Beating Summer Plant Stress

 

Star-Tip 1017

Gardening Tips for successful and beautiful Landscapes and Gardens

 

High summer temperatures, strong winds, drought and flooding rains are as hard on our plants as they are on us! Take extra care to protect your plants when extreme conditions arrive.

Summer can be a very enjoyable time of year. Vacations, fishing, iced tea, hiking, hammocks and other fun things come to mind. Unfortunately, bad stuff like severe heat, drought and flash flood storms often come our way as well. To help your plants resist heat and drought stress, try the following:

 

When to Water

Summer Fertilization

Pesticides Summer applications

Summer Pruning

Staking

Protect Yourself

 

1.                 When to Water - Water early in the morning and apply a layer of mulch to help keep the soil cool and prevent evaporation. Old carpet strips or layers of newspaper between rows help retain moisture and slow evaporation in vegetable gardens.

2.                 Summer Fertilization - Don't fertilize plants during times of extreme heat or drought. It will only make things worse! Using fertilizers during excessively hot, windy periods will cause the plants to produce tender growth that is burned off immediately, and puts the plants under even greater stress.

3.                 Pesticides, Summers applications - When necessary, apply pesticides early in the morning or at sunset. Using them during the hotter part of the day will most likely result in increased plant stress and an increased heat stress level for you. Wash off aphids and mites with strong streams of water and use BT Worm Killer to deal with the ugly tomato hornworms and caterpillars. (top)

4.                 Summer Pruning - If your plants show signs of leaf scorch and sunburn (they will burn just like we do), don't prune the damaged growth until the temperatures cool in the fall. The old growth may look ugly, but it gives the undergrowth and stems much needed protection from direct sun.

5.                 Staking - In areas subject to frequent storms and heavy rains, be sure to stake trees and tall shrubs to stop them from getting beaten flat or popping out of supersaturated soils. Make drainage channels around gardens and flower beds to stop plants from being "drowned". Too much water is actually worse than not enough. Plants also need to breathe just like we do...

6.                 Protect Yourself - One last thing - while tending to your plants in summer, don't forget yourself. Wear a good garden hat, use gloves and sunscreen so you don't get fried and drink plenty of water!

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2009, Star Nursery, Inc. Copy Provided courtesy of Star Nursery www.StarNursery.com