When the sun is shining bright and the heat is on, we can simply hide away in our air-conditioned home, soak in the pool, or splash in the ocean. Plants, however, are stuck under the harsh rays of the sun and can often burn and dry up.
Here are 10 tips to help your plants survive the summer heat.
- Test soil with your finger by poking down a few inches near the stem to check the root zone. A dry surface could still have moisture below. If not, get the hose.
- Water in the morning so it soaks in before evaporating from the heat and dry wind. Late afternoon is second best, but give foliage time to dry out before night.
- Prevent diseases that thrive on moisture by watering at the base of plants to avoid getting leaves, fruits, or vegetables wet.
- Locate plants out of windy areas or protect them with barriers, to prevent moisture lost through foliage. The larger the leaves the larger the water loss.
- Give fruits and vegetables the consistent water they need to produce well. Don’t let them completely dry out to prevent problems like cracked tomatoes and blossom end rot. To learn more, check the UCANR IPM website under Environmental Disorders, http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/GARDEN/veggies.html
- Water containers more often because they can dry out quickly, especially if in full sun or exposed to wind. Water evaporates faster from unglazed clay pots that are more porous, than glazed or plastic pots.
- Apply 2 to 3 inches of organic mulch to help hold moisture in the soil, such as bark, shredded leaves, or pine needles.
- Check of brown leaf edges or yellow leaves that are signs of over-watering.
- Water slowly and deep enough to reach the root ball, instead of a light sprinkle.
- Set an automatic timer when leaving on a summer vacation to keep plants happy.
Source: Linda Hagen, Garden Design free newsletter.