BY MARILYN C. ARAYATA
WITH the increased number of people who turn to gardening as a hobby and a reliable source of food, garden pots have become in demand. A simple pot which is priced at P100 is sold in a nearby store at P50 (different color). No, thanks – I can get a thicker, bigger, and more beautiful pot from a popular hardware store for less than P75. I bought three of its kind seven years ago, and they are still serving their purpose. Plantitos and Plantitas, exercise your choice. Beware of profiteers!
Beware of wasps! A former Quebec mayor reportedly died after being stung 15 times by wasps. Death from wasp sting is rare, but it does happen, depending on the body’s reaction, the number of bites, and the affected part. Check your garden for wasp nests. Avoid them. Use home-made sprays and traps to get rid of them. Wear shoes, pants, and a long-sleeved shirt outdoors. Use an insect repellent and avoid scents that attract wasps (perfume, soap).
New Zealand’s Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research gave this warning: “Before stopping for a tea break or to eat lunch, check that there are no nests nearby. There’s nothing wasps like better than a sandwich, especially fish flavored! Watch the food you are eating, to make sure a wasp doesn’t alight on it just before you put it in your mouth. Stings inside the mouth, throat or in the neck area can be potentially life-threatening as the swelling associated with stings can block airways.”
Protect yourself from too much sunlight. Vitamin D from the Sun is very important, but too much exposure without protection is harmful to your skin and even your eyes. Doctors remind us to wear a long-sleeved shirt and a wide-brimmed hat. They advise us to apply sunblock 20 minutes before sun exposure and to re-apply when we perspire. Protect your eyes from the Sun, too. Different factors like aging and heredity contribute to the development of cataract. Ultraviolet light from the Sun is a risk factor, too.
Wear goggles before pruning plants which are above your shoulder in height. It is not just hard branches which can give you unwanted wounds and scratches. Even leaves can hurt your eyes!
Gardening is fun and productive, but be extra careful. Stay safe!