We need the heat of summer in order to make our gardens grow well, but the sun can also make gardening very difficult. There are ways that we can manage the heat when we are in the garden in order to stay safe and happy. If you are anywhere like I am right now, it is so hot that going out in the middle of the day to work in my garden just isn’t possible
We have to find ways to manage the summer heat in order to keep our gardens flourishing and healthy, since they too need extra care on hot summer days.
Read below for the easiest ways to keep cool during the hot summer days.
Remember, if it is too hot, it is always best to find a cool space under shelter for yourself instead of risking being out in the sun. Your garden will survive!
This seems like common sense, but make sure you keep yourself hydrated, mainly with cool water. Make sure you are drinking water throughout the day before, during and after working in the garden. You should avoid alcohol as it is dehydrating, but you might want to grab a juice or electrolyte drink if you are sweating in the garden.
Staying hydrated is the best way to survive a hot day in the garden. Dehydration can make you feel fatigued, dizzy and weak. All of these things will keep you out of the garden so do your best to prevent it by drinking cool water regularly through the day.
When you wake up in the morning, before you go outside, make sure you apply sunscreen to your body and face. Ideally, you will apply this 30 minutes before you venture out into the sunshine to work. If you find that you are sweating, you should reapply sunscreen throughout the day.
In addition to using sunscreen, you can wear a hat in the garden to help shade yourself. Find a hat with a wide brim, or a flap of fabric that covers your neck for additional protection. If the sun is especially bright and hot, you could also consider putting up an umbrella to provide shade for yourself while you work in the sun.
Time it right
Make sure you plan your day so that you can work in the garden first thing in the morning, or later in the evening when the suns rays aren’t so hot. You want to avoid being out in the sun from 11am to 2pm in most places. My favorite time to work in the garden is first thing in the morning! Typically the mosquitoes aren’t as bad in the morning in my location and my garden is in the shade until about 930 in the morning, You can watch your garden space to find out what time it receives shade, and work outside during that time period as well.
Other tips to stay cool
You have kept yourself hydrated, used sunscreen, and planned your day so that you are outside during the coolest hours. You are well on the way to managing the sun! Some other things that you can do are
- Take breaks! It is okay to slow down and do less strenuous tasks on a hot day. You don’t have anything to prove by being out in the sun and working as hard as possible.
- Go back inside. Some days just aren’t meant for gardening! If you go outside and immediately feel overwhelmed by the heat, you should listen to your body and go back inside to enjoy a cool drink and save the weeding for another day.
- Use a cool cloth on your head or the back of your neck. For better results, keep some cool cloths in the fridge or freezer and pull one out to use while you are outside. You can also soak your hat in cold water and wear it for a while to help cool down.
There are many serious problems that can occur by staying out in the heat for too long. Heat stress, heat exhaustion and heat stroke should all be taken seriously! Heat stroke can potentially be fatal, the sun isn’t something to be messed around with. Check out this page from the CDC that lists heat stress related illnesses and their symptoms.
Are you looking for more tips for working in the garden? Check out my post on the best tips for beginner gardeners.
Let me know down below how you stay cool in the garden!