Man, it is hot out there! Areas of the United States and Europe have experienced record heat. Due to the phenomena of global warming and climate change, record heat in the summers may be the new normal.
As many regions of the country experience temperatures of or above 90°F gardeners are encouraged to lighten their enthusiasm when it comes to performing their hobby. In other words, leave some gardening tasks for the cooler temperatures.
You may or may not realize that plants, lawns, and veggies pretty much shut down when temperatures climb above 90°F. So, perhaps your gardening tasks should too.
Lawn And Garden Don’ts When It’s Sizzling
When temperatures are above 90° you can let the following wait for cooler weather.
- Don’t apply horticultural oils to veggies. They could cook them before you’ve had a chance to pick them.
- Don’t fertilize plants. Plants are not absorbing much of anything as they react to the heat. Too much fertilizing now can burn plants except those that are in containers.
- Don’t mow the lawn. Wait until it is cooler. Mow just enough to keep the yard neat and set the mower blade higher.
- Don’t plant nor transplant. However, if you must, pitch a tent temporarily for shade.
- Don’t prune trees and shrubs. Leaves help plants keep cool. So it’s best not to cut them. In addition, pruning encourages tender growth that means that the trees and shrubs need more water and gentler conditions. Only remove dead or diseased branches.
Lawn And Garden Dos When It’s Sizzling
- Garden by climate, not by calendar. Warm-season veggies favor temperatures in the 80s. Cool-season veggies favor temperatures in the 60s to 70s. Plant a spring and fall garden if you live in a hotter climate.
- Choose plants that are more heat tolerant. That would include okra, butter beans, cherry tomatoes, watermelon, Black-eyed Susans, daylilies, hibiscus, succulents, spruces, and pines.
- Continue to water. Don’t overwater or soak plants until they are soggy. 1-inch of water will suffice. If conditions are hot and dry increase the frequency you water, not the amount. Water in the morning to avoid fungal diseases.
- Keep after garden pests. Spider mites are common trouble when the weather is hot. Blast the leaves of plants with water to keep pests off.
- Keep after the weeds. They flourish in summer.
- Water and fertilize container plants and move them into shadier areas.
- Monitor the garden to assure that plants aren’t frying or wilting. Note what plants are sun and heat-stressed and remember to transplant them in the fall to more appropriate locations.
- Apply mulch. It helps cool the sold and enhance moisture retention. Use well-composted mulches rather than fresh manure or grass clippings in hot weather.
- Keep cool. Go swimming, relax with a book, drink lots of water and forget the garden until cool temperatures arrive.