Spreading mulch. Watering seedlings. Harvesting tomatoes. Raking leaves. Cutting back perennials. For all of these and most other garden tasks, you start or finish by pushing a cart or carrying a bucket, tub, or basket from one place to another, back and forth, again and again. Transporting materials (and moving your tools around too) is part of the routine of gardening.
Remember this basic principle Bigger loads mean fewer trips. To save steps and time, move as much as you can on each pass. But don't strain yourself. Work the smart way by choosing suitable equipment.
Use Wheels to Support the Weight
It's much easier to transport a heavy load by putting it into a cart of wagon that you can push or pull along than by carrying it in your arms.
How many wheels? A wheelbarrow with one wheel is more maneuverable but also more tippy than a two-wheel cart and requires more strength. Two-wheel carets, like the one shown above or a smaller models, are remarkably easy to lift and push if you balance the load right over the heels. You can literally lift the handle with one finger and even a fully loaded cart glides right along over flat ground (it's work to go uphill, though). Four-wheeled wagons like the ones children use are stable but don't hold as much, and the sides are too low to support a batch of loose material such as wood chips.
What size wheels? The bigger the wheels, the easier it is to push or pull a cart or wagon across rough, irregular, rocky, wet, or soft ground. Small-diameter wheels only work well on smooth lawns, firm paths, or seamless pavement.
Sometimes it is more convenient to just puck up and carry a load rather than putting it in a cart. Often you improvise and grab whatever is handy, but if you do much carrying, pay attention to a container's weight and handles.
Avoid excess weight. A heavy container just adds to the load. Baskets offer a unique combination of lightness and strength. Some plastic containers are nice and light, others unnecessarily weighty. Sometimes the ideal container is a cardboard box, a plastic bag, or a tarp.
Avoid skinny handles. A wire bail or other handle that's too think or small cuts into you hand or arm. Wide, thick, or padded handles feel much better, They spread out the weight, reduce strain, and prevent soreness.