By July 4th we have had several weeks of a heat wave. We now face waves of scorching temperatures in July and August that will threaten our vegetable gardens.
Here are the Top 3 Do’s and Don’ts to help your veggies keep their cool and beat the heat.
Top 3 Do’s
1. Provide Filtered Shade
During a heat wave, too much sun threatens the health of our vegetables.
Provide your vegetables filtered shade using shade cloth (from your garden center) and temporary stakes or bamboo to cover your vegetables. This lets plenty of light in but protects the vegetables from the scorching sun.
2. Water Properly
During a heat wave, when and how you water is important to plant health. The Top 3 Watering Tips are:
- Water early in the morning or in the early evening: This allows the plant to absorb more moisture when the sun is not evaporating it. Avoid late evening or night watering as this often leads to disease.
- Water Deeply: Water to at least 6 inches to develop deeper and stronger roots. This helps the plants resist heat stress during the remainder of the summer.
- Use Automatic Drip Irrigation: The advantage of automated drip irrigation is the plant roots will receive more consistent moisture than manual watering, or waiting for you to come home to water, or with spray heads. Spray heads lose too much water to evaporation, and run off from the yard and concrete areas.
3. Keep Your Water
Keeping water in the plants root zone means healthier and better vegetables. The best ways to do this are by adding mulch and a new patented technology named Moisture Manager. Mulch helps is slowing evaporation and controlling weeds that will suck up water. Moisture Manager uses tiny granules of a new, patented wetting agent attracts water molecules out of the air and surface areas to deliver moisture to your lawn’s root system for 3 months.
Flowers with Moisture Manager Without Moisture Manager
Top 3 Don’ts
- Don’t transplant or re-pot: This adds more stress to the current heat stress. Transplant when temperatures are cooler.
- Don’t prune off wilted growth: This wilted growth provide shade to leaves below. Let the plant recover from heat stress and prune on a cooler day if the wilted growth needs trimming.
- Don’t fertilize vegetables during a heat wave: Dry edible plants can take up too much fertilizer which can cause leaves to burn and even die.
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