COMMON SENSE GARDENING
Gardeners tend to lose all sense of time when doing what we enjoy most. But if we allow our gardening enthusiasm to cloud our common sense, it's very easy to become over-tired, sunburned, and dehydrated - and end up with tense, aching muscles that have been overworked. Here are a few reminders to prevent problems.
- Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, sunscreen (according to label directions), and long-sleeved cotton shirt.
- Plan your gardening chores for early in the day or late in the afternoon. The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.; work in shady areas during those hours.
- Take breaks and drink at least eight ounces of water each hour. And don't forget to eat; gardeners have been known to forget about mealtimes when outside.
- Keep a cool, wet washcloth or a spritz bottle of water handy for your face and neck; it is so refreshing and a nice pick-me-up.
- Help prevent sore muscles by standing and stretching frequently; do counter-stretches for your back if you're bending or kneeling a lot.
- Have a warm bath after your day of gardening and add some soothing bath salts to the water. Use a whirlpool bath or hot tub if you have one. And a massage from a professional or family member is also helpful!
Linda Myers, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas Cooperative Extension
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