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Starting a garden was one of the most rewarding things that we did last year. I would consider it a success and this year we intend to have another backyard garden. We planted vegetables last year and we’ll do the same this year. And though we did find some success, I would still consider myself to be an amateur gardener. If you are like me, here are my gardening essentials for the amateur gardener. I’m not promising that we’ll be pros at this by the end of the season, but here’s to growth and success.
Why We Started a Garden at Home
Weather permitting, we try to spend more time outdoors. Sure, I have my work schedule that I adhere to for the morning. But we try to keep our afternoons as free as possible. Usually this means going for a walk or keeping it closer to home.
Squeaker is happy to play and I like to get a little work done in the garden.
But why gardening?
There are so many reasons that people take up gardening:
- Satisfaction of growing your own vegetables
- A backyard to be proud of
- Stress Relief
- Physical Health
- Family projects
And the list really could go on.
But, when I started on this gardening endeavor, I was pretty clueless. Sure, we did our own raised gardening bed and we’ve tried container gardening in the past.
But I was also still pretty unaware as to what I needed in terms of gardening essentials. Beyond the basics, you know. Seeds, proper soil, water.
Not to mention the first time that I spent a significant amount of time outside, I got sunburned.
Now, I’m not one to usually brag but I don’t burn easily. I tan easily but I usually don’t sunburn. I’m also picky about my sunscreen because of my various skin allergies.
However, lesson learned (and learned the hard way) – I needed to include sunscreen in my gardening tools.
But what exactly does one look for when it comes to sunscreen? Surely they’re all the same, right?
Important Things to Look for in a Sunscreen
Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect your skin from the sun’s two main types of ultraviolet rays – UVA (the dominant tanning ray) and UVB (known to cause burning). Neither one is safe though, as they both contribute to aging in your skin and eyes, as well as skin cancers.
So if you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, you will be protecting your skin from burning, skin cancer, wrinkling, and other aging of the skin.
2. Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
The SPF refers to the level of blockage against UVB (it does not include UVA) rays that the sunscreen provides. So the higher the SPF is, the longer you can stay in the sun before you burn. For example, a SPF 30 means you can stay in the sun longer before you burn than if you are using a sunscreen with SPF 15.
However, this does NOT mean that you can stay in the sun twice as long. Instead, it means that the SPF 30 would block out approximately 97% of the UVB rays, and a SPF 15 would block out approximately 94% of UVB rays.
If you are highly sensitive to the sun, then you will want to use sunscreen with higher SPF. However, those sunscreens with SPF 100, for example, will not block 100% of the UVB rays.
No sunscreen does that.
Many physicians recommend their patients use products with SPF ratings of 30-45, if they will be spending extended time outdoors. Products with SPF 15 can be effective for incidental sun exposure, and can be found in many face moisturizers.
Our sunscreen of choice? Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen.
But why Blue Lizard®?
- It provides all the coverage you need for both you and your family to stay safe in the sun
- There’s a unique zinc oxide formula
- Broad spectrum to protect from both UVA and UVB rays
- Blue Lizard® is a brand trusted by dermatologists, pediatricians, and especially moms!
- The bottle turns blue when exposed to harmful UV rays- this is a great visual reminder that you may need more sunscreen
Make sure that sunscreen is a part of your gardening essentials kit with this free printable:
Gardening Essentials for the Amateur Gardener
Print it out and keep it handy so you’ll always have these things on hand:
- Hand trowel
- Gardening gloves
- Sun hat
- Watering can
- Pruning shears
- Hand Weeder
- Blue Lizard®
What’s on your list of gardening essentials?