• 68°

Darrell Blackwelder column: Don’t overdo it when working in the yard

I mowed my lawn earlier this week and I paid for it the next morning. I couldn’t hardly walk I was so sore. Rainy weather and the pandemic have made many somewhat out of shape for gardening.

Overexertion and soreness take much of the pleasure out of spring gardening. Below are a few tips that may make gardening efforts less painful.

• Take time to stretch before strenuous work. Stretch and warm up before entering when battling weeds and planting.

• Be sure to take frequent breaks. During hot and humid weather, it’s important to take breaks.

• Use labor-saving devices. Ergonomically correct tools are great for those with a touch of arthritis. Knee pads work wonders for the knee caps reducing strain from tasks that require constant bending.

• Maintain tools for maximum ease. Gardening tools should be sharp and in good shape.

• Protect your skin. Wear a hat when working outdoors. Broad-brimmed hats reduce chance of melanoma (skin cancer) to the face and neck the ears and neck. Sunscreens are beneficial in reducing harmful rays of the sun. Use sunscreen and lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Use sunscreen even on hazy or overcast days.

• Consult your doctor. Sore muscles and aches may be quelled with over-the-counter pain relievers, but you may want to make sure if the pain is persistent. Physical exertion coupled with extreme temperatures could spell trouble. Talk to your physician to make sure you’re OK for gardening exercise

• Have a realistic plan. Do not try to achieve impossible goals. Save the herculean tasks for times when you have ample help or are in good shape.

Darrell Blackwelder is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Contact him at deblackw@ncsu.edu .



Rowan County sees 300th death attributed to COVID-19


Chauvin convicted on all counts in George Floyd’s death


Top North Carolina House finance chair, Rowan representative stripped of position


One charged, another hospitalized in fight between cousins


Bell Tower Green renamed to honor Stanbacks; Nancy Stanback receives key to city


Commissioners green light additional houses at Cherry Treesort in China Grove


A.L. Brown will hold in-person, outdoor graduation


Granite Quarry awards FEMA contract for Granite Lake Park


City to vote on apartment developments, final phases of Grants Creek Greenway project

High School

High school football: North receiver McArthur a rising star


Carl Blankenship: Pollen and prejudice make their return


Harris pitches $2.3T spending plan on trip to North Carolina


Murder case against ex-cop in Floyd’s death goes to the jury


Sheriff’s office: Man takes deputies on chase with stolen moped


Afternoon, evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic planned Thursday


Concord man charged with woman’s murder in drive-by shooting

Ask Us

Ask Us: Have city, county elected officials received COVID-19 vaccine?


City gives away nearly 100 trees during ‘We Dig Salisbury’ event


Political Notebook: Bitzer expects most ‘Trump-like’ candidate to be favorite in state’s Senate race


Blotter: Concord man arrested in Rowan for indecent liberties with children


Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot


Police: FedEx shooter legally bought guns used in shooting


Hester Ford, oldest living American, dies at 115 … or 116?


Size of pipeline spill again underestimated in North Carolina