Isn’t it amazing how quickly the weather changes here in Canada? Only a couple weeks ago we were dealing with frost and now we have entered into a heat wave! As you had probably assumed by now, these weather conditions encourage very different ways of tending to your plants. We are going to give you some pro tips to make sure your garden stays safe and hydrated through this heat.
If you have planted any seedlings, make sure to give them some extra love this week as the heat is particularly hard on them. Order your seedlings from the Healthy Garden Co.
Water your plants in the early morning before the sun has risen and again at night if the soil has dried out. With how the past few days have been, and the next few are going to be your plants would appreciate the double water. If you do plan on watering twice a day, all you need is 5 minutes each time. If you’re watering once, it is best to water for 10-15 minutes and choose to water in the early morning. When watering your plants in the early morning it gives them the entire day to dry off and avoid the growth of molds that can be caused by watering at night. The best way to know if you have watered your garden enough is to do an inch finger test - stick your finger an inch into the soil and it should still feel wet. If it does, you’re done watering.
Depending on how much direct sunlight your seedlings are getting, it may be wise to give them a break halfway through the day. Create a way of providing temporary shade to your seedlings - in the past I have used a sheet, or umbrella and covered them for a minimum of one hour. Make sure when you set up your shade contraption that there is still good airflow!
If you have any mulch or dried grass clippings, you can cover the surrounding soil which can help reduce the water evaporation from the heat. The layer helps to trap in the coolness from the damp soil after you watered it the previous evening.
Water your plants during the day. When watering your plants during the day, the water droplets form on the plants leaves and when the sun gets too strong these droplets act as magnifiers and burn through the plant.
If you’ve received new seedlings this week, we suggest that you wait and plant them when the heat has passed. It is harder for the seedlings to take to planting when the soil is drying out so frequently due to the heat. This tip also includes transplanting. If you were planning on moving any of your plants outdoors this week, maybe just wait a few more days. Your plants will thank you.
Wait to prune back any of the overgrown parts if you have any. The plant needs as much protection as it can get from the sun, and that may include the cover of their dying or wilted leaves. Not only that, but the portions of the plant you may think are dead may just be experiencing some sadness from the heat. There is a chance that they will bounce back and not need to be pruned so it is best to wait it out. Not only this, but pruning does cause some stress to your plants and we do not need to be adding any extra stress during the heatwave.
Do not plant any trees, shrubs or perennial plants during this time, they will not take.
Use fertilizer. If your plants begin looking a little sad after the heat wave passes, it is important that you let them recover on their own. Just continue to give them water, and they will bounce back. Once they are looking closer to their original lovely happy green selves, then you can begin to use your fertilizer again.
Cut your lawn this week - if you can let the grass close to your garden grow at least 3” tall it will work as natural shade for the seedlings at the front of your garden.
Be sure to stay healthy yourself during this time and drink a lot of water. We love the sunshine just as much, and also need to consume just as much water as them!
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