Warning to avoid the garden for these three hours every day in July and August

Gardeners should avoid a three-hour window
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Summer has arrived, and with the sun mostly shining, gardens are flourishing. It's the perfect time to enjoy some gardening, from watering plants to weeding.

However, horticulture enthusiasts are warning people to avoid spending time in their gardens during certain hours of the day due to potential risks that many may not have considered. According to our colleagues at The Mirror, a gardening expert has advised that while activities like weeding and planting can be beneficial for physical and mental health, it's important to stay safe and be aware of potential hazards.

The Mail Online reports that Shannen Godwin, a gardening expert at bulb and plant retailer J. Parker's, is advising gardeners to check their local hour-by-hour UV levels, using information provided by the Met Office. Godwin suggests that the optimal time for gardening is when the UV index falls below four. Conversely, the worst time is between 11 am and 2 pm, when the UV index is typically higher.

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It's worth noting that the exact times when UV peaks may vary depending on your location and the weather forecast for the day. However, generally, the peak of UV occurs between 11 am and 2 pm.

In addition to the risk of skin cancer from UV exposure, gardeners often neglect to hydrate while engrossed in their outdoor activities, leading to dehydration. They are also at risk of overheating and suffering from sunstroke.

Shannen pointed out: "Most people know about sunburn, but only a few are aware of sunstroke and also neglect the dangers of dehydration. Keen gardeners must adjust how and when they work in their gardens during hot summer days."

"There is a lot gardeners can do to keep their garden looking great without putting their own health at risk."

To protect your plants as well as yourself, it's best to tend to your garden early in the morning or later in the evening when the heat isn't as intense, which helps prevent water from evaporating too quickly.

For those who have to garden during peak sun hours, Shannen recommends staying as shaded as possible, applying SPF 60 sunscreen, taking frequent short breaks every 15 to 20 minutes, and continuously sipping water to stave off dehydration.