Tuesday, July 24th, 2012...8:05 pm

Staying Cool in the Garden

Beat the Heat by EJP Photo

The National Climatic Data Center reports that the US is experiencing the worst drought since 1956. Parts of the world are experiencing flooding. What does this extreme weather mean for gardeners? It is difficult to know.
But the most important piece of advice is to take care of the gardener first.

If you are in an area where there is flooding, there is nothing you can do to protect your garden until the water recedes. Save your family, yourself and your animals.  You can worry about the garden when things get back to normal.

If it is sunny and hot, you may be able to save something in your garden.  But remember to take care of the gardener (yourself) first. If you do go out in the garden, be sure to carry ample water for your own needs. It is often advised on the labels of hoses NOT to drink from them as you water your plants. Your garden hose may be hazardous to your health. Many hoses are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which uses lead as a stabilizer.  So have a bottle of water with you when you are outdoors, so you can drink safely.

Wear good sunglasses to protect your eyes. Many years ago, I was told by a top eye specialist that brown sunglasses lenses were the best protection against macular degeneration. Whether this still holds true, I do not know, but I continue to buy brown lenses when I get my sunglasses as well as look for high UV protection. For more on sunglasses, check out this.

  the gardener by NapaneeGal

Wear a good hat. Some hats and clothing have sun protection built into the material for added protection. One company that I like that sells sun protective clothes is Sun Precautions.  And no, TheGardenLady does not know them nor advertise for them. I wish I did. I love their concept. I discovered their site for a friend who was going to Australia.

The Skin Cancer Foundations says, “Clothing is the single most effective form of sun protection. It is our first line of defense against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.Nearly 3.7 million skin cancers are diagnosed in the US annually, and the vast majority of them are caused by solar UV radiation (UVR). UVR also causes up to 90 percent of the visible changes commonly attributed to aging, such as wrinkles, brown spots, and sagging skin. Fortunately, clothing can absorb or block much of this radiation.”

There are sweat bands to wear around your forehead or neck or wet bands that you soak  in water, to wear around your forehead or neck to cool you as the water evaporates.  You can make these bands yourself. (see here) There are even cooling clothes like cooling vests, if you want to stay outdoors for longer periods of time. (see here)

Good luck in your summer garden.

Related Content:

Leave a Reply