Is Your Garden/Yard Heat Stressed?

  In my area this summer has been unusually hot.  Some things that can help plants through the heat of summer:

Don't assume you need to water more frequently.   Watering deeply is what you want to do.  Check the soil moisture by sticking your finger into the soil up to the first knuckle.  For most plants the soil should be just barely damp.  For larger plants, trees, and shrubs you may need to dig down in to check soil moisture.  Be sure that water isn't pooling under the plant.  In some cases watering everyday can cause the roots to rot.

Water in the cooler parts of the day.  This is better for the plants and saves water.  Morning is a better time to water than evening.   Evening watering is more likely to encourage fungal disease.

Give them some shade.  Some plants may appreciate some shade.  This could mean installing temporary shade cloth.  For other plants such as pansies and cilantro, plant in a partly shaded area.

Wait to plant.  For cool season crops wait until the weather is beginning to cool before planting.  Spinach, lettuce, cilantro, and dill are among the plants that prefer cooler weather and can be harvested within a short period of time.  In my area planting in March and then again in August helps with a better harvest.

Spray with liquid kelp/seaweed.  Kelp (a type of seaweed) has been shown to help plants be more drought tolerant, disease resistant, and frost resistant.   Using a hose end sprayer set the sprayer to 1 T. per gallon or mix 1 T. per gallon of liquid seaweed in a spray bottle or watering can.  Water the plants and spray the leaves in a cooler part of the day.  I prefer to mix my liquid kelp with fish emulsion at the same proportion.

Install a rain gauge.  When it does rain you can determine whether or not you still need to water. 

Dormant Kentucky Bluegrass
Kentucky bluegrass naturally goes dormant in the summer.   We keep it green by watering and fertilizing.  So, if you have a Kentucky bluegrass lawn (most of the Northern U.S. does) don't worry if the lawn looks evenly tan as long as you have fertilized and checked for pest problems and sprinkler issues.  If you have spots of brown, yellow, rust color, or white your lawn could have other problems. See my lawn care information.

Food plants are more important to water than lawn and plants grown only for ornamental value.

Drink enough water!  Make sure you are getting enough to drink.

Enhanced by Zemanta