Tips: Beating the Summer Heat

Summer officially kicked off last week but the temperatures have been with us for some time. Even though summer is a time for growth, it's also a stressful time for plants dealing with extreme temperatures and a strong sun. These tips are meant to help you get the most out of the season.

Beat the Summer Heat

Timing is Everything

The early morning hours, before the sun is strong, represents the best time to water your garden. We recommend deep soakings every couple of days for in-ground plantings (vs shallow daily watering.) However, for container plants, consider a morning and evening watering, as those containers tend to dry out more quickly under the summer sun.

Shade What You Can

Plants love light but too much of a good thing can be deadly. On those hottest days, consider shading some of your more-light sensitive plants. This could include recently transplanted items. Containers should be moved to shadier spots during the blazing afternoon sun to provide a respite.

A Cooling Layer

The chestnut shades of mulch offer a decorative contrast to deep summer greens, but mulch also acts as a cooling layer for plants, while also keeping soil moist longer. We recommend at least a couple of inches of mulch.

Garden Tools and Soil in Wheelbarrow

Forgo the Fertilizer for Now

Here's something you don't have to do. Fertilizers typically require hydration for plants to successfully absorb and on particularly hot days, plants are already struggling with getting enough water. Fertilizing may be an added stress for plants when they don't need it.

Read The Leaves

Although this is a guide, nothing beats your experience. Check on your foliage at the end of each day. As the sun sets, wilted leaves should come back to life. If not, it may be a sign of underwatering for the day. A quick sprinkle may be what's needed to provide some cooling relief.