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Help Your Garden Survive Summer's Heat

Heat waves are becoming more commonplace, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and extreme summer heat, which can be tough enough on people, is tough on our outdoor landscaping, too. 

While there’s not much we can do to control the weather, gardening experts suggest taking these steps to help your outdoor greenery survive the heat:

  • Water EarlyWatering on cool mornings ensures that more water will make it to the plants’ roots before evaporating. Watering by hand or with a spray-nozzle hose can help direct the water where it’s needed.
  • Watch Potted Plants – When the mercury levels rise, keep an extra close eye on your container plants. Potted plants are the first to suffer in a heat wave and will need more water than in-ground greenery.
  • Mulch Those Beds – Adding mulch to your garden is one of the best things you can do to protect plants from hot summer weather, as it conserves moisture and keeps the area around the base of your plants cool. You don’t need to get fancy—shredded leaves, straw and wood chips are all good options.
  • Add a Little Shade – Even heat-loving plants can do with a little sun protection in extremely hot weather. Shade cloth, which can be laid over outdoor plantings, is easy to set up and remove, and it’s relatively inexpensive. 
  • Try Easy Irrigation – Consider irrigating with a soaker hose, a garden hose permeated with tiny pores that let water seep into the soil. The hose can be lightly buried, which helps the water released to reach plants’ roots. Water delivered this way is less prone to evaporation than water sprayed by a traditional sprinkler.
  • Avoid Plant Stressing – Tasks like pruning, fertilizing and transplanting are stressful for plants. Under normal circumstances, plants can recover quickly, but during a heat wave, this kind of stress can put plant health at risk.