ago.|
Use a shovel instead of a trowel when able. Buy tools with good grips or modify what you have to make them easier to grip.
Your fingers will thank you later.