Spring chores

Do you have a chore list this time of year? I started mine yesterday.

When I was a kid, I played Pick-up Sticks, and every time I’m out there doing this chore, I smile thinking about all those games. I don’t smile at all the bending over required to clear five months of sticks on the ground so I call upon one of my favorite tools.

Today, it is called a reacher or grabber. I have two, and they’re both over twenty years old and are made of wood. They were my Mom’s. I can pick up sticks and branches from a standing position which means no sore back which is a good thing.

Tomorrow, I’ll pull my truck around so I can take them to the recycling center.

If I have time, I’m going to gather a few bags of leaves too. I have one spot near a fence where the leaves are 3′ high and it will require multiple attempts and bags.

I also dug out the 100+ plants for the Master Gardener plant sale so they could get some sun and potentially thaw and start to perk up. The ground was frozen solid about 5″ down.

No beautiful photos available here in my gardens. But, my friend, Sue, and I did go to the UNH Greenhouse Open House. What a wonderful breath of spring.

I love these tall double-decker pots. They used black pvc pipes, but I’m thinking plumbing pipe might be stronger. I’ve never seen snapdragons in a planter, but they definitely add some flair.

This Monday started with the power company having an equipment failure at 5:15 a.m. We just got power back on so I’m just having my first cup of coffee at 8:45 a.m. – that alone could set this entire Monday off kilter. πŸ™‚

Hope you have a GREAT second week of April, and you have both sunshine and power. πŸ™‚

I can’t find my wooden grabbers on line for sale, but I did find a photo.

About Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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68 Responses to Spring chores

  1. Thanks for the wonderful breath of spring. Snowing right now in Maine, and the the prediction for our area is six inches. Also, like the idea of the grabber. That might be on our list one of these days. Living in the woods, we have lots of sticks in our yard come spring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A friend lives in Presque Isle and I saw their forecast. I hope Little Green is still handy. Mother Nature needs to realize it ‘should’ be spring in Maine too. πŸ™‚ When one lives in heavily treed areas like we both do and you add the aging process into the mix, a grabber makes all the difference. I can fill my pickup with downed sticks and branches and live to work the next day. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  2. pastpeter says:

    Take care of yourself as you start your chores! One bad back can ruin a whole summer. A grabber is a must for anyone above a certain age! Friend of mine can’t move one shoulder after pruning bushes and shrubs…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dan Antion says:

    “Tomorrow, I’ll pull my truck around so I can take them to the recycling center.” You must really love being able to say that, Judy πŸ™‚

    I’m glad you got the electricity back before it turned Monday against you. We’ve been working some spring chores, but not in earnest, yet. I did finally get the snow stakes out of the ground.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Almost Iowa says:

    Yesterday was the first day the ground was solid enough to walk in the garden. Still it was moist enough to pull the sunflower stalks out of the ground and pull up the stakes and cages. We were too busy with harvest last year to do this in the fall.

    The weather is lovely today – but they are talking a half foot of snow for Wednesday…. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joyce says:

    You gave me a GREAT idea for grandpa’s Easter basket! He could use one of those “grabbers!” With all the brutal ice and wind storms we had, our wooded lot is littered with branches – and “you-know-who” is out there every day complaining about bending over to pick ’em up! (Oh, and dog poop, too! Forgot about that!) We’re the same age as you guys so I don’t need to add further details on the discomfort! So, where would I find one of those tools? Lowe’s?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Google grabbers and a bunch will come up including Lowes. My suggestion would be to try one and make sure it works well on the ground and not just up in a cupboard which is what they were intended for. (The ones I have are wooden, but I can’t find them on line anywhere.) And, if I’m going to do it for an extended period of time, I make sure I have some heavier gloves on, and then my hand doesn’t hurt either. For dog poop, does he have one of those little rakes and pan contraptions where you kind of sweep it into the pan and dump it? I use to have one of those and there was no bending involved either. Tools – as we age we need tools, and there’s nothing wrong with that. πŸ™‚


    • I found a photo of my wooden grabbers on line and added it to the bottom of the post. πŸ™‚


      • Joyce M Gillis says:

        Thank you for the tips! I did look on Amazon and since there are so many to chose from decided to look locally – Family Farm and Home might have them too! And if I can’t decide, I’ll just drag him out on a “Mystery Shopping Trip” and have him pick out his own – including a dog poop scooper gizmo!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Murphy's Law says:

    Well, we have power but no sunshine. One out of two ain’t bad!

    Oh! Those flowers/arrangements are just gorgeous. I want one of everything. Hmmmm, grabbers. I’m gonna check those out. Sounds like you’re “full speed ahead” with spring cleanup. So happy to see a few plants starting to peek out here. I thought I lost them, but all is well!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You sound to have been very busy, Judy. I think your pick up sticks contraption sounds like a great invention. πŸ™‚ Beautiful photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nancy says:

    I want those grabbers for when we head back to Pennsylvania!

