Sun Protection Tips for Permaculture Gardeners

Last Updated on February 28, 2024 by SampleBoard

Maintaining a home garden exploded in popularity during the early days of the pandemic.

In a survey by The Conversation, up to 75% of people across the US, Germany, and Australia found immense value in gardening— helping them relax, connect with nature, or stay active.

To many, gardening became a safe space from daily worries while having the added benefit of growing their own food. To continually promote garden growth, many are turning to permaculture gardening.

This form of sustainable gardening enables spaces to sustain themselves without losing significant fertility by designing a garden to rely on the natural ecosystem and climate.

Once set up, permaculture gardens require minimal labor but still need a gardener's hand to optimize the environment.

However, while gardening is a great experience, many people underestimate the importance of sun protection.

When tending to their gardens, gardeners are constantly exposed to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause significant problems later on in life.

To avoid illnesses from manifesting later on, below we share some sun protection tips for permaculture gardeners.

Use sun protection designed against UV

As mentioned, gardeners are often exposed to UV radiation from the sun, which can lead to serious health issues.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US; one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. Fortunately, it’s easy to protect yourself from UV with the proper precautions.

Sunscreen and sunblock can cut harmful UVA and UVB rays, so applying them to exposed areas of the skin before gardening is essential. 

Everyday Health's insights on choosing sunscreen note that you should carefully read the label to ensure your sunscreen offers the best protection.

Check if the product is labeled broad-spectrum, has an SPF of at least 30, and has safe chemicals and ingredients.

Aside from skin, a person should also have sunglasses to protect their eyes from UV damage, which can lead to poor vision or cataracts in the future.

The range of sunglasses on OPSM showcases the importance of sun protection in modern eyewear, meeting both style and functionality.

Models like the Oakley Holbrook come with the brand’s PRIZM technology that enhances color and contrast, allowing users to tell things apart better.

As most plants are green, having color-contrast sunglasses can be handy in distinguishing individual plants clearly from one another. Ensure your pair has UV400 or 100% blocks UV rays for the best safety.

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Have shaded areas in your garden

During sunny days, the optimal time to tend to your garden is early morning or evening.

Not only are temperatures lower, but you also avoid the hours when the sun’s rays are most intense, approximately between 10 am and 4 pm.

But if you cannot avoid working at these peak hours altogether, it’s worth having shaded areas you can work under to hide from the sun.

Installing elevated solar panels is one efficient way of shading areas in your garden. This is a similar practice to agrivoltaics, where agriculture and solar panels coexist.

As discovered by researchers at Cornell University, this system enables passive cooling and more reflective ground cover, allowing plants to continue growing while maintaining solar panel operating temperatures.

For permaculture gardeners working with bigger solar panels, you can plant shade-tolerant plants underneath or next to them to ensure your garden will still thrive.

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Take breaks and stay hydrated

Being able to pace yourself and consider your environment are some critical values of permaculture gardening.

Similarly, taking breaks and caring for your health when working under the hot sun is important. Resting in between is also essential for assessing yourself, ensuring you don’t overwork your body by gardening.

While water works well, sports drinks or anything with electrolytes can also effectively keep you away from dehydration.

Though permaculture gardens require less effort than regular gardens, people still must ensure their garden space stays healthy.

Gardeners need to remain mindful of how they work under the sun and take proper precautions to prevent UV-related health issues from coming up. With the right sun protection, you can enjoy gardening without extra worries.

If you're just starting out in your gardening journey, check out the "Cultivating A Peaceful Garden Space In 5 Easy Steps" post for helpful advice on how to create a peaceful environment in your home.