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Left handed or right handed gardeners


By Terry60


I got home last night to find Napoleon’s mum (Terratoonie – her real name is Rosanna!!) weeding her million of pots, so I guiltily felt inspired to start fiddling in my pots and little garden too. As we were nattering our jobs along, I noticed that she was pulling out her baby nettles with her right hand and I was doing the same with my left hand. I have to add that we are both right handed. I then thought about it and realised that I peel away the skins of my blanched tomatoes and onions and pick fiddly pine nuts off the floor with my left hand, whereas I cut the peel off potatoes with my right hand. I am totally incapable of writing a single word with my left hand so I can’t boast being ambidextrous. I then took it a stage further and looked at ladies on the bus this morning and noticed that lots of women wear their bags on different shoulders (I use my left one – cos it simply falls off my right one!) What about you lot , which right handed people do specific gardening jobs with only their left hands, or vice versa ??

ooohh idle thoughts for idle minds …..

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I dig left handed. When I hold a spade I have my left hand lower on the handle than my right hand, and I push the spade into the ground with my left foot.
My father always told me I was doing it the wrong way round. He'd push it in with his right foot and hold it with his left hand higher up the handle than his right hand.
He always said his grandfather did it the same way as me so I'm wondering if it is a hereditary thing.

I always pour from a jug or bottle and drink from a cup with my left hand and my friend keeps telling me that all the jugs in my house are the wrong way round. Of course they're the right way for me to pick them up with my left hand.

And I pour from a watering can with my left hand. I pull up weeds with my left hand aswell. but I write with my right hand. I wonder if I was tought to do that in school by a teacher who thought everyone should be right handed. ?

10 Oct, 2008


Fascinating blog.
When I'm using a paint brush on fences and sheds, I've taught myself to switch hands after a while so that one arm doesn't get tired. But I always paint the intricate bits with my right hand, and I'm definitely right-handed.

The traditional way to train a dog to walk at heel is to hold the lead in your right hand with your dog on the left side of you. This habit, which often leaves your left hand free, does encourage you to use your left hand more for other tasks.

I wonder if anyone owns left-handed garden tools ? :o)

10 Oct, 2008


I agree with both of you so perhaps, Hywell and Terratoonie these thoughts of mine aren't as idle as I'd thought. I was wondering about what Hywel was saying re being forced to use our right hands at school to write with - but surely that doesn't explain why we do involuntary actions when we have a choice of either hand. Actions like going down steps - which foot goes first? I could never go down starting with my other foot .... or like I said putting my shoulder bag on my right shgoulder, it just slips off - I even always use my left ear when on the phone and yet I hear perfectly well in both ears - it somehiw feels wrong..... I know it has something to do with left/right sides of our brains and is linked to coordination (hence problems people encounter with undetected cases dyslexia and dyspraxia -like my nephew who has both)

Do confirmed left handed people interchange hands like we right handers and ever use their right hands for certain tasks?

Another point comes to mind Terratoonie - I wonder if animals are the same and start walking with a particualr paw first ??? Have you ever noticed this sort of thing when you train your little friends???

11 Oct, 2008


This weekend when my dogs practise their tricks, I'll take more notice of which paws they favour! Conker has a toy piano, so I'll watch which paw he uses first. Bonsai hasn't been too well this past week, but if he wants to have a go at his drums etc I'll watch which foot he favours!

Conker has been taught to offer left and right paws on command, but I'm sure most dogs favour one foot, if given the choice.

Conker presses a large 'light-switch' to turn on Xmas tree lights, etc. For this, he uses his right paw, but I'm not sure if he does this through training or preference.

When supervising canine obedience classes, I teach a handler to go forward starting with his/her left leg when the dog is to walk at heel. But if wishing the dog to stay put, start off with the right leg. So some habits are learnt.

I've always held a phone to my left ear because I need my right hand free for writing. I guess it is the reverse for left-handed people? Now it feels wrong to listen to the phone with my right ear, but is that just habit?

If I dig with a trowel I prefer my right hand, but could this be partly because my right arm is stronger because it has been used more?

I'll try to see if Crocus my budgie has any left or right preferences. In Bonker's parrot photo, Mary, is holding the food in her left claw. I wonder if she always chooses to stand on the right foot and hold with the left ?

I'll observe my pets and report back. You've raised some interesting points. Not idle thoughts at all.

11 Oct, 2008


Now you've mentioned it Terry I always put the phone to my left ear and I always use my left foot first to go down steps. I always kick a ball with my left foot aswell - perhaps that's why I 've never been any good at sports and ended up hating it. I could never hit a tennis ball or cricket ball and it was probably because I was told to hold the bat in the right hand. If I'm using a screw driver I can use either hand. - I keep thinking of things now lol

11 Oct, 2008


Well, I definitely dig planting holes with the trowel/dibber in my right hand, but always place plants with my left. I dig in forks/spades, etc using my left foot, but always firm in soil with my right (yes, it makes you think, doesn't it?)
Nice one, Terry.

11 Oct, 2008


As promised, today, when I did trick practice with my dogs, I took note of lefts and rights.

When Conker the Sheltie comes forward after a 'stay', he definitely moves forward with his right foot.

