How to Beat the Heat While Caring for a Summer Garden

If you garden, you know that most plants love sunshine. That, however, doesn’t mean they love the mid-July heat. We’re doubting you do, either. But with a bit of extra care, you and your plants can survive until temperatures calm down in the fall. Follow these tips for maintaining a summer garden.

 

Protect yourself and your plants from the sun.

 

You know you need shade, but a lot of plants can use some, too. Many types of flowers and vegetables benefit from a small afternoon break from the sunshine. If they don’t get this naturally, you can erect shade cloths over your summer garden.

 

Of course, you should also remember your sunscreen when working outside, and reapply it every two hours. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, as well, and protect your face, ears, and neck.

 

Water generously and often.

 

It’s best to water plants in the morning to help them survive the day’s heat. Consider watering twice as often when temperatures get exceptionally high.

 

Keep yourself hydrated, too. Take frequent water breaks and place a wet bandana around your neck to help your body stay cool. Enjoy a nice, cool shower if needed or spray off with the garden hose.

 

Weed. A lot.

 

Keep your summer garden well-weeded throughout the season so your plants don’t have to share their water supply. Try to complete this task in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the sweltering mid-day heat.

 

Use plenty of mulch.

 

Spread about 2-4 inches of mulch around your plants. Not only will this help control weeds, but it will also help trap moisture in the soil and prevent it from drying out too quickly.

 

Harvest ripe fruit.

 

Ripe fruits—such as tomatoes, melons, and peppers—consume a lot of water, so you need to harvest them often. That will help reduce stress on your summer garden plants.