The Cool Gardener
August 29, 2015
Gardeners in Mississippi know we need plants that can thrive in the summer heat. However, working outdoors for any length of time can take a toll on even the hardiest gardener. The dangers of overheating in shouldn’t be ignored. According to the CDC, since 1979 heat-related deaths in the United States outnumber those from hurricanes, lightening, tornadoes and earthquakes combined. Here are some of my simple tips to avoid heat-related problems. A good tip I follow is to plan gardening activities in the mornings and evenings, which are going to be the cooler times of the day. But If you must work during the heat of the day try one of the new cooling towels. You wet the towel, snap it and it magically provides cooling relief. Repeat as needed. Summer garden chores make me sweat profusely. I like to drink plenty of cool, not cold, water. But don’t wait until you start to sweat before you start to hydrate your body. If you know you’re in for a hot day, get plenty to drink before you even step out into the heat. If you’re sweating for more than 2 hours, use a sports drink to replace your body’s salts and minerals. Working out in the garden also means to protect your skin from the sun. Sunscreens with a SPF of 30 and above help, along with your wide brim hat, to provide protection. If you find yourself feeling too hot, feeling dizzy, or breathing heavier, get to a shady location, and start sipping on cool water. Just remember in the summer heat to accept you can’t work as fast or get as much done as you can in the cooler seasons. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.