(Family Features) When temperatures peak and the summer sun shines for long hours throughout the day, it can put a burden on your garden and the plants growing in it. Some steps may be easier to take than others, but there are ways to keep your greenery thriving even in relentlessly scorching heat.
Of course, having the right tools and a personal commitment to gardening are a couple of the first and most important rules, but these tips can serve as simple, helpful ways to keep your garden growing strong.
Before getting carried away with digging, tilling or watering, be sure that all of the tools for these jobs and others are ready for use. Inspect hoses and spigots for leaks and holes, ensure that hand tools are sturdy and monitor your inventory of important items like soil to make sure you have enough for the tasks ahead.
Know what to grow.
Instead of gardening on a hunch and wasting water or other precious resources on plants that simply don’t grow well or bloom in the summer, research which flowers, plants and bushes will succeed. Local experts who sell seeds and bulbs can likely help guide you while you shop for your next plant.
By watering in the morning, you can achieve multiple objectives. First, you won’t be stuck sweating it out when the sun is directly overhead during the day while trying to hydrate your plants. Second, soaking the soil early can help plants stay hydrated throughout the hottest parts of the day, rather than allowing them to dry out in the heat and attempting to rehydrate them later.
Mix nutrients with water.
Adding fertilizer to water can help balance out deficiencies in certain minerals, depending on the quality of your soil, especially if you aren’t able to water frequently.
Keep potted plants cool.
When sitting in the sun, certain types of pots may absorb heat, sometimes causing the plants within to dry out and become overheated. Lightly mulching the pots can help, as can placing the pot in a saucer full of moist sand.
Another way to keep potted plants, and all other plants for that matter, cool is to set up a canopy or shade cloth. Especially if your garden is subject to nearly all-day sunlight, it’s helpful to give it some shade at the hottest parts of the day with a canopy directly above.
Protect against pests.
While it can be difficult, keeping pests and insects out of your garden can help keep both you and your plants healthy. Repellants are an obvious option, but some may negatively affect the growth of plants. Instead, practice habits like maintaining healthy soil and getting rid of standing water (which can attract mosquitoes) to actively deter insects.
By staying committed and following these tips among others, you can keep your garden lush and growing even during the summer’s hottest days. Find more tips for a successful garden year-round at eLivingToday.com.