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Why Do My Hands Hurt After Gardening? 6 Tool Hacks to Avoid the Pain

Learn how a sponge, bubble wrap and more can help!

In the warmer months, you love tending to your garden and yard. But if after all is said and done you’re left asking yourself, “Why do my hands hurt after gardening?” you can blame your tools which can leave hands sore, blistered and throbbing. The good news? There are ways to walk away from a day tending to your greenery without the discomfort — and you don’t even need to shell out for pricey new tools! Below you’ll find six helpful ways to make your garden tools more ergonomic and sidestep any pain.

Why do my hands hurt after gardening?

Even if you love puttering around outside in your yard, all of that work tending to your greenery can leave your hands and arms rather achey. Swelling and inflammation around the tendons is common, especially when you’re spending a lot of time grasping the same garden tool. In fact, gardening can be just as likely as tennis to stress tendons in your forearm, resulting in the telltale “tennis elbow” pain.

You may also find other areas of your body are sore, as overreaching or making awkward moments during yard work is common. This can make things quite uncomfortable the next day! To avoid future aches, pains and inflammation, try these tricks with your gardening tools.

How to make tools more comfortable

For a rake: Use bubble wrap

Bubble wrap makes a rake more comfortable

Spreading mulch with a garden rake or using a leaf rake to gather old debris can quickly leave you with uncomfortable blisters. The wooden material isn’t exactly soft to hold either!

An easy fix: Wrap a layer or two of bubble wrap around the end of the handle and secure with tape. The wrap provides a gentle grip and prevents the friction that causes sores.

For trowels and hand rakes: A sponge

A sponge on a garden tools handle makes it comfortable

When you’re planting new flowers outside, it can be common for your hands to end up blistered and achy after working with your garden tools for hours—even if you wear gloves!

Tools with a padded grip can help prevent this, but no need to splurge on a new set. You can tweak the spades and trowels you have with just a couple of common household items.

Simply use heavy-duty rubber bands to wrap a kitchen sponge around the handle of old tools. The sponge is the perfect cushion to ensure a comfortable grip, no matter how long you’re working with the tools.

For weed eaters: Loosen the bolt

A weed trimmer

You rely on your string weed eater to keep your yard looking great and cut down oversized growth. It can also be used to edge the grass along your driveway and sidewalk with this trick. “If you’re out there weed whacking and you run into a place where you need to edge, then you can literally take that and flip it over on the side so its line head is going up and down now,” shares user @StevesSmallEngineSaloon on YouTube. “And then you can edge like that.” (Click through to learn how to keep a weed eater string from breaking).

The only downside? While this is a common way to get an “edged” look on your lawn, it isn’t efficient long term. The reason? Holding the tool upside down can be rather hard on your wrists and awkward overall. The fix he shares in the video below? Focus on the bolt or bolts holding the gear head onto the tube of the weed eater.

“Take your tool and you just crack that bolt lose, and then you can spin the whole gear head around to whatever position you want,” he says. Watch him do it in the video below!

For lawn mowers: A pool noodle

A push lawn mower

If you have a large yard and use a push mower, cutting the grass can be quite a chore. Not only does it require a lot of effort, but after pushing the mower around your hands tend to end up feeling sore.

An easy solution: Cut a pool noodle in half lengthwise, then trim to fit the mower’s push bar. Wrap it around the bar and use duct tape to secure. The foam noodle provides a bit of cushion and makes the chore much more comfortable. (Click through for more brilliant uses for pool noodles).

This isn’t the only effective way to use a pool, noodle however. “Slit a pool noodle, cut it to size and you can use it for your handles on your wheel barrow [and] lawnmower,” suggests TikTok user @MrHacksLondon in the video below.


Make handles comfortable #poolnoodlehack #wheelbarrowhandles #wheelbarrow #lawnmowerhack

♬ original sound – MR HACKS LONDON

For small tools (and bare hands): Baby powder

Baby powder on hands to slip-proof garden tools

If it’s particularly hot outside or you’ve misplaced your gardening gloves, you may be working with your tools in bare hands. But there’s a way to ensure you stay comfortable while doing so, and sidestep any mishaps.

“Incessant digging in the garden can take a toll on your hands, leaving them rough, sore and contaminated,” says YouTube user @BalconyGardenWeb in the below video. “Lightly coat your palms and the handles of the tools with baby powder.” The powder acts as a barrier between your skin and the tool, plus absorbs sweat so nothing slips out of your hands!”

For a heavy watering can: Use a baster

A hanging flower basket

Watering cans are great for hydrating plants in areas a hose can’t reach or if you need a more controlled flow. But when dealing with a hanging plant on a porch or patio, the last thing you want to have to do is lift a heavy, full watering can to give it a drink. Not only can this be uncomfortable, it can lead to a mess too!

In this case, you can enlist the help of a clean turkey baster! Use the baster to “collect” as much water from the can as you need, then insert the end of the tube into the plant’s pot and squeeze the bulbs. It will still soak the soil and is much easier to lift than a watering can.

For more helpful gardening hacks, keep reading!

No Need to Toss Your Rusty Garden Tools: Here’s How to Clean Them According to Experts

How to Clean Your Lawn Mower By Yourself at Home According to Landscaping Experts

Container Garden Ideas: These Displays Are Inexpensive, Easy to Make & Simply Stunning

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