Some of the latest gardening products are aimed at improving your personal comfort and protecting your skin from mosquitoes and ticks.
These men's shoes are engineered for comfort in the garden. The designer considered every practical requirement to protect your feet in the field, including a waterproof steel toe, waterproofed leather and sealed seams set on lug soles that offer a unique design for traction in soft soil and turf. Another handy feature is that the lugs are self-cleaning. Cost: $94.95.
These come in three colors, moss, indigo and slate, and come with the same features as other LawnGrips work shoes, sans steel toe and heel counter. Tested in the garden by landscape professionals, these clogs withstood hills and unstable ground, and they are up to any gardening challenge, from kicking a shovel to pushing a wheelbarrow. Available in women's sizes. Cost: $74.95.
The best way to avoid getting poison ivy is to know what it looks like and avoid touching it. But if you slip up, Cortaid's cloths can help clean off the oil before you start to itch. If you get the poison ivy allergen, called urushiol, on your skin, the severity of the rash will depend on how much contact you have and how long it has to absorb into your skin. Soap is not the best solvent for urushiol, so a box of Poison Ivy Care Toxin Removal Cloths could be handy for emergencies. Box of six: $9.99.
After you take care of yourself, it's time to take care of your garden.
Manufactured by Hydro Industries, it's a surprisingly heavy-duty tool that can deliver the water all gardens need and wind itself back up with the push of a lever when done. The spool holds a 100-foot garden hose. Cost: $49 to $69.
Condition your soil in an innovative way with Mulch Block. It is a compressed block of mulch, using a byproduct of the coconut industry called coir, chipped coconut husk and fiber. The coir is compressed into nine-pound blocks each about the size of a phone book, which it will swell to five times its size. It is a convenient way to haul the mulch, recycle the coir, and enrich, aerate and moisten the soil. It holds 50 percent more moisture than topsoil. Cost: $9.99.
Special to The Washington Post