Now that we are back home from our three week spring vacation, attention has been turned to outdoors. We have opened the pool, bought a few plants and we are getting to know our new property. I actually discovered a gooseberry bush yesterday! What I have noticed is this is definitely a hot property. Unlike our last house, there is very little in the way of shade. Our last house was so shaded that it was a hindrance and yet this house is the opposite!
While we were well aware of the heat of the day (12 PM to 4 PM) it is not as big of a problem here in beautiful Ontario, Canada. At the same time, unless working farm labour or other employment that requires you to be outdoors during that time period, many stay indoors if possible. When it come to home gardening, here's a few tips for dealing with the heat of the day:
- watering - Do not water during the heat of the day as that can cause plants to burn or become distressed. Water before to help your garden beds cope with the heat of the day. Use self watering planters wherever possible and keep the reservoirs filled.
- take a break - The sun is at it's peak with the strongest UV rays so take a break from your gardening chores.
- protect yourself - Anytime you are in the garden you should protect yourself with a good sun block with high SPF, long sleeves, wide brim hat and pants and closed toe shoes (preferably boots). UV rays are not the only enemy in the garden. There are biting insects, snakes, and poisonous plants so wearing some type of barrier to protect yourself is prudent. Encounters with snakes are more common during the heat of the day as they are out sunning themselves. Increased perspiration will attract biting insects and enhance the effects of poisonous plants like poison ivy. Don't use scented products like hair gel, perfume or anything with a floral scent as that will attract biting insects as well.
- provide shade - Set up a shaded sitting area where you can take a break if you have to be out in the garden during the heat of the day. Take regular breaks so you don't become overheated or dehydrated.
- stay hydrated - Always carry a water bottle with you to stay hydrated and drink small amounts often. If your mouth feels dry you are already dehydrated. Dehydration can quickly lead to heat stroke!