Heat Wave Gardening

Super heat one day, humidity the next, and then downpours after that: life for a northeast gardener sure has been fun lately. But this blog is for all of my MARtians who have been braving it through the record-breaking heat wave across the rest of the USA and part of Canada.

You’ve worked to get your gardens ready for summer, and then Mother Nature has decided to taunt you by drying it out. It’s like she popped your hard work into an Easy Bake Oven!

So, can you maintain a garden in the midst of a heat wave? Yes, but it takes a few adjustments.

To start with, I know it looks scary when your plants get wilt-y between waterings—but there is some good news here: they are generally more resilient than you might know. They wilt as part of their ability to survive the heat—part of the overall process called transpiration. Water is kept in the roots and deeper in the more vital parts of the plant. Do they still need water? Yes, but you do have a little time.  

Many communities have put watering restrictions in place early this year. If you aren’t already doing so, my sMARt Tip is to fill your buckets and watering cans an extra time before coming back inside on those “allowed” days. That way your more fragile plants (like those in containers) can still get a good soak on the in-between days without you having the extra trouble of carrying water from inside the house.

I wanted to get you connected to some of the best info, fast, so below are what I think are some great resources: good overviews that are to the point. Let me know in the comments below of any that you’ve found helpful, or any tips that your family or friends in affected areas are doing to keep their gardens healthy.

Good luck riding the heat wave until the green wave comes back, everyone!

And there you have it.

Smart general lawn tips: http://www.gertens.com/learn/Lawn-Care/keeping-lawn-green.htm

Great overview of the lessons learned during the last bad heat wave in 2010: http://voices.yahoo.com/caring-landscape-during-hot-dry-weather-6355692.html?cat=6

Vegetable gardens can be protected, too: http://eartheasy.com/blog/2012/07/how-to-protect-your-garden-during-a-heat-wave/

Some good container tips: http://www.plamerican.com/news/gardening-caring-for-plants-in-a-heat-wave/article_b03fa677-1e6b-5882-9c4d-b4f7a0b8c733.html

And for those who still want to get planting this summer: http://www.hgtvgardens.com/garden-basics/some-like-it-hot-tips-for-planting-in-a-heat-wave

 

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