Gardening, for me, is very therapeutic. If I have a stressful day or I have a lot on my mind, going outside and digging in some dirty, weeding, or pruning really helps me feel balanced…until the summer comes…and then I am filled with summer time RAGE! Does anybody get angry in the heat?! I do! Either that or I am super drained after a couple minutes in the sun.
I had to learn to adapt my gardening routing to beat the harsh heat. I know I am a particular softy because I have such fair skin. Its times like these where I am so jealous of my melanin filled brothers and sisters. Regardless, I had to learn to adapt to the summer time conditions, and I’ve actually found a couple of good tricks that have made me enjoy gardening in the summer season. Keep reading and see the tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way!
Choose the Right Time
Timing is crucial when gardening in summer. Avoid working in the garden during the hottest part of the day, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Instead, opt for early mornings or late afternoons when the sun is less intense, and temperatures are relatively lower. By selecting the right time, you can reduce your exposure to extreme heat and minimize the risk of heat-related illnesses.
Wearing suitable clothing can significantly impact your comfort while gardening in the summer. It may sound counter intuitive, but shorts and a tank top are my least favorite choices for the summer. I’ve found that long sleeves and long pants kept me cooler longer. Choose lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-colored garments made from breathable materials such as cotton. These fabrics allow air circulation and enable sweat to evaporate, which aids in keeping your body cool. Additionally, consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to shield your face and eyes from the sun's direct rays.
One of the most critical aspects of staying cool during hot summer gardening is maintaining proper hydration. As you exert yourself in the garden, you are more likely to sweat, leading to fluid loss. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after gardening to replenish lost fluids. Avoid excessive caffeine or sugary drinks, as they can dehydrate your body further. A reusable water bottle kept nearby while gardening can serve as a constant reminder to stay hydrated.
Take Frequent Breaks
Gardening is physically demanding, and the heat can exacerbate exhaustion. Remember to take regular breaks in shaded areas or indoors, especially during peak sun hours. Use this time to cool down, rest, and rehydrate. Short, frequent breaks not only help you stay cool but also prevent overexertion and fatigue.
Creating shade in your garden can provide relief from the scorching sun. Consider installing temporary shade structures like umbrellas, awnings, or shade cloths. Alternatively, you can strategically plant tall trees or install trellises with climbing plants to offer natural shade. Having a designated shady spot in your garden allows you to take refuge from the sun's intensity when needed.
Use Cooling Accessories
Gardening in hot conditions can be made more bearable with the use of cooling accessories. Keep a small, portable fan nearby to circulate air and create a cooling breeze. You can also use a spray bottle filled with water to mist yourself occasionally, providing instant refreshment. Cooling towels, soaked in cold water and draped around your neck, can help regulate body temperature during gardening sessions. If a neck shammy is something you like and you want to lean harder into that, I go as far as soaking my shirt and hat in water before I get to work. You will feel AMAZING.
Gardening in hot summer conditions can be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience if you take the necessary precautions to keep cool and safe. By following the tips mentioned in this essay, such as gardening during cooler hours, dressing appropriately, staying hydrated, taking breaks, creating shade, using cooling accessories, and gardening smartly, you can enjoy the beauty of your garden without succumbing to the heat. So, gear up with the right tools and knowledge, and let your garden be a place of serenity and relaxation even in the hottest days of summer.