Sunburn and pesky bugs are among the bothers when it comes to working in the yard. Wearing a hat and applying sunscreen and an insect repellent are some of the ways to stay safe while gardening.
Area gardeners recently shared their not-so-top-secret ways on keeping themselves protected while enjoying a favorite pastime.
“I usually find the oldest, most raggedy T-shirts and pants and a pair of gloves,” said Judy Kirkland, immediate past president of the Augusta Council of Garden Clubs.
Kirkland said she applies a lotion with sunscreen in it when she opts for wearing a tank top. While she has plenty of hats, she said she rarely wears one.
Gardener Dia Bettencourt believes in wearing a hat and sunscreen when she gardens.
“When it gets very, very hot, I work in the yard in the early mornings and late afternoons,” she said. “But I always use the hat and sunscreen on exposed areas.”
Sheryl Silva wears a hat and slathers on sunscreen, but her “secret weapon” is a ThermaCELL.
“It’s similar to the Off mosquito guard, but it runs off butane cells instead of batteries,” she explained. “It’s more ecofriendly. I use it in the deer stand in the early fall, when the gnats, mosquitoes and biting flies are a problem, and during the summer when the ravenous mosquitoes vie for blood.”
Silva said mosquitoes are attracted to her like bees are to honey, and are a real problem in her neighborhood where the county doesn’t spray.
“I pull out my trusty ThermaCELL, attach it to an old belt around my waist and I can work in peace,” she said. “It’s not much good when you are moving around, but when you must be in one place for any time, it’s wonderful.
“I can water, weed, plant or pick veggies without worrying about being ‘bug bait’ and all without spraying down with those chemical-filled insect sprays,” she added.