Tuesday Tool: The Tip Bag

Welcome to Tuesday Tools & Tips, a new blog series about ergonomic garden tools and tips for using them. The goal is to make gardening easier on our bodies so we can do it well into our aging years. I’ll post a new tool or tip every other week — I hope you see some new things to try at home, and perhaps you’ll see a few ideas for gift-giving occasions, too.

My first tip has to be my new tip bag! It’s a reusable polypropylene waste bag, and gets its nickname from the British word for "dump," or "tip." After 25 years of gardening on the fertile Skagit flats, we moved to West Seattle two years ago. My wheelbarrow wasn’t stable on the steep clay, ivy-covered hillside of our property, and I couldn't dump directly from it into the high yard waste bin. I tried a bucket, but the capacity was small, which meant more trips to the yard waste bin.

These tip bags slide along with me while gardening and stay open by themselves, often with a removable firm plastic loop at the top, as shown here. The bags come in sizes from very small to as large as a garbage can (great for leaves). My Bosmere 23” diameter is a nice medium size, holds plenty, and is featherweight to lift and tip into the yard waste bin. An alternative to consider would be a large but non-folding Tubtrug in polyethylene.

I hope you find this tip handy and will check back every other week for more ergonomic suggestions to keep you gardening with comfort and ease.

Vivian Mizuta is a native Puget Sounder who grew up with gardening parents. She’s been an occupational therapist and Skagit County master gardener, and loves to try any tool or technique that will make gardening pleasant and easier. She and her husband, along with their Havanese dog Ghilli, have been busy renovating their 1960s garden in West Seattle.