A home garden is a great hobby that allows you to spend time outside and enjoy fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Unfortunately, summer heat waves are tough on delicate plants and make it challenging for other vegetation to thrive. Here are a few ways to help your garden survive summer.
Choose Plants Carefully
Every plant has different needs for water, sun, and temperature. If you live in a part of the country that is prone to heat waves or multiple days well over 90 degrees, consider that when choosing your crops. Select heat-tolerant plants that succeed even in full sun. Some of the best options to help your garden survive summer include:
- sweet potatoes
- zucchini and yellow squash
- green beans
- tomatillos and tomatoes
Water Correctly to Help Your Garden Survive Summer
If you have heat-tolerant plants that are failing, you might be watering incorrectly. Watering too much or too little can cause plants to be stressed and more vulnerable to damage from pests and heat.
To help your garden survive, water in the early morning before the sun heats the ground. Watering earlier in the day prevents moisture from evaporating before it has a chance to sink to the roots.
Add Shade to Protect Plants
To help the plants survive the summer heat, you may need to add more shade until the heat wanes. Shade cloth is available in different strengths. String it over garden beds to block the worst of the sun. A shade cloth of 40% is ideal for most vegetables, 50% is perfect for tomatoes, and 60% is good for more sensitive plants. Use a patio umbrella to protect beds in a pinch when temperatures are exceedingly high.
Help Your Garden Survive Summer: Add Mulch
Mulch is an effective way to help your garden withstand the summer heat. It locks in moisture and protects plant roots and the soil’s surface from direct sunlight. If you are growing food to eat, use an organic mulch or compost that does not contain chemicals. Leaves and straw also insulate the ground and are less expensive than bags of mulch.
Pay Attention to Seedlings and Young Plants
If you have seedlings or young plants still in containers, move them inside or to a shady area of the yard during heat waves. Any type of stress stunts growth and may kill the plant entirely. To help your garden survive summer, focus energy on the most vulnerable plants.