Bob Vila Radio: Wheelbarrows

This is a busy time of year in the garden, what with planting and mulching, weeding and feeding. All that heavy lifting is why many gardeners invest in a wheelbarrow or a garden cart, either of which can make hauling a little easier on your back.


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Listen to BOB VILA ON WHEELBARROWS or read the text below:

A typical wheelbarrow has a single wheel in front and two handles in the back. That design makes them nimble and easy to handle, at least when they’re empty. Once they’re loaded up with soil or plants, though, they can be surprisingly heavy. Although it may seem efficient to choose a wheelbarrow that can hold up to 250 pounds, it’s no use if you can’t budge it once it’s filled.

Start by looking for a wheelbarrow with handles about the same width as your shoulders. Handles farther apart than that will be awkward to maneuver. If you see a wheelbarrow you like, give it a test run right in the store before you buy it. Put several bags of top soil in it and try to push it around the aisles. If it’s tough to navigate on a smooth floor, think how hard it will be on uneven surfaces. Look for a smaller one, or consider a two-wheeled or four-wheeled garden cart or trolley instead.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on outdoor tools, consider:

10 Wheelbarrows to Lighten Your Load
5 Rakes Everyone Homeowner Should Know
Need a New Lawn Mower? 10 Top-Rated Grass Guzzlers