Gardening during hot weather

Summer is upon us and you know what that means here in Central Florida – hot, humid weather.
As we age, we sometimes think we’re invincible and can do anything we want for as long as we want, but that’s really not true.
As for myself, I used to be able to do all kinds of gardening activities on any given day, but no longer. I consider I’ve had a good day spending 4 hours in the garden.
Don’t abuse yourself or try to over-do it, coping with the heat should be your major concern. So what should you do? There are lots of recommendations, which include:
• Wear a wide brim hat and light colored loose fitting clothing.
• Schedule any heavy work during the cooler parts of the day. According to OSHA, UV rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• Monitor your physical condition – if you suddenly feel fatigued or stop sweating, immediately stop what you’re doing – rest in the shade and drink plenty of liquids, (a cup every 15-20 minutes), but none containing alcohol or sodas and other beverages with large amounts of caffeine or sugar.
• Avoid eating heavy meals before you begin your gardening activities.
• When possible, take frequent, short breaks in the shade.
• Wear sunscreen – at least 30 SPF, and reapply according to directions on package.
• Keep an eye on the weather – if you hear thunder, immediately stop work and take shelter, but not under a tree.

By following these helpful suggestions, you should be able to accomplish your goals, while protecting yourself.
Have a safe, enjoyable summer.

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About AskthePlantMaster

I have 50 years of horticultural experience, am currently a Master Gardener in Central Florida. In addition, I'm a Horticulture Instructor and retired Parks Manager and Arborist. I love plants and would love to help you with yours!
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