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Protect garden plants from the heat wave

4 ways to protect garden plants from the heat wave

"96 degrees in the shade ... real heat!" Where are my third-world reggae fans? Even if you don’t know the song, I think you know what a heat wave is. Random hot weather and extreme temperature changes can cause a lot of stress and potential damage to your garden. Even plants that like warm climates are not big fans of sudden and drastic change. However, plants are more resilient than we often lend to plants! With some preventative and protective measures, your garden can easily escape from the heat wave with minimal impact.

Read on to learn six ways to protect plants during a heat wave. We will talk about the steps to take when you see unusually hot temperatures in the weather forecast, and the best practices for precautionary use throughout the year in your garden - plants that are highly tolerant of heat stress and drought in general.

What temperature is "too hot" for plants?

Different types of plants respond differently to the range of heat. Vegetables such as lettuce, radish, bog soy, broccoli, cabbage, and other leafy greens or members of the broccoli family generally prefer cooler soil temperatures (the 50s and 60s). These winter crops can temporarily wither or begin to thaw at temperatures above 75 F. When a plant melts, it forms a flower spike in advance and then goes to the seed. When the temperature is above 90 F, they are prone to frying and dying. Learn here how to prevent winter crops from thawing.

Meanwhile, summer garden crops such as tomatoes, peppers, and beans thrive in that 75 to 90 F range! It’s their jam. However, even heat-loving crops can be damaged by frenzy, low production, or high temperatures. For example, when the daytime temperature is consistently above 95 F the tomatoes may have fewer flowers and problems with fruit growth, especially with high humidity and prolonged overnight warm temperatures. Similarly, zucchini and squash plants can reduce production when they are above 85 F for long periods of time.

In any case, young plants are more susceptible to heat stress and damage than mature plants. Their softness and small, shallow root system make them very low heat-hardness, so watch the seedlings carefully! Seedlings that are still in containers can be moved indoors or in the shade during heat waves, if possible. Also, avoid planting new plants outdoors before or after a heat wave

Quick fixes against long-term adaptations to heat

Fortunately, problems such as pollination, production, or wilting that some plants experience during short-term heat waves usually causes a temporary setback. When it is uncomfortably hot they are a bit slow as we all do. Use the tips below to protect your garden during a heat wave, and the plants should jump back in once the weather cools down and returns to normal.

On the other hand, gardeners in areas with high temperatures that are expected and prolonged may have to implement long-term solutions to combat the heat. For example, people living in Arizona, Deep South, Las Vegas, or Hawaii can adjust their garden seasons and grow tomatoes or squash in the spring and fall instead, avoiding growing them entirely during the hot summer months. Other long-term adaptations include careful selection of plant types, planting of certain crops in partial shade, use of ground beds rather than containers (which are more susceptible to drying and temperature fluctuations), or installation of shade structures...

4 ways to protect plants during a heat wave

The following six tips will help your garden survive the heat wave. Wondering when to cast? A good rule of thumb is if the temperature is 10 to 15+ degrees higher than it was suddenly, or if the weather networks are issuing a "high heat warning" for your area, follow some steps below. Help your garden escape from the heat wave. Using each of the listed safety measures may not be reasonable or necessary, so choose the one that suits you!

1) Deep and regular watering (all seasons)

Get started now! To protect your garden from heat waves in advance, you need healthy, strong root systems This is a tip for grooming too - it's always a good thing! If you regularly water your garden during the growing season, provide long and slow water to the plants so that it fills deep into the soil. This is better than pouring water on quick boats and wetting the soil only frequently or over a few inches.

The deeper the moist soil in your garden bed, the more it encourages roots to grow deeper. Did you know that as long as the plants are high above the ground, most plants will grow roots evenly underground? This means that a tomato plant can grow up to 4 feet in roots, peppers, and eggplant 2 feet deep and pumpkin 1 foot deep.

Having deep roots allows plants to access more nutrients and water, making them more resilient to drought and varying soil temperatures. In addition, deep moist soil maintains a very stable temperature and is less likely to dry out. So, set up your plants for success with regular deep watering from the beginning!

Given all the unique variables in each garden or climate, it is difficult to say exactly how much water and how often. However, all plants benefit from a regular watering schedule, twice a week or four days a week. A good goal is often enough to keep the soil moderately moist at all times, but not too wet and not completely dry. When you water deeply, you can water less often.

Read here for more tips and information on DIY, non-toxic and efficient garden irrigation options. Or, come here to learn how to set up automatic drip irrigation for raised garden beds.

2) Water before the heat wave - but resist the urge for more water

Provide good deep water to your garden in the evening or morning before the heat wave hits. Providing water before the peak heat of the day will give them enough time to absorb the water and keep you out of the sun!

However, resist the urge to water your plants regularly throughout the day. Plants wither under high heat and strong sun, but that does not mean they need too much water. Even here where temperatures are rare in the 80s, our summer zucchini and collard greens can be very sad and relaxed in the middle of an average hot afternoon - but they always recover that night! What if they still feel sad in the morning? Then they may be thirsty.

Before applying too much water, check your soil moisture by an inch or two below the soil surface. If it feels wet or water in the last day or two, it will not need more water.

3) Avoid wetting the plant leaves

Avoid over-watering and wetting the leaves in summer. Do you know how humans can get decent sunlight (if not worse) in foggy conditions? Moisture magnifies the sun like a magnifying glass! Similarly, prolonged water droplets on plant leaves in direct sunlight can magnify the intensity and heat of the sun and increase the chance of the sun burning or burning the leaves. As a better practice, we always try to pour water into the soil around the base of the plant rather than the plant, especially during heat waves.

4) Do not skip the mulch!

Did you know that plants are more irritated and affected by temperature fluctuations in their root zone and soil than by ambient air temperature? For example, a plant will usually survive and re-emerge after slight freezing or roasting in the ground but will be less forgiving if its roots suffer. So, mulch your garden to provide a protective layer for soil and roots!

Mulch is always a fantastic idea (you need to ask me!) And it is very important to protect the plants from heat waves. Mulch is a layer of material that goes over the exposed soil, which helps it to withstand temperature extremes and promotes a constant temperature of the soil as a whole. It reduces evaporation and flow, protects the food web of living soil, prevents the soil from drying out, and also reduces your need for water!


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