Beating Summer Stress
Gardening Tips for
successful and beautiful Landscapes and Gardens
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- When necessary, apply
pesticides early in the morning. 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
- 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.
- 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 worse than not enough. Plants also
need to breathe just like we do...
- 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!
Copy Provided courtesy of Star Nursery