One of my readers has been reading TMG since her first year of gardening. I think this is her 3rd year. ” She’s come a long way baby” — as the saying goes. She’s no longer out there trying to dig the dirt with her bare hands and actually has a tool now. She starts her own seed and is even selling some of her organic produce — specializing in heirloom tomatoes! I’m very proud of her. (I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her in person — and her family.)
She writes to me often, makes me smile, makes me laugh, makes the days even more enjoyable, gives me ideas for posts with the questions she asks and lets me know — in short — that others might view things in the garden differently than this old timer does. As a matter of fact they can view them in ways that I never even thought of.
Such was one of her emails today. She writes:
- “I want a gardening belt. When I go outside, I always need this or that – and a lot of times it’s just my gloves. Bugs often don’t get squashed b/c I refuse to do it w/o the gloves. — I’m on the lookout for a belt to put my pruning shears, claw, and gloves in.
I’ve heard of belts for carpenters and electricians before, but I’ve never heard of gardening belts. Have you other gardeners who have been around for decades — like I have — ever heard of them? I guess I’m behind on what’s being marketed for gardeners. I don’t keep up with all that stuff because you don’t need hardly any of it anyway.
However, there is a real need to have something to carry a tool, gloves, shears and maybe a few other items to the garden with you.
The Reason for the Need
How many times have you gone to the garden for something specific and could have gotten a few more things done had you thought to bring the item you needed to do it. This usually happens to me when tomatoes are growing and I end up in the garden without my pieces of old nylons that I use to tie tomatoes to their supports. Or I see a few things that need to be harvested with nothing but my skirt to put them in.
Another Reason – Let’s talk bugs.
I know most beginning gardeners will feel like my reader does — they want gloves to squash the bugs and won’t do it without them. So if they leave their gloves — the bug doesn’t get killed.
I think most of us who have been around for decades would still prefer gloves. I know I do. However — I will make exceptions if —- I get caught in the garden without gloves — and I see a squash bug or a potato beetle and (as of this year) a stink bug or harlequin bug.
The reason has to do with pain and pleasure; the lesser of two evils; and fear. If you’ve gardened for a while and have experienced an infestation of one of these bugs—- and know how miserable they can make you when you have to spend hours to search and destroy — you know what I’m talking about.
When I see one of them — I am instantly flooded with thoughts of how quickly they multiply and the many times they’ve made the season miserable for me. If I leave the bug — it can and will multiply — and the chances of finding it when I come back in few minutes with gloves — are slim to none.
The first time I ever killed potato beetles without gloves I thought I was gonna die! It was not pleasant. I didn’t like it. I washed my hands until I thought they were going to fall off. (I really wanted to get a new set of hands!) But the bugs were dead — and I was very motivated to make sure that I had my gloves whenever I visited the garden henceforth.
A Simple Solution
I keep an old basket by the backdoor with my digger tool, pruners, shears, old nylon pieces, my gloves, and envelope for saving seed and anything else I may need. When harvesting is at its peak, I carry another empty basket with me for produce.
Baskets are pretty easy to come by. You’ll see them for pennies (maybe 25 cents) at flea markets or yard sales. And they are so convenient to use. You don’t really need any thing that is fancy-dancy — or that’s costly. You can save the dollars you’d spend for something really necessary like seed, another pair of garden gloves, or maybe some row covers to extend the season.
Not that there would be anything wrong with a garden belt should you come across one — but just know when you buy it — it’s because you choose to. There are cheaper options —– and in my opinion — more enjoyable ones. (I wouldn’t care for something I had to wear.)
As another one of my readers has told me often, “It’s amazing – the power of marketing” and what it can make you think you need.
Organic gardening is easy, effective, efficient —- and it’s a lot healthier.
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