Does gardening make you feel happier? If so, then you’re already enjoying one of the many benefits of doing some work in the garden.
Whether you’re planting and taking care of vegetables or a variety of blooms, gardening is an activity that allows us to leave much of the stress in our lives behind and focus on growing things with our hands.
The arrival of summer, however, means more challenges for you and your garden. While you can keep cool outdoors with a residential patio misting system, your plants are bound to take more heat, quite literally.
Nevertheless, the summer is still a good season for gardening despite the rising temperatures. Here are some tips that will help make it so.
Plant Heat-Tolerant Plants
Scientists say summers have been getting warmer with each year. Plan for that by choosing plants that tolerate the heat better. Heat-tolerant vegetables include:
- Lima beans
- Sweet potatoes
- Bell peppers
- Hot peppers
For flowering plants, your choices include the following:
The summer sun tends to dry out exposed garden beds quite quickly. You can slow that process down by mulching, which keeps moisture in for a much longer time.
Among the things that make good mulching material are bark chips, pine needles, leaf mold, grass cuttings, and shredded leaves. Lay the mulch around your garden plants, and they will serve as a barrier between the sun and the soil to keep the latter cool and prevent it from drying out too soon.
Remember, however, that water still needs to reach the soil underneath, so don’t lay the mulch on too thick and keep it loose.
The moisture and the nutrients in your garden soil are already limited. To make sure your plants get all the good stuff they need, you will need to weed your garden regularly. Weed and other vegetation are competitors your plants don’t need, so make sure you get rid of them the moment they sprout.
Give Your Plants Some Shade
Even if your plants are heat-tolerant, they still could use some shade from the harsh, direct sunlight.
You will need to build a flexible and removable structure that will hold any type of shade you use in place. You can use old sheets, mesh, or any lightweight and light-colored cloth for your garden shade. If you have the budget for it, go to your local garden store and buy gardening shade.
Your plants need the shade, but they will also need air, so make sure your protective shade is three to four feet away from them.
Plants need a lot of water, but you have to smart about it. You cannot water your plants whenever you feel like it. The best time to do your watering is early in the morning.
If you can get up and do your watering before sunrise, the better it would be for your garden. That’s because the cooler temperature means the water you give your plants will have a much better chance of reaching into the roots. The hot sun takes much of that water away through evaporation, so watering your plants early in the morning prevents that from happening.
You can also do your plants a favor by not wetting their leaves. If the leaves are wet and the sun rises, the moisture will heat up, and the leaves will literally cook. Wet leaves also tend to foster disease.
Remember, it’s the roots that need all that water, not the leaves.
Consider yourself lucky if the soil in your backyard is as fertile as they come. However, even if it isn’t, your plants will still grow with the help of fertilizers. So, if your soil doesn’t provide much in the way of nutrients, you can choose from the many types of fertilizer available in the market today.
Good if you know your fertilizers, but if you don’t, you can always ask a friend or a relative who does.
Our summers may be getting hotter, but don’t let the heat stop you from getting the most
productive gardening experience possible!
About the Author
Anna Fox is the Content Marketing Strategist of Señor Mist, a Phoenix, Arizona-based company that provides high pressure misting systems/fog effects, comfort heaters, patio drop shades, HVLS fans, and more. When not writing, she makes use of her spare time reading books and hiking with her dog, Blaze.
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