Reynaud’s syndrome is one of the side effects of several chronic illnesses. Planting bulbs in the fall is somewhat difficult with Reynaud’s. For those who don’t know what Reynaud’s is, it’s a condition where your extremities lose circulation when cold. The impact it has on the fingertips can stop you cold in the fall. It’s amazing how much this seemingly insignificant issue changes the way you garden in the colder months. What can you do? How can you plant bulbs in colder weather without having a Reynaud’s syndrome flare?
A contradictory issue
Pushing fall onion bulbs into the cold soil can cause Reynaud’s to rear it’s ugly head. Unfortunately, some Reynauds sufferers have Lupus. They must garden early in the morning before the sun gets intense. The soil is quite cold in the morning. It’s simply not a good time to plant bulbs with Reynaud’s if you rely on the old method of pushing bulbs into the soil with your finger.
What’s the big deal?
It may seem silly to worry about your index finger becoming cold, numb and yellow from loss of circulation. After all, there are much bigger problems going on in the world. The truth is, if you’re not careful, you could lose your fingers. Low circulation from Reynaud’s is the same issue smokers have. It’s why they often have their fingers amputated. So, having numb fingers in the garden is actually quite a serious problem.
What can be done about Reynaud’s while planting bulbs?
Gloves are one solution.
Most gardeners relish the feel of the soil in their hands. Plus, wearing gloves sacrifices the sensory perception you get by gardening with bare hands. Still, you should wear gloves for other protective reasons. What if you absolutely can’t stand to wear gardening gloves?
A solution that works
Instead of using your finger to push bulbs into the soil, use a tool. You can buy a bulb planting tool, of course. That way your fingers won’t have to go into the cold ground in order to plant your bulbs. What if you don’t have a bulb planting tool? You can use a screwdriver, an ice pick or even a pencil to push bulbs into the soil. Simply lay the bulbs out where you wish to plant them, wrap a piece of tape around your tool of choice as a depth marker and push those bulbs into the soil. Problem solved!
Portions of this article were originally published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.