Summer is upon us and with it comes the heat. Triple digits are in the forecast for here next weekend and the time to prepare is now. How do you keep your plants from baking in the summer sun? There are several tried and true methods to ensure your plants can retain the water you give them.
- Water in the morning. Watering in the heat of the day can damage plants, especially leaves. Watering in the evening can create an environment for disease by leaving things moist for long periods overnight. By watering in the morning, things dry up quickly and your plants have that moisture available during the daytime while they are actively growing and producing.
- Water deeply. Frequent light waterings encourage shallow root growth making plants more susceptible to damage during hot, dry weather.
- Mulch, Mulch, Mulch! Putting mulch around the bases of plants helps hold moisture in the soil. This is one of the best defenses against evaporation. It also helps regulate soil temperature as well during a heat wave.
- Use good soil. Healthy, well structured soil is able to hold more moisture and air, keeping a plant’s root system fed and watered and comfortable. Poor soils like those heavy in clay or sand can cause many problems during extreme temperatures
- Shade cloth. During extremes, especially if you have less than ideal conditions, even the toughest plants might need a little shade when the mercury hits triple digits. Commercial shade cloth or even just an old sheet could provide enough protection to save a plant from the oven.
Most summer garden vegetables do well even in the warmest weather with a little planning and preparation. If you’re not already thinking about what you need to do, it’s time to get started.
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