Taking care of your garden in extreme heat can be stressful. Here are some tips and tricks to give your plants what they need to the best chance to make it through a heat wave.
- Water plants deeply and while temperatures are still low – ideally in the morning. Potted plants will probably need to be watered more than once a day during a heat wave. If you can’t water in the morning, the next best time is early evening.
- Mulch! If you don’t already have a thick layer of organic mulch around your plants, apply some before the temperatures really heat up. Organic mulch helps keep soil temperatures lower, retains moisture, keeps weed pressure down and improves soil health.
- If possible, move potted plants to a shaded area and try not to plant in black plastic pots. The plants’ roots can fry from the temperature retention. While the heat wave persists move these plants to as cool of an area as possible
- For young plants, set up shade cloths. They can’t handle the heat as well as more established plantings. Consider placing temporary shade cloth over them during the heat wave.
- Watch the leaves on your plants. Leaves wilt during extremely hot and sunny days as a defense mechanism. The wilting lowers the surface area exposed to the sun thus limiting transpiration and sunburn. However, if the plant does not perk up in the evening or after watering in the morning then it might be a sign of too much or too little watering.
- Although it is more time consuming and a bit pricey, if you are serious about keeping your plants as healthy as can be – heat wave or not – install an irrigation system. The best defense for extreme weather is having healthy established plants. Caring for them year-round with the right organic fertilizers and amendments, seasonal pruning, and good watering practices are the best way to ensure your plants make it through extreme weather.
Following these quick tips will keep your thumb green and your plants happy!