Heat Waves Ahead
Summer weather is getting hotter and hotter with each passing year, thanks to climate change. Hotter climes don’t just put a strain on plants, though—they make it more challenging for gardeners to perform essential outdoor tasks like weeding, mulching, and watering. When it’s blistering hot outside, intense UV rays and unforgiving temperatures can make gardening much less enjoyable than usual, and turn a favorite hobby into a chore.
There are ways to outsmart a heat wave and stay safe and cool while digging in the dirt: The most important thing you can do on high-heat days is to keep yourself well hydrated. These products, too, will help you keep cool while taking care of your precious plants.
Personal Clip-On Fan
On a hot day, even a gentle breeze can make all the difference. It’s easy to manufacture your very own wind gusts with the help of a personal clip-on fan, like this one from Koonie. It’s quiet and clips onto your waistband, keeping your hands free to dig, weed, and prune (it comes with a lanyard, and can also be worn around the neck). This USB-rechargeable fan can run for 23 hours on low speed and can be fully recharged in just 3 or 4 hours. Available on Amazon.
UV-Protective, Bug-Repelling Sleeves
In hot, humid weather, heat isn’t the only issue. Mosquitoes love to come out and play when it’s damp and warm, and gardeners make for mighty delicious snacks. Keep biting insects off your arms with these cooling sleeves that provide both UV and scent-free insect protection. The sleeves’ soft, stretchy fabric wicks moisture and is comfortable to wear while gardening. Available at No Bugs Clothing.
Look cool and stay cool by donning this cooling bucket hat from MISSION. The noggin’ protector provides UPF 50 protection and has a wide brim to block out the blinding sun. What’s more, MISSION’s hat is made of a special fabric that, when it gets wet, cools your body up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit below the average body temperature. According to the manufacturer, the wet hat can stay cool for up to 2 hours, which is plenty of time to check up on the garden and harvest a few goodies. If the sun lets up while you’re outside, snap the hat’s brim up, or fold the hat and stow it in your pocket. Available on Amazon.
Mini Inflatable Pool
Many garden tasks cause you to work up a sweat, and a dip in the pool is the perfect way to cool down quickly. Those without the space or budget for a full-size pool should consider an inflatable version that’s just big enough for a quick dip. Inflate and fill it before you start gardening, and step in when you’re done. (Pro tip: Take pool time up a notch by enjoying a fresh-from-the-garden, herb-based cocktail while you’re in there.) Available on Amazon.
A blast in the face with the garden hose will do in a pinch, but if you’re looking for a spritz that won’t soak you to the bone, a personal mister might be in order. This travel-size device from COMLIFE has a tank that holds enough water for up to 30 minutes of misting action. It’s also rechargeable and features three fan speeds. Available on Amazon.
Wrapping one of these 40-inch by 12-inch cooling towels around your neck can help lower body temperature as you engage in strenuous activities, gardening included. After wetting the towel, its cooling effect lasts for up to 3 hours (and no, there are no chemicals involved). The towel is soft to the touch, machine washable, and can be worn around the head or neck. It also boasts UPF 50 protection, which shields your head and neck from the sun’s harmful rays. Available on Amazon.
Gardeners can take a load off on this foldable garden bench on hot days, or whenever energy stores dip. Use it as a seat or as a support while kneeling, and tote garden tools and supplies in the attached tool bag. Lightweight and easy to carry just about anywhere, this sturdy Ohuhu bench can support gardeners weighing up to 330 pounds. Available on Amazon.
Shade cloth is for plants, and this sunshade umbrella is for you. Prevent sunburn and overheating with this portable umbrella from JoeShade. The tripod stand keeps the UV-coated, 60-inch-wide umbrella steady. Weighing only 8 pounds, it’s lightweight enough to tote as you move from one garden bed to another. If you live in a region where afternoon rain showers are common, the JoeShade will come in doubly handy. Available on Amazon.
Sticky, oily sunscreen can feel heavy and uncomfortable on the skin. But even gardeners—who are used to being out in the sun—need to stay safe from UV rays. This formula from Neutrogena provides SPF 30 protection and keeps skin cool without feeling clammy and wet. It’s also sweat- and water-resistant, so wear it while weeding in hot weather and while lounging in your new inflatable garden pool. Available on Amazon.
Plants need water, and so do gardeners. In sweltering weather, gardeners can become dangerously dehydrated without realizing it. A double-walled, insulated water bottle like the YETI Rambler keeps your H2O cool and refreshing, and much more palatable than a disposable bottle of warm spring water. BPA free and dishwasher safe, the YETI Rambler also has ultra-durable stainless steel construction and a DuraCoat exterior. Available on Amazon.
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