The weather is warm and the urge to get out and dig in the dirt is starting to tug on you.

The weather is warm and the urge to get out and dig in the dirt is starting to tug on you.  Whether you are a flower gardener or a vegetable gardener, there are some gear items you might want to locate and have ready:

  Sunscreen. A fresh bottle will be most reliable. If you have a bottle left over from last year, check its expiration date and its consistency. If the sunscreen is lumpy, looks off-color or smells funny, pitch it.   Shoes that fit well, provide adequate support, preferably are washable (hose or washing machine), and yet are appropriate for the task at hand. This may mean more than one pair. Boots can be a good choice for shoveling, carrying heavy objects and mowing. Lighter shoes can be more comfortable for deadheading and weeding.   Wide-brimmed hat to protect neck, face and eyes from damaging sun rays. The best are woven thickly enough to screen out sunlight but thinly enough to allow air movement. A drawstring can be a benefit on windy days. Before buying a new hat, try it on, lean forward and look at the floor. Think pulling weeds. If the hat is the right size, it will stay in place.  Sunglasses to stave off “squint" wrinkles, as well as the risk of macular degeneration.  Large-framed and wraparound styles can also provide protection against blowing dirt and debris. But, safety lenses are the only real choice when operating equipment such as lawnmowers, string trimmers and leaf blowers.  One or more pairs of good-fitting gloves to protect hands from nicks, scratches, blisters, sun damage, dirt stains and the occasional brush with poison ivy.