Just in case your spent this past week under a rock(probably not a bad idea), the weather was a little steamy. Temperatures hit 90 and above with gagging humidity!
It’s okay, don’t panic, I’m here to help you, your lawn and your garden survive!
Step 1. Take a deep breath and RELAX! This is not the first time that we’ve seen extreme temperatures and it certainly isn’t the last.
Step 2. Maintain a regular deep watering of your lawn and garden. Make sure to water in the early morning hours, prior to sunrise is ideal. If you are fortunate enough to have an automatic watering or irrigation system, double check your scheduled run times to make sure that you are not watering too late in the morning. Watering while the sun is higher in the sky is useless because often times, in high heat, the water evaporates so quickly that it never reaches the soil or the roots of your plants. Further, water sitting on leaves can become extremely hot and burn plants. I went through Amazon.com selection and found a few useful timing devices to help keep your watering on track…
3. Double check mulch around your plantings. A 2″-3″ layer of a good quality mulch is essential to keeping soil moist and cool. I am not an endorser of colored mulches(sorry, read my previous blog on mulch) because colored mulch that I have seen are nothing more than shredded pallets died Red or Black. Colored mulches are somewhat effective in moisture retention and weed control but fail in comparison to a premium quality hardwood root mulch.
4. If you grow flowers or vegetables in pots or small movable planters, move them to a shadier location until the heat wave passes.
5. Put technology to work for you invest in water absorbing products that hold a significant amount of moisture and release it over time. Simply mix a few crystals into the soil around your plants. Water is released over time keeping your plants hydrated and healthy. My partners at Amazon.com ship these products immediately. If you cannot afford water retaining crystals such as the products listed below, a cheaper alternative is any “Clay Based” kitty litters. The drawback to the aforementioned water retention products is the fact that they dissolve completely away after a short period of time.
6. When possible, screening or shading is another alternative. Heavy grade screening materials are available from home improvement warehouses and can be temporarily draped over plants. Ambitious gardeners will construct a temporary frame as shown below. This an extreme circumstance… We have to do what we have to do.
7. Did I mention not to panic?? In extreme heat, just as they do in winter, plants want to go dormant(shut down). This is completely normal as plants will show signs of stress to include wilting leaves, browning and reduced flower and vegetable production.
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Stay Cool Man!!!