Garden Heatwave: How to Care for Heat-Stressed Plants


Photo by Pixabay/jf-gabnor

Here are a few tips to help you to help your plants cope with hot garden conditions this summer.

Smart Watering

Water early in the morning when moisture evaporates more slowly. Check soil daily and water if it’s dry two or three inches below the surface. It’s best to soak the soil every few days than dampen only the surface daily.

Mold soil into ridges around plants to create bowls to water into. That way, water will be held in place to soak in rather than running away over the soil surface. Alternatively, water into old pots or bottles sunk into the soil next to plants.

Consider using a drip irrigation system on a timer if you’re unable to water daily in hot weather.

Container plants may need watering more than once a day, especially if it’s windy. Make sure the water is being absorbed into the potting soil, and not simply pouring down cracks between the potting soil and container wall. Keep pouring until you see water running out of the bottom. Use pot saucers to retain the water for longer.

Reduce Evaporation 

Lock in soil moisture by mulching after watering using organic material such as compost, leaves or grass clippings. This will help slow evaporation by shading the soil and keep the root zone cooler.

It will also help to plant densely or use vigorous sprawling plants like squashes to create a living mulch that will shade the soil.


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