If you love to garden but don’t like working in the summer heat, check out these tips for summer time gardening to beat the heat.
Summer has finally arrived for real at my house and I couldn’t be more thrilled.I really enjoy spending the summer tinkering around in my garden, especially since I know that these sunny days will be over in the blink of an eye, and, before too long,
I’ll be saying where on earth did the summer go? I want to make the most of my summer time gardening, and not miss out on a second! But what does one do when the temperatures hit the 90s and even 100s?
Is it possible to garden in this kind of heat? Sure, but to do so, one needs to keep a few things in mind. For so many of us, the scorching heat of summer can be really hard on our bodies, our moods, and our desire to keep working in the garden. Don’t let the temperature get you down, though.
Don’t let the heat keep you from your summer time gardening tasks
These 12 tips will help you keep cool, while still getting your summer time gardening tasks accomplished.
This tip is important anytime you are out in your garden, but is especially important when the temperatures rise and this makes you sweat more. Be sure to drink water at various times during your time outdoors.
I often take a Brita filtered water bottle and glass outside and keep them in the shade in a spot near where I am working. Since I have lots of shady seating areas in my garden, this also gives me a chance to do tip #2.
2. Take frequent breaks
In early spring, I can go outside and garden most of the day and never feel overly tired when I am done. But during the heat of summer, I have to take frequent breaks.
Sitting under the shade of my magnolia tree with my favorite gardening magazine, even for just 5 minutes or so, gives me a second wind and lets my body rest and recover from the heat.
3. Use a sunscreen product
Since I am outdoor so much during the summer time, I get a natural tan. But even with this, it is still possible for me to burn. To help protect myself, I use a SPF 50+ suscreen.
4. A sun hat is your friend
Not only does a wide brimmed sun hat protect my scalp (where is it hard to place sunscreen), it also gives me shade for those times when I am working in a sunny part of the garden and lets me keep going a little longer.
5. Wear light colored loose clothing
When you choose your gardening clothing, a few things should be kept in mind. Choose lightweight natural materials that will allow air to circulate next to your skin. This will also allow the perspiration to evaporate while you work.
And if you work near poison ivy or around thorny rose bushes a lot, you might even want to consider long sleeved cotton shirts.
6. Get yourself used to the sun
If you just up and decide one day in July that you will be spending all day in the sun, you will pay for it in any number of ways.
Instead of going whole hog, try spending a small amount of time for several days, building up a sweat, so that you will become used to it and will then be able to garden for a few hours at a stretch.
7. Repelling the mosquitoes
No article on summer time gardening would be complete without mentioning how to deal with mosquitoes. One of the not so fun aspects of summer time gardening is dealing with a plentiful mosquito population.
I always make sure that I have a mosquito repellant nearby.
Mother Nature is also a big help with repelling mosquitoes. See my list of mosquito repelling plants here.
8. Garden before 10 a.m and after 4 p.m
Nothing is more guaranteed to make you never want to garden again than trying to do the chores in the heat of the mid day sun. I split my outdoor time up two ways.
The early morning is for walking my dog while the pavement is still cool. When I come back, I tackle a few easy outdoor chores, such as pruning roses and deadheading perennials. (If you hate this job, check out these plants that don’t need deadheading)
Later in the day, when it has cooled down, I tackle other outdoor gardening chores before relaxing with my husband. This gives me a chance to do my blog work at the hottest time of the day, but allows me to keep my gardens looking great without the heat.
My front borders face north and are shaded in the morning (shown in full sun here on the left but very shaded early on in the day) and my back borders face south but have many trees around them which give me ample shade in the afternoon.
I work with the shade, not against it, and it helps to keep me cool.
9. Use the Shade wisely
If you must be doing some gardening chores during the warmer part of the day, choose those areas that are more shady.
Since I have so many garden beds and lots of nearby trees, there is always some area that offers shade. Why work right out in the hot sun when you can use Mother Nature’s help?
This photo is a graphic example. I know which side I would rather be working on during the hottest part of the summer day!
10. Give yourself a quick breeze break
I keep a mini pocket carabineer fan with my garden tools. I use an old mailbox to keep all of my most used tools very handy.
The little fan clips to my belt loop and gives me a bit of cool breeze when I stop to rest. It is amazing how powerful the blast from this little guy is!
11. Keep yourself cool
One of my latest aids for keeping cool for summer time gardening is a cooling towel.
These great towels stay cooler than the body temperature and transfer this over to make me feel so much cooler when I am outside.
12. Know when to stop
Heat cramps, heat rash, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are all serious medical emergencies that can necessitate a call to 911. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of each.
It is fairly safe to say that if you experience light headedness, nausea, altered mental state and some other symptoms of heat stroke, it’s time to stop!
I love gardening as much, if not more, than the next guy, but sometimes it just pays to know when to stop. That extra bit of pruning, digging or weeding can wait until another day. Health comes first!
What tips do you have to help with your summer time gardening chores? I would love to hear about them in the comments below. For more gardening tips, be sure to visit my Pinterest Board.