Here are some things to remember as this year’s growing season begins:

•Gently stretch every muscle and body part you can think of before you go out for a day of lifting, bending, digging and planting.

•Get a tetanus booster shot if it’s been more than 10 years since your last one. Tetanus bacteria can enter the body through a puncture wound or even a little scratch. Tetanus bacteria are found everywhere in the environment – in soil, street dust and animal feces. Immunization is very important. Tetanus is an extremely painful and often fatal disease.

•When growing food in plastic containers, choose those labeled 1, 2, 4 or 5. Avoid 3, 6, and 7, which can break down and leach chemicals into your food. Better yet, use clay, ceramic or metal pots for food crops.

•Don’t use treated lumber for edging or raised beds in which food crops are grown. Instead, edge beds with untreated lumber, rocks, cinder blocks or logs.

•Don’t walk on the soil while it is soggy. You will compact it, squeezing out air and water spaces between soil particles, permanently destroying its structure.

•Wait to plant until the soil dries…