For many avid gardeners, the growing season does not end with the arrival of the first frost in the autumn. Those who make cool season plantings and practice the art of season extension often find themselves both tending the garden and harvesting crops far beyond the point at which average daytime temperatures begin to fall. At this time, staying warm outdoors can become an issue of key importance. Learning to properly layer garden clothing was essential in helping me to better enjoy my time spent outdoors during these cooler parts of the year.
Layering While Working in Chilly Gardens
Preparing the garden for the long winter ahead is often a task at the forefront of a grower’s chore list. Much like the plants in our yards, gardeners will also need to consider protection from cooler temperatures as these tasks are completed. Early in the fall, many choose to layer light jackets, sweaters, and long-sleeved shirts while working outdoors. This allows for the removal or addition of clothing in order to adapt to changing temperatures.
As winter approaches, it becomes even more necessary to give special consideration to gardening attire. While growers will need to protect themselves from colder temperatures, finding a balance between this and ease of movement will be worth noting. Many gardeners opt for thick, yet flexible, fabrics. During this portion of the growing season, layering will still be key, as outer jackets may need to be removed while working in minimally heated structures or unheated polytunnels.
Fall and winter gardeners should also pay special attention to their extremities. Finding a high-quality, durable pair of work gloves will be especially helpful. Waterproof, thermal options are best, as they keep fingers warm, as well as protect against the elements. Gloves that are too thick may be problematic in performing certain outdoor tasks.
In terms of footwear, experienced gardeners often suggest a sturdy pair of waterproof work boots with thick, wool socks.
Last but certainly not least, keeping your head warm at this time is crucial. Wool, fleece, and other insulating fabrics are often among the best materials for helping to regulate body heat while exposed to chilly conditions outdoors.
Though dressing ourselves for work in the garden during the fall and winter may require quite a bit of preparation, doing so is sure to keep you safe while performing routine gardening tasks.