Anita Morton - Growing Gardens

Take it easy

At this time of year, I look at the garden and groan theres so much to do. Its easy to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the job, and very easy to overdo things in the heat.

Too much sun is dangerous, as the Cancer Council never ceases to remind us. Apply lots of 30+ sunscreen to all exposed skin at least 10 minutes before you go out. Wear a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses as well, and cover up with a long sleeved shirt. Try to stay out of the sun altogether between 11am and 3pm.

If you feel the heat, the best solution is to get up very early and tackle those energetic jobs before 8am. Its also the best time to water the garden (restrictions permitting), as the plants absorb moisture most efficiently just after sunrise. If you choose to garden early, bear in mind that others may still be sleeping. In general, you cant fire up the lawnmower, chipper or brush-cutter before 7am or after 8pm (8am to 8pm on Sundays and public holidays).

Sports drinks with added electrolytes can help prevent cramps and muscle soreness after heavy sweating, but for most of us plenty of water will do the job.

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