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Tips for Staying Comfortable While Gardening in the Summer Heat

Stay cool in the summer sun while working in your garden. Stay cool in the summer sun while working in your garden.


Summer is the best time to get out and spend time with your plants, but it also happens to be an incredibly tough time of year to spend excess hours in the sun. To help our readers keep their cool while gardening outside, here are some expert tips.


On hot days, the temperature in the shade can be up to 20 degrees cooler than in direct sunlight, so your No. 1 priority is going to be to stay in the shade as much as possible to keep your core body temperature down and your comfort level high.

If you can bring a large beach umbrella or small shade tent out into the garden, you will really notice a difference in the temperature of the air around you.


You need a hat, and we’re not talking minimal coverage. We recommend finding one of those awesome caps with the flaps on the sides and back. They are usually made of a light-colored, breathable canvas, which is ideal. Wet the fabric to provide additional heat relief.

You can find these hats at camping stores or online, and there really is no downside to gardening in hats like this, except that they look a little goofy; your plants may giggle a little.


You will want to minimize the amount of your skin that is directly exposed to the sun. Always apply a good water-and-sweat-proof sunscreen before getting dressed (the sun’s rays do get through your clothes), and wear a long-sleeved, light-colored shirt made of cotton, hemp or another lightweight, breathable material.

Your pants should be light-colored and comfortable, thick enough to protect your skin from anything that may poke you as you kneel in the dirt, but light enough to breathe.


Most people know that UV protection is as important for your eyes as it is for your skin. In addition to full-coverage clothing, throw on some high-quality sunglasses that will stay on securely while you work.


It is imperative that you remember to hydrate. On a normal day, you should drink about two liters of water, providing you do not exercise or exert yourself. Spending hours in the heat of summer, along with the work that comes with gardening, makes for a day of exertion. Realistically, you should probably drink an extra liter of water to make up for that loss.

Remember that there is no limit to the amount of water that you should consume. Just keep a large bottle nearby and take sips frequently. You should also avoid diuretics like caffeine.

Spray Bottle

In addition to quenching your thirst, you can use water to cool yourself down. Something as simple as a spray bottle used to mist yourself can make a huge difference in your comfort level on hot days. We especially like those little water bottle/fan combos, great for the garden.

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Flight of the Conchords teaches you to stay cool.
Last modified on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 05:04

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