Time in the garden is often time in the sun. And if you are not prepared for the heat, it will kick your prey!
The seasoned gardeners out there are probably nodding to me, but for those who are groundbreaking for the first time on their backyard, garden, or allotment, this could be news for you.
Isn’t it a refreshing break from the uninterrupted noise of the world to spend time outdoors?
It is save! But, man, is it getting hot?
And many hours of reworking your flowers and vegetables without protection can make you susceptible to sunburn – and its harmful effects on your skin.
Knowing how to beat the heat and protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun is a key component to enjoying time in the garden – and not giving up when sweat starts to drip.
Read on to see what the heat is all about and to gain important knowledge about the safety of the sun.
So 1, gardener 0
Years ago I hired someone who was new to the garden world.
I asked if she was up to the challenge of spending time in the heat and she replied rather smugly that she was loved Spend time on the beach in the sun so she’s fine.
At the end of her first day, she was withered in the desert like a water lily.
Unfortunately, this is a story that I have seen so many times that it somehow becomes funny.
I’ll bet with my colleagues and guess when the new person will start cracking for the first time in the intensity of a summer in Philadelphia, and we’ll all get a laugh when they finally admit it was them not correct about the heat.
Aside from anecdotes, you can be sure that the sun and the heat will Overcome yourself if you are not prepared. Fortunately, we have our practical guide that you can read and learn from!
With these tips you are prepared for everything summer has in store for you.
The basics of sun and heat protection
In contrast to almost everything else in the garden world, it is an easy procedure to find out how you can offer adequate sun and heat protection.
If you are concerned with the sun, you need to tick a few boxes to make sure you are prepared:
1. Do you have to be in the sun at all?
The easiest thing to check off this list is: Do you have to be in the sun at all?
In the hot summer months, it’s important to find a shady place where you can work to spend a long day in the garden.
If you can totally get out of the sun Protection of some tall shade treesYou have got off to a good start!
If you work strategically in your garden and follow the shade, you should also consider which areas of the garden get the most or the least sun.
You will know every corner of your garden in no time and maybe even discover areas that you thought were Locations with full sun are indeed in the shade for part of the day.
Also consider the option to stay away from the sun for around ten to two hours when the sun is at its strongest.
I am out of work from seven in the morning to five in the evening, so I have no choice in this matter. but you do.
The savvy gardener does his watering in the morning and the rest of his work in the evening. By default, if you follow this pattern, you will be outside at the most pleasant times of the day when the sun is not directly above you.
2. Stay hydrated
A good hydration is essential when it comes to sun and heat protection.
Although we’re generally supposed to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (a total of 64 ounces), you’ll likely need more than that when you’re out in the heat.
At lunchtime, I routinely walk through 64 ounces of water.
Drink a lot during the day and don’t be afraid to nibble on pretzels or other salty snacks. A little bit of sodium is necessary for our body to keep our electrolytes in balance with all the water we drink. A light snack is not a bad thing.
3. Wear physical protection
If you can’t work in the shade of tall trees, you need to figure out how to build or create a physical barrier between you and the harmful rays of the sun.
From Umbrellas With long-sleeved shirts and pants, with a good, old-fashioned floppy garden hat, physical barriers keep the sun away from your skin and prevent you from overheating.
Hats: Put a lid on them
Baseball caps are great in their own way, but nothing beats the function and style of a wide-brimmed hat.
I am a fan of straw hats because they are so light and airy, but a good quality sun hat is a worthwhile investment.
Look for a hat with a brim that is at least 3 inches wide. Four inches is even better.
Your goal is to keep the sun away from your face, neck and other areas that can be covered. A wide brim therefore offers a simple solution.
Wearing a baseball hat style is fine, but consider wrapping a headscarf around the neck so the sun doesn’t hit it directly.
Some hats contain a desert-style scarf that goes over the neck and serves as a shade cover. I’m not a fan of this style myself, but a lot of people are just because it works so well!
I like buying a new version of my favorite straw hat every summer, and I always get the most out of the few dollars I spend on it.
On the hottest days, I will also put a headscarf over my neck to provide additional protection from these rays.
Long sleeve? Yes, long sleeves!
The combination of a thin and loose long-sleeved shirt made of breathable material with light, breathable pants can make a big difference in the heat.
Not just the sun harmful and possibly dangerous to your skinDirect exposure also makes you hotter. If you’re wearing a protective barrier, you’re guaranteed to shave a few degrees a day.
Doesn’t wearing seem more intuitive anymore? Think of the image of people in the desert wearing layers of loose-fitting clothing in the scorching heat.
The clothing forms an air pocket that acts as an insulation layer between the skin and the sun and helps regulate the body temperature.
Loose clothing also provides a certain amount of airflow so the sweat can evaporate and you stay cool and comfortable.
4. Wear sunglasses (or to be cool, you have to look cool!)
Good sunglasses offer a world of protection for your eyes. And that’s a good thing, because your eyes are particularly sensitive to UV rays.
The thin skin around your eyes is slightly sunburned, and after that Skin Cancer Foundation, UV light can damage the eyes and lead to macular degeneration, cataracts and conjunctival cancer.
