If a sudden heat wave leaves you feeling weak and tired, think about how your poor flowers feel! They have to acclimate just like you do. Here are some small steps you can take to help them flourish this summer.
- Deadheading. Remove spent blooms to prevent plants from producing seeds. This way they can put more energy into creating more blooms.
- Watering. Most garden plants prefer an inch of water each week. It’s best to water deeply than frequently so that plants can develop stronger roots. Water sitting on the leaves can lead to scorching or disease, so water thoroughly on the ground. Soaker hoses work well.
- Mulch. Spreading two inches of mulch shields the soil from the sun, preventing evaporation and keeping plants cooler. You can use any kind of organic material, from wood chips to straw.
- Weeding. Get those pesky sprouts while they are small and the soil is moist. If you let them grow, they steal water and nutrients from your plants and produce seeds, leading to more weeds. Check you garden in the cool of the morning or in evening, when the heat has dissipated.
- Add new plants. Spring blooms like pansies and violets fade in the summer heat. Replace them with heat loving flowers like salvia and zinnas. You can also plant summer-blooming bulbs like dahlias or calla. Watch them rise as the temperatures continue to climb.