Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Keep Cool, Don't Be A Fool

In lieu of doing another Plant of the Day entry, today seems like a perfect opportunity to highlight some safety tips and give some gardening advice for the month of August.

Safety Tips for Summer Gardening

1) First of all, the main thing to remember in the heat of a Hot Southern Summer is that it's all about water - for both you and your plants. Make sure you hydrate if you're working outdoors. Don't make the mistake of waiting until you're suddenly thirsty to take a sip of water; instead, know that you must stay hydrated and drink periodically while gardening. It may be tempting to grab a beer or a Lynchburg Lemonade, but alcohol is one of the worst things you can drink on a hot summer day.

2) Don't overdo it. Take a break when your body tells you to, and if you're not sure when that is, do so every now and then. Get to the shade and "pop-a-squat" or go back inside for a moment to cool down. You do not want to overheat when it feels like it's 110° outside!

3) Eat well. Fruits, veggies, grains, nuts and so on. There's a reason we advocate eating healthy foods. They give you more energy and keep your engine running smoothly. You'll feel better in the short- and long-run if you eat (and drink) right.

4) If you feel faint or nauseous, it's time to give it a rest. If you reach this point, you're at risk for overheating, which can lead to passing out and you do not want that to happen! If you experience any heat-related symptoms like this, go back indoors and call it a day. There's always tomorrow.

5) Keep an eye on any co-gardeners or pets you have outside with you, just in case they're not as savvy as you are about these things. Even this little guy knows to stay in the shade and keeps close to the Kayser Lily Pool in the Hill Garden. You should follow his lead!

    Gardening Tips for August

    Now, as far as what you should be doing in the garden this time of year, moisture is still key. Full sun, part sun, shade, they all need moisture. Be sure to water in the morning or evening for best results. Our friends at the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service (ACES) here at The Gardens gave us these handy-dandy tips you'll surely find helpful.
    • Cut out old blackberry canes after fruiting and then fertilize and cultivate for replacement canes. Remember to order new catalogs for fruit selection.
    • Layer branches of hydrangea.
    • Hybrid teas and floribundas may need slight pruning to prevent scraggly appearance.
    • Water annuals and perennials as needed to keep plants active.
    • Plant perennials and biennials.
    • Divide old iris plantings and add new bulbs.
    • Keeping flowers, shrubs, trees, and lawns healthy is the major task during this month. This means close observation for insects and diseases.
    • Plant turnips, rutabagas, beans, and peas in South Alabama.
    • Plant cabbage, collards, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and celery.

    1 comment:

    1. All good points. I have a particularly good method for keeping cool during this heat. It is here.