When he played his piano, he started with both feet at the same time, before using alternate paws. But maybe that's what the composer wrote for that particular tune. Conker didn't show me his sheet music beforehand. :o)

Bonsai is my senior citizen Welsh Terrier. He has been a bit unwell all week. He's getting to be an older boy now. I decided that a few tricks would cheer him up. He did his praying trick - one of his favourites - and wagged his tail for the first time in several days. :o)

My joy at this burst of enthusiasm resulted in my totally forgetting about lefts and rights. I hope you think that's the best possible excuse ! I'm hoping he'll perk up even more over coming days. :o)

11 Oct, 2008


As you all know, left or right hand use is due to brain hemisphere predominance.
The same hemisphere predominance that leads individuals to be or mathematicians or sociologists, the logical geometric or algebraic interpretation.
Where we use one or other hand to perform the chores its related with the psychomotor hability, those ones which need a fine psychomotor hability will be done by the predominat hand.
Again is the brain who establish which work will need a fine or gross psychomotor hability.
And, actually, we just think about it when, for some reason, we cant use one or another hand... then we will find out its absolutelly impossible to brush our teeth with the right hand, even when we are right handed!!! :o)

11 Oct, 2008


But I use my right hand to brush my teeth.....oh, wait a this a trick ? Of course I don't, I use a toothbrush. Right? Seriously, I'm thinking a lot about what you've said here. I use my (definitely) predominant right hand to delve planting holes. but always lower the plants in with my left hand. I'd have thought that digging was a grosser act than the delicate planting of fragile plants/seedlings. Perhaps I'd better not think too hard about this, but it is really interesting.

11 Oct, 2008


Oh Terratoonie, I'm so glad Bonsai is feeling better - I know exactly what you mean about our bursts of joy when we see they're getting better - We've had bad problems with little Rosie and her horrendous allergies and old Jove with his hepatitis and like you say it's a wonderful feeling when you see an improvement....

Being here and seeing so many strays, I get quite upset when I see that some of them are in desparate need of care and attention - I try to feed as many as I can but there is no way that I can afford to medically cure them all ... . It's criminal the way these cats and dogs are inhumanely abondoned by some "humans" .

Anyway thanks everybody for all your comments - -

12 Oct, 2008


Terry60 ~
Thanks for your thoughts. I've been so worried this week.
Each night I checked on my terrier in the early hours, and made cups of tea, and switched on to GoY. That time of night there are photos coming in from other parts of the globe.

Bonsai seems to have perked up somewhat. About 18 months ago had major life-saving surgery, which gave him a complete new lease of life. I feel privileged to still have him. The vets were brilliant.

You're obviously doing your best for little Rosie and lovely Jove. It must be heartbreaking seeing the strays in need.

I've been trying to observe if my budgie has a right or left preference with his feet. Every time I watch, he just gives me a mischievous look, and uses his beak instead. :o)

12 Oct, 2008


We desperately wanted to home a dog from a rescue centre, but not a single one here was suitable for children, which was a shame, as we have always obtained our beloved pets from such places.

You are fantastic, Terry and TT!

On the left/right topic, my daughter is the only family member who is left-handed. I watched especially closely today at football practice (yes, she's a real tomboy!), and noticed that every kick was with the left foot, every drink of water was in the left hand, every celebratory wave/hug was with the left arm, and so on. Incidentally, her handwriting is by far the loveliest in our household.

12 Oct, 2008


At pet rescue centres,the first dogs to be homed are always the smallish dogs which mix easily with a young family. Sadly the large (often black !) dogs are much harder to place.

You did the right thing to find a dog suitable for your children.
Border Terrier is a great choice. Looking forward to further photos.

Interesting your observations on a left-handed daughter.
Some years ago, my mother noticed the disproportionate number of counter staff in Post Offices and banks who seem to be left-handed. Maybe just a coincidence, but whenever I bought stamps or paid in a cheque, I found she was correct!

13 Oct, 2008


Terratoonie I didn't know Bonsai had been unwell but I'm glad he's feeling better now.

13 Oct, 2008


Thanks, so much, Hywel.
Bonsai is getting on in years, and I've got to realise that.
He does seem a lot better this week. :o)

13 Oct, 2008


In the same way as there are left- and right-handed people, there are left- and right- footed people. Most people are right-handed and right-footed but I am left-handed and right-footed. Left-footers are less common (there are often a shortage of lefty players to choose from for the England football team).
I learnt to use scissors with my right hand because, growing up, there were only right-handed scissors. But I have a pair of left-handed secateurs. I dig right-footed but hold a trowel in my left hand.
Oh, and I'm left-eyed (my left eye is bigger than my right one)

13 Oct, 2008


You ought to see left-handed surgeons at work, as I do. Now, that is really interesting!

13 Oct, 2008


unfortunately, I now do everything with my right hand after fracturing my left collarbone.!

No sympathy, please, I don't deserve it......I did it whilst playing on a bouncy castle.

23 Oct, 2008


I wonder if the surgeons use their left hands because they broke their right collar bones on bouncy castles. :o)

23 Oct, 2008


How on earth Crystaltips can you break your collarbone on a bouncy castle??? I thought they were bouncy so as NOT to break bones !!!!!

23 Oct, 2008


Sounds like Crystaltips bounced OFF the castle. :o)

23 Oct, 2008


I think you could have a very valid point there TT!!

23 Oct, 2008


Well, surgeons often think that they are "Lords of the Manor" if not mere "Gods", higher than the rest of us! That's it! I may never bounce on my kids' trampolene again. It may be safer to try a bungee jump! I'll get those overhead garden pics, somehow.

24 Oct, 2008


David ~
Your safest way for overhead garden pictures could be to mix your themes. With your own very special Truly Scumptious and the children, jump 'toot sweet' into Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and take those aerial photos. :o)

24 Oct, 2008

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