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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


The Neat Retreat: Tools To Battle Snow

Suzanne Oliver
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This Neat Retreat is dedicated to something I have very little experience with, living in Atlanta — snow. But it never hurts to be prepared. Take a gander at these 5 tools sure to help you out of an icy jam. Many of these are priced under or around $20!

1. Handheld Spreader by Bare Ground

Perfect for spreading ice melt in the winter and fertilizer in the summer. Has a 5-foot radius of application. Much better than tossing corrosive chemicals by hand onto your driveway and sidewalks.

Handheld Spreader

2. Ice Melt

Effective at temperatures as low as -25 degrees F. Recommended over rock salt because it won’t harm your vegetation, nor stain concrete. It also won’t leave behind a white, powdery residue.

Ice melt

3. Snow Shovel by Arctic Blast

Clear driveways and walkways in just a few passes with this 24-inch pusher.

Snow shovel

4. Ice Scraper by Bigfoot

Essential for scraping ice off your frosty windshield, and simple to store in your glove compartment.

Ice Scraper

5. Snow Blower by Toro

This gas-powered machine throws snow a good 25 feet! No better way to clear a path.

Snow blower

Rules to Shovel By (from Popular Mechanics)

  • Stretch first. Warm up the same way you would for a workout.
  • Don’t move snow twice. Sounds reasonable enough. Decide where you’re going to dump the snow and don’t dump the first shovelful right next to where you are standing.
  • Move snow the shortest distance possible.
  • Clear cars first.
  • Do the foreground, then the background.
  • Maintain proper posture. Use your leg and shoulder muscles as much as possible. Keep your back straight and don’t twist your upper body. Hold the snow shovel as close to your upper body as possible and keep one hand close to the blade for better leverage.
  • Keep hydrated.
  • Rest frequently. You may actually be lifting anywhere from hundreds of pounds to tons of snow!
  • Be thorough, but not fussy. Clear an area and then let the sun do the rest.
  • Don’t overdress. Dress in loose-fitting layers that you can peel off.
  • Whenever possible, team up. Two sets of hands are better than one.
  • Go easy on the de-icer. A thin layer is all you need.
  • Get a head start. It’s easier to remove thin layers rather than the whole downfall at once.
  • Maintain your equipment. The blade takes a beating. If it’s metal, hammer out the bents. If it’s plastic, use a utility knife to carve off the burr that forms on the end.
  • Stretch when you’re done. An ice pack and ibuprofen will provide relief, too.

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