Beat the Heat

Hello Gardening Friends!!!

So it is pretty hot out there and I thought it would be nice to share some tips on how we can best serve our gardens in the extreme heat.  I found a great source of information and instead of me summarizing it all I figured I would just allow you to hit the link and enjoy this informative article.

I will say the article link above is about helping your garden stay viable during extreme heat; but I would like to give some suggestions for you the gardener in these high temperatures and humidity.

Please please be careful while gardening whether you like it or not it is important to take good care of yourself while working outdoors.

Here are some tips:

  • Do your heaviest work early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Think “siesta time”and take a break between 11 to 2; sit in the shade, relax and enjoy your garden, do some birdwatching and let the weeding go till after the sun goes down when it could be much cooler.
  • Go slow and take quite a few breaks.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink plenty of cool water before, during and after working outdoors. And once you realize you are thirsty it is too late you are already dehydrated.  No cocktails until the work is done LOL, alcohol dehydrates you even more.
  • Use sunscreen! Remember to reapply after sweating.
  • Use a hat that covers and shades your face, ears and neck and wear light colored clothing it helps to reflect the sun.
  • Purchase a cooling tie if you are into gardening gadgets or just wet a bandana or old towel and wrap that around your neck to keep cool.

I don’t know about you but I am like the energize bunny and I tend to just keep pushing myself until I’m done what I set out to do in the garden for that day, but be careful doing this in extreme heat and humidity.

If the temperature plus the humidity added together equals over 160 you need to stop and definitely go inside to recover.  Also if your pet is gardening with you remember they have fur and do not sweat to cool themselves like we do, so their number is when the two values equal over 150.  For example if it is 80 degrees outside and the humidity is 90% add the two together and the result is 170 both you and your pooch need to run for cover! Heat induced deaths are more prevalent than natural disaster tragedies so take this seriously and avoid heat stroke or a fatality. Yes it would be nice to die in your beautiful garden but not like that!

If you experience muscle cramps, fatigue, headache, nausea, dizziness, heavy sweating or pale and flushed skin you are heading towards a serious issue so pay attention to your body it will definitely tell you when enough is enough. The symptoms above are for heat stress and heat exhaustion. When you stop sweating and are vomiting, your temperature is over 104, heart is racing and beating rapid, your breathing is shallow your are approaching a heat stroke and therefore seek medical attention immediately! Heat strokes can cause permenant and serious damage to your body so listen to it and be smart when you garden in the heat.

Ok now that you have been scared have to death; just remember your garden can not be taken care of if you dont take care of YOU in order to do so.  So garden when it is cool and garden with caution on these truly blazing summer days now and throughout the season.

Till next time, get out there and get dirty in the garden but stay cool and smart about it!


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