How to Protect Your Garden From the Heat During the Summer
by guest writer Bethany Seton
June 21, 2019
Summer is the time when your garden should have flowers blooming with vegetables flourishing and fruit ripening. But a poorly protected garden could shrivel away when the weather becomes too hot. Spring or early summer is the time to tweak and prepare your garden for the hot summer months ahead. The following tips will help you to ensure that your precious garden thrives during this summer and hopefully beyond.
Improving the shade in your garden can help reduce water loss and keep your plants healthy. You can create a shade from the searing sunshine by planting a deciduous tree or clumping bamboo. When you've got young beans coming into bloom or peppers and tomatoes ripening, you can reduce the heat with shade covers made with window screens, cloth or snow fencing. Just ensure that the shade cover allows sufficient light to reach the plants you are trying to protect from heat.
One of the easiest things you can do to keep your garden soil moist and cool is to add a layer of mulch. You can choose various types of mulch, including pebbles, pine bark, sugar cane, and pea straw. Mulch provides an effective layer of protection against the intense summer heat. It also
prevents weeds from growing
Reducing soil temperature with deep mulch is also beneficial to root crops like potatoes that love cooler soil conditions.
Make sure the mulch is up to about 2 to 4 inches deep and be ready to top it up to maintain the depth throughout the summer. You should also ensure that the mulch is not very close to the stem of your plants. Leave about 3 inches of space between your mulch and the plant stems to prevent rot.
Prepare the Soil
Prepare your soil so your plants can grow faster and give you a good yield. As soon as the weather is warm enough, you can till the soil to loosen it up. And remember you want to keep your green patch organic, which means using natural organic fertilizer to improve the nutrient density in the soil. Clear away all debris from your garden beds and rake the soil to make it level.
If you choose to have a raised garden
bed keep in mind you will require extra soil to do so.
Keep Potted Plants Cool
Potted plants could get overheated during summer. So add a little mulch to them and change their position to protect them from the intense summer heat. Keep their soil moist, but avoid flooding the water pots to prevent root rot and breeding of mosquitoes.
Plan for Watering
Just like humans need to stay hydrated in the hot summer months, your plants need to have more water as well. The hotter the weather, the greater the volume of water required to keep your garden plants healthy. Plan to give your plants water early in the morning and late in the evening when the weather is relatively cool. This gives the plants more time to soak in the water before the heat of the sun evaporates it.
You may use any watering method that suits your size of garden and available water source. Common options include hand watering,
using harvested rain
or gray water and automatic sprinklers. Use the method that will ensure that your plants receive just the right amount of water when it's needed.
Add Nutrients to the Water
If you are not able to water your plants often, you must water them deeply and use the opportunity to add nutrients to the soil. Make sure to not forget feeding your plants in summer. You can use a soluble fertilizer for this. For example, adding potash to water that you put at the bottom of your fruit trees like banana, plantains and citrus will enhance their fruit flavor. The potash also helps to prevent certain diseases in mango and avocado.
These are some of the relatively simple steps you can take to prepare your garden for the summer and protect it when heat already starts. If you missed spring months, take advantage of the less hot weather at the beginning of the summer to create the perfect conditions for a thriving garden during later summer months.
Photo Credit: Unsplash
Author Bio: Bethany Seton is a recent economics graduate from Melbourne. Before settling in an office, she decided to follow her passion for writing and travelling. Currently, she travels with her laptop and writes for various blogs, hoping one day she will gather all the experience she gets in one book.