Spring has sprung. With sunnier skies and warmer weather ahead, many of us might be eager to return to a beloved seasonal hobby: gardening. As exciting as it is to begin planting and growing again, working in the garden can actually present a number of dangers and health concerns. As with most all activities that require physical exertion or time spent outdoors, it’s important to take the proper precautions to protect your green thumb for future harvests.

But first: Why should you garden in the first place?

Some benefits of gardening include:

  • Regular physical activity and burning of calories
  • Improved diet through easy access to nutritious ingredients
  • Mentally and emotionally healthy time spent in nature
  • Stronger bones and immune system through a healthy dose of vitamin D
  • Decreased stress levels

Now that we’ve convinced you to start your own, at-home garden filled with colorful fruits and veggies, here are some quick, healthy tips to get you started on the safest foot possible.

  1. Always wear gloves. Choose garden gloves that have a protective rubber coating to protect your skin from insect bites or potential irritants.
  2. Dress for the sun and take frequent breaks. Resting in the shade every so often will give your body the chance to recover from the heat and can prevent muscle injury.
  3. Carefully read labels on gardening projects. Many chemicals you might use in your garden have very specific instructions, and it’s important to follow them to avoid harming yourself or others.
  4. Warm-up. Gardening can affect your body in a very similar way to that of a moderate-intensity workout.  To get started, you could simply walk around your garden for a few minutes before doing some pre-activity stretches.
  5. Remember sunscreen and insect repellent. Make sure to apply the appropriate SPF and repellent before you start working.
  6. Stay up to date on vaccinations. To limit your chance of contracting gardening-related diseases, it’s recommended to receive a tetanus/diphtheria (Td) vaccination at least once every 10 years..

Stay safe, and we hope you have fun experimenting in the garden this spring!


“Dig into the benefits of gardening,” Mayoclinic.com, July 12, 2022.

“Gardening safety,” Betterhealth.vic.gov.au, October 31, 2018.

“Safety Tips for Your Farm and Garden,” NCAT.edu, Accessed March 7, 2024.