Always choose a pair that blocks out more than 99% of UV rays and at least 75% of sunlight. You can get away with less, but it is a worthwhile investment to look after your eyes.
I buy goggles that meet these criteria and offer additional protection from shock absorption.
5. Wear sunblock
I have refused to wear sunscreen almost all my life, but boy, I feel silly now.
Sunscreen doesn’t do much to cool you down, but it does provide the necessary protection against the sun’s rays.
The cream types are much more effective than the spray types because they are easier to identify and control where you use them – and prevent accidental inhalation.
Spray bottles can Be useful to reach places like the back of my head or the bald spot on my head (it gets hot up there).
If you use a spray, make sure you do it in a well-ventilated place.
When you buy sunscreen, you also have the choice between mineral and chemical sunscreen.
The mineral sunscreens contain titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or a combination of both. The tiny particles sit on your skin and form a barrier by reflecting the sun’s rays.
Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays, convert the UV light into heat and release it from the skin.
There is some controversy surrounding the safety of certain ingredients that are often found in them, especially oxybenzone.
Experts recommend using a combination of physical and chemical sunscreens for maximum protection. However, I believe that the best sunscreen is the one you wear comfortably.
Choose sunscreens with a sun protection factor of at least 30 for adequate protection and apply as directed on the product or more frequently if you get wet or sweat a lot.
I always have a bottle of sunscreen in my garden shopping bagand it usually lasts a summer.
Most bottled sunscreen products on the market do not expire about three yearsBut the more the bottle is opened and closed and handled with dirty hands, the faster this expiration date approaches.
Bacteria can get into the bottle and accelerate the breakdown. Regular cleaning of the cap can prevent dirt and bacteria from getting into the cap and possibly causing skin irritation.
With increasing age of the sunscreen, the active ingredients can start to oxidize and lose efficiency. Keep your sunscreen away from direct sunlight and extremely hot or cold temperatures. I have a spare bottle in the trunk of my car with no problems.
All in all, any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen, and even an expired product offers better protection than applying nothing.
Cool down when enough is enough
Even with the best equipment, you are likely to get overheated at times during the day.
So what should we do to avoid this heat stress and a dose of sun sickness?
Put yourself in a cool and shady environment and splash some water on your body or even take a cold shower. This is my favorite part when I come home after 8 hours in the sun.
How do you know you got too much sun or heat?
- Sunburn or reddened skin
- Alternatively, cool and damp skin
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle cramps or nausea
- Headache, blurred vision and disorientation
In my experience, the signs of too much exposure to the sun or heat begin with excessive sweating and then go into a general feeling of exhaustion, followed by disorientation.
In my working life, I have to deal with a mild “sun sickness”, as I call it for most of my day, but the moment I feel disoriented and distant, I stop giving up and for a while in the shade sit.
If a person goes too far beyond these milder symptoms, they are prone to heat stroke.
The signs of a heat stroke are:
- Throbbing headache
- Fast pulse
- Red, hot, dry skin
- Lose consciousness
- No sweating
Heat stroke is a serious and life-threatening illness. If you suspect heat stroke, contact the emergency service.
Sunburn can have the nasty habit of sneaking up on you and often showing up later in the day.
It can take less than 15 minutes for your skin to be exposed to the sun. When exposed areas start to redden, it is important to get out of the sun immediately and apply a cooling “after sun” lotion.
Prolonged exposure can lead to severe sunburn, which can lead to a serious condition known as sun poisoning.
The symptoms of sun poisoning can be:
- Swelling of the skin
- a headache
Make sure you see a doctor if any of these symptoms appear after prolonged exposure to the sun.
If you are in the garden and just need to cool down a bit, you can soak a headscarf in cold water from the hose and wrap it around your neck.
This is a practical trick: your neck is very sensitive to temperature. So if you put a cool and damp headscarf on it, you will be cooled down immediately.
Applying a cool, damp rag to your wrists is another great option for quick and cool relief.
Now go out in the garden!
Adequate sun and heat protection is not witchcraft, but there is more to it than sitting under an air conditioner.
Putting on the right clothes, applying sunscreen, and drinking plenty of water should be enough to get you through the heat of the day and protect you from the harmful rays of the sun.
And if it’s too hot and you can work intelligently, try to stay in the shade and out of the sun!
If you’re like me and can’t bear the feeling of long sleeves or pants in summer, that’s fine. I will apply sunscreen every hour or two like clockwork and coordinate my workload so that I am as safe as possible from the sun.
A high-quality shirt and shorts as well as a hat with a wide brim are part of the standard summer equipment for me, together with a headscarf for immersion in cold water.
Apply this information to your outdoor lifestyle and you will find that you feel much more comfortable in hot weather. Read our guide to best sun protection equipment for gardeners for more informations.
And don’t forget for me that after a hot day in the sun, the best way to cool off is with an ice-cold and refreshing five o’clock drink like this tomato mojito from our sister site Foodal. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – never trust a sober gardener.
(Please remember that alcohol promotes further dehydration. So please combine this cocktail with a few ice-cold glasses of water!)