Are you thrilled that your garden is finally starting to bloom? Are your plants green and leafy and thriving? Don’t get too excited. The summer heat is gearing up to make a mess out of things. Hot weather can cause stress for your outdoor plants, and it’s important to know how to protect plants from the heat. If you want your garden to survive the scorching sun, you must have a plan. We’ve got you covered. Here are three ways to keep your plants safe from the heat this summer.
#1: Mulch is Your Friend
Mulch is helpful for your garden year-round by preventing moisture loss and soil erosion. In the summer, it also helps protect against extreme heat. Mulch acts as a barrier between the soil and the elements. It keeps the direct sun from hitting the dirt and heating the roots of the plants, and it helps the soil retain moisture, which is crucial to keeping your plants safe when the weather gets hot. Choosing a light-colored mulch can reduce the temperature even more because it helps reflect the sun, so the soil absorbs less heat.
#2: Time Watering Carefully
It might seem like your plants need the most water when the heat index is highest in the middle of the day, but that’s not the best way to protect plants from the heat. Watering when it’s hottest and the sun is high in the sky leads to excess evaporation, meaning you’re not only wasting water, but your plants aren’t getting as much as you think they are. Water in the early morning or evening when it’s cooler out. The water will reach the roots more effectively, giving them the moisture they need to tolerate the midday sun. Water at least three times a week, and deep watering is best if you can. A buried drip line can get the water close to the roots, where they absorb it most quickly. If you don’t have a drip line, a soaker hose close to the plants is another great option. It’s worth the time to have a landscape professional assess your current watering situation and recommend improving your irrigation.
#3: Provide Shade When You Can
One of the biggest challenges when figuring out how to protect plants from the heat is avoiding sunburn. The simplest way to prevent this problem is to plant sun-loving plants in the sun and plants that tend to burn in partial shade. Growing in pots can make it easy to move things around to provide the right amount of sun and shade. Another option is to use shade cloth over especially vulnerable plants. Then pay attention to the shade factors for your plants to ensure they aren’t covered too much or too little throughout the day.
The summer heat in South Carolina is no joke, but just because the weather is scorching hot doesn’t mean you can’t still have a fantastic garden. Try these other tips and tricks to keep your favorite plants safe from the heat. For more ideas on keeping your lawn and garden happy and healthy this summer, contact the experts at W.P. Law, Inc. for all your lawn care and irrigation needs.