Hot weather can be tough on your garden. But the experienced gardener knows not to panic! There are some simple things you can do to keep your garden looking great — even in extra hot weather.
Here are 7 easy tips to help you look after your garden in the summer:
1. Choose heat-resistant plants
Our number one tip for creating a garden that thrives even in the hot summer months, is to choose veggies and plants that tolerate, and even enjoy, high heat! Draught-resistant perennials include: yarrow, blanket flower, and sage. Vegetables that enjoy the heat include: corn, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, peppers and tomatoes.
Mulch is a garden’s best friend! We talked about the benefits of mulching in a past blog post, but we can’t stress the point enough. Two or three inches of mulch will help the soil retain its moisture and will prevent damaging weeds from forming. In the heat of the summer, your garden will need as much moisture as it can get, so mulch well and mulch often!
3. Create moats
This simple trick involves creating a small dirt “moat” around each of your plants. Your moats should stretch a little bit farther then the tips of the leaves of the plant in question. When it rains or when you water your plants, these moats will channel water towards the roots of their respective plants’. This technique is especially effective if the soil you are working with is compacted or sunbaked.
4. Use shade-cloth
Shade cloth or netting can be invaluable to preserving your plants come summer time. This special cloth protects your plants from both the heat and the sun and can keep soil as much as 10 degrees cooler than unprotected soil! There are different grades of shade available depending on your plants’ needs. You can also purchase metal hoops on which to mount the cloth from touching or damaging your plants!
5. Water well
Obviously, watering your plants in the heat is essential, and there are techniques you should follow to ensure that your plants are getting the most out of that watering. Timing is key. Water in the early morning or late evening to ensure the least amount of evaporation. Make sure each plant gets a long, deep soaking as opposed to a quick spray. The objective is to reach the roots which go far below the soil’s surface. As much as possible, soak the soil not the leaves, as plants don’t absorb water through their leaves, but rather this can “leave” them vulnerable to burning and brown spots!
6. Deal with weeds
Make sure you deal with any encroaching weeds right away. Weeds are not only unattractive, but they also steal valuable water and soil nutrients from your plants. It’s important to be careful whe you are weeding however, as cultivating too deeply can damage your other plants’ roots.
7. Feed your plants
Another important aspect of keeping your garden healthy in the heat of the summer is making sure your plants are getting enough nutrients. This is especially important if the soil in your garden isn’t particularly nutrient rich. You can feed your plants a healthy organic plant food when it’s hot out to give them the nutrients they need to survive.