While most plants enjoy a certain amount of sun, very few can tolerate high temperatures for too long without extra help. Vegetables will wilt quickly, and crops like lettuce may bolt and end up tasting bitter. As that summer heat wave rolls on, here are a few things you can do to protect your garden:
1. Don’t water during the heat of the day.
A deep watering in the morning or evening will guarantee that water gets down to the roots of your plants and doesn’t simply evaporate off the soil surface.
2. Try an automated timer.
Automated timers for sprinklers and hoses are ideal for watering late at night or while you’re away on holidays. Try a simple-to-use water timer that attaches to your faucet or garden hose, no batteries needed.
3. Give vegetables an extra drink when it’s extra hot.
Keep a close eye on annuals and vegetables for wilting – when temperatures really soar, these plants may need an extra bit of water to help them through the day. If that is the case, use your watering can to water close to the roots, and avoid splashing water on the leaves.
4. Soaker hoses will save water and money.
Obviously, watering is essential if you want your garden to thrive in heat, but all that moisture can come at a cost. A soaker hose can save from 30-70% water usage!
5. Rain water is best – collect it with a rain barrel!
Rain water is soft, pure, aerated, the perfect temperature, and free! Catch it with a rain barrel that can be attached right to your hose for easy watering.
6. Fertilize regularly for strong roots that take up water.
Watering with a fertilizer like Myke at regular intervals will encourage root growth. Deeper, stronger roots mean plants can take up more water and better stand against those long, hot summer days.
7. Keep moisture in soil with mulch or landscape fabric.
The best garden mulches are wood and bark chips, because they absorb moisture, as opposed to rock or stone. Soaking thick layers of newspaper can also work as a temporary water-retaining mulch while you’re on holidays! Mulches and fabrics will also help to keep weeds at bay, and will protect plants from damage during the winter.
8. Plant some shade!
If you need to plant shade-loving plants in a sunny garden, you can try blocking them with leafy, sun-loving plants. If you really finding it tough to keep up with watering during the summer, take a long-term strategy and plant a shade tree in a strategic location to help you out.
Talk to our experts for advice on types of trees and how and where to plant for the best results, or use our Plant Finder tool to dig up the best options for your garden.
Be proactive for a healthy garden, all summer long!