    I loved seeing all the spring beauty… and the double deckers were my favorite too!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Eliza Waters says:

    I admire your grabbers! There are so many sticks in our yard this spring due to high winds in Feb/Mar., plus the dead tree that came down seemed to have burst into a thousand pieces! I think we’ll try raking them into piles first as they carpet the ground.
    The garden show must have got you excited about the growing season to come. I’m ready to get cracking!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your garden is going to be gorgeous! I had big plans for planting some things in my garden this weekend . After I sprained my ankle Friday evening my new plants are still waiting to be planted. Bummer!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Marilyn Maxwell says:

    I bagged leaves last week. I still have more to do. Can’t wait for the spring flowers to bloom. Our weather has been fairly mild with sun so blooming may happen soon. Makes me happy. I received a pollen alert today It is high. This is not good news for me. Continue to enjoy spring.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Karen says:

    I won’t talk about the weather here in Florida…everyone knows it is usually nice this time of the year. I always enjoyed the UNH Greenhouse Open House…especially the one year they had special little pumpkins growing in hanging pantyhose…their roasted seeds were delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Donna says:

    Glad you’re able to work in your yard. We still have a lot of snow and new snow on the ground today. Enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ally Bean says:

    I’m living off a to-do list right now that is all about Spring. No time for self-care or dawdling over a book this time of year. One chance to get everything set up outside, then the rest of summer and fall to enjoy it. Your photos are lovely.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Those grabbers sound like they’re worth their weight in gold just for saving the backache!

    Oh, that garden is lovely. I love the tiered pot with a mix of flowers and plants. I tried filling a pot like that once. It didn’t work out so well for the ivy, flowers, or say anything great about my gardening skill either sadly.

    He-Man weeded yesterday, but there’s still more to do and I’ve been inside packing.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. We have chore lists all year through and love crossing off completed tasks! I love lists!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Relax... says:

    Lovely photos! Our chore list for outside actually requires no jotting down — it’s painfully obvious! Things are starting to bud and grow, though, so I really can’t beef. It did seem that a LOT of limbs came down this winter, though! We’ve picked up the big ones and some of the mediums. Husband can’t wait to get his flower (and herb) boxes going! Squirrels are looking forward to that, too, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. treadway says:

    I think a trip to a greenhouse might do me good…may try that in the near future….sure like what you seen!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. With all the rain we had over the winter, my big gardening duty lately is weeding. When I think I have found all those little stinkers, a few days later more pop up. But, with all the plants looking so happy in my yard, I don’t mind… too much. Happy spring, Judy!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Love the shots of the open house, Judy. I started with day with a two-hour walk in the park, complete with Nikon as well as phone. Later I spent two hours cleaning up part of the yard because garbage and lawn waste pickup is tomorrow. I have to work Tuesday-Friday, so I won’t get much chance to finish up, but I hope to get the rest in order before next Tuesday morning pickup. πŸ™‚


    Liked by 2 people

  21. germac4 says:

    Those flower arrangements are wonderful. My Mum always put snapdragons in vases with others, they are such happy kind of flowers to me. What a good idea to have the clipper invention…no more ”pick up sticks” for you! My gardening knees are my problem, but I’ll get some knee pads soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I use a Tractor Scoot from gardeners.com which is a tractor seat on four wheels that you can scoot around with, and you can even raise and lower the seat. I sit on that instead of kneeling. There’s also a place for a bucket to put things in and a place under the seat for tools. If you want to garden as you age, tools play a part in the equation that’s for sure. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Oddment says:

    How timely! I read this yesterday but didn’t have time to respond because I had an appointment with the rheumatologist! I rewarded myself afterwards with a trip to a nearby nursery and nabbed a bright green Italian parsley; it’s way too early to plant it here, but I can look at it! Your photos of the greenhouse are inspiring. I’ve read that this is the year of the snapdragon, so that idea of snapdragons in planters seems quite fitting. I just may have to try that! I love snapdragons.

    As to your grabbers, I think they are brilliant of themselves, but even better that they were your mother’s tools. I can’t help contrasting your loss of power with the dependability of the old things. Speaking only for myself, of course, I would say that waiting that long for morning coffee is not the way to inner peace.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The first thing I do every morning is make coffee so it was painful yesterday. πŸ™‚ It is the year of the snapdragon, and I’d never seen any used in planters before. I love their boldness and kind of a ‘hey, look at me’ signal. I’m going to have to try some. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  23. KerryCan says:

    Oh, the chores . . . so many chores! It’s been pretty rainy and raw here so we haven’t really started anything outside but there’s SO much to do! Like all the others, the grabbers seem to me to be the answer to a prayer. Let’s cast our thoughts ahead a month or so and focus on the emerging beauty . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  24. carterwild says:

    Such a special time of year!my granny uses a similar grabber for the carpark ticket machine because she’s too small to reach out her car windowπŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Neverending, wouldn’t have it otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Oddment says:

    I forgot to tell you my secret to living with to-do lists: I always include chores I just finished! That way I start out with some things crossed off! Brilliant, eh? I learned to do that while I was caregiver; I realized I was never giving myself credit for what I’d already done but only saw all there was to do, so I included JUST-DONEs with the TO-DOs. Yes, there were always 1000 TO-DOs to every JUST-DONE, but that was irrelevant.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Spring only just arrived in Vermont so we’ve been raking out the garden beds and prepping for spring planting!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Annie says:

    I’ve given many a grabber as gag gifts but one gift never got delivered. OMG! I use it regularly!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. joey says:

    Yes, we do. We have barely begun. The kids are very good at pick-up sticks, so my back can spend time pruning shrubs πŸ™‚
    Love the double decker pots – so cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. mitzybricker says:

    How fun to think of Pick-up-sticks! πŸ™‚ Yes, my spring work comes in full measure—-weeding flower beds, planting vegetable garden, grooming horses! Oh my!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  31. tonytomeo says:

    Gads! I have not finished the list from last season! Winter is very busy for us as we try to get all the pruning done. There are actually less chores in spring, but there is less time for them because the irrigation starts.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I’m going to find some grabbers of my own!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I’m all for a tool that makes gardening easier. I wish someone would invent a weeding tool that worked like magic.

    Liked by 1 person

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