A lack of preparation can make for a frustrating Denver gardening day. Why not follow the boy scout motto more closely when gardening? Be prepared! Prepare the soil for sure. You can’t expect anything to pop up without the right nutrients in the soil. Till. Mulch. Add amendments. Absolutely. Those are must dos. Don’t forget to dig deep, though. I’m talking about those days when you’re so enthusiastic to get out there and garden that you forget the little things. What little things?
Don’t forget to rub soap under your fingernails.
Now, why in the heck would you do that? Sounds pretty messy, doesn’t it? Actually rubbing a bar of soap across your fingernails is a cool old time trick for keeping them clean in the garden. The soap fills the space under your nails so dirt can’t get in. When you’re done gardening, it washes right out. No scrubbing needed. Doing this is a must if you have the famous Denver clay soil in your garden. That stuff sticks to everything!
Don’t forget your umbrella.
Umbrellas in the Denver garden aren’t for rain. The mile high city sun can be intense! After all, it a mile closer than it is at sea level. Be prepared to protect yourself. It’s not just about protection, either. Using a beach umbrella or pop up sun shade in the garden means you can work a little longer and a little more comfortably. You don’t become tired as easily. That sun is draining too. Bring some water out there with you to replenish!
Sunscreen backs up the umbrella.
Avid Denver gardeners know that using it diligently keeps them safe when they have to venture out from under the umbrella to retrieve a tool, answer the phone or whatever. Not really into all those chemicals? That’s OK. They make natural sunscreen these days. You can even make your own. Skin cancer and even sunburn can be a serious issue in Denver. The sun is so close. Protect yourself for a better, safer gardening experience.
Use equipment you can handle.
That awesome, sturdy, heavy garden hose recommended to you by the hardware guy may not work for you. Sure, it’ll last a bit longer than the lightweight version. However, if you can’t haul it out to the garden without help, it’s no good for you personally. If you’re under 5’6” or physically limited, skip the long handled tools. Go for the smaller ones. Be prepared for gardening by buying equipment that suits you, not some tall, burly guy with never-ending strength and endurance. You’re just a mere wisp of a human being, frying in the Denver sun. Choose tools that make your job easier.
Dress for the job.
Watering in the early morning or late at night is a necessity so the Denver sun doesn’t suck up all the water. Don’t wear your PJ’s, though. They’re just not practical in the garden. Plus, how many times have you come in with slivers, cuts and scratches from not wearing your garden gloves and long sleeves? The backlash from the weed-eater hurts when you wear capris. Wear long pants in the garden, even if it’s hot as blazes out there. Stay away from stretchy clothes too. They’ll be covered in burrs and “stickers” by the time you’re done for the day.
Portions of this article were originally published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.