Five Tips for Helping Your Garden Survive the Heat Wave

Here in Cambridge, we haven’t seen a drop of rain in over a week, and none is on the horizon for many more days.  Given the wet June we had, it may seem like a relief. But with temperatures soaring into the 90s and even scraping the triple digits, my garden is looking a bit withered.

Obviously, watering your garden is key, but how you water is just as important. Here are five tips to help protect your garden from the dry spell.

1. Water the garden after 5pm. This will give the soil (and plant roots) a chance to absorb the water before the sun hits it and starts to evaporate.  Do not water your garden during the middle of the day.  Water droplets on the leaves will cause reflection from the sun and burn the plants.

2. Water the soil, not the plant. You may even want to consider buying a soaker hose.  These are black mesh hoses that snake around the garden to make watering easier.

3. Water for longer than you think necessary. There have been many times when I’ve watered my garden, and then gone back 10 minutes later to discover the wet earth is not even a centimeter deep. With the soil as dry as it is, you’ll need to water longer to penetrate the layers of earth and get to the plant roots.

4. Weed. The weeds want water just as much as the plants.  But you don’t want your weeds competing for this precious commodity.  Getting rid of them helps ensure that your prized plants won’t have to fight as hard for the water they need.

5. Container plants do not hold water as well as plants directly in the earth.  Consider moving these pots to the shade during peak-sun hours.

How do you help your garden survive dry spells?

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