We’re still a couple days away from the official beginning of summer, but Austin temps are already hitting the triple digits. If you feel like cranking up the air conditioning, chances are your plants are wilting in the heat too. Here are five tips to help your plants survive another scorcher.
Tip One: Water in the morning
Give your plants a nice, deep watering in the morning—the earlier, the better—to help them prepare for the long hours of bright sun ahead. Focus on watering around the roots of each plant, not the leaves, to avoid scorching. Pro-tip: Drip irrigation will help keep your garden watered deeply, save amount of water used and allows you ease of mind for keeping your garden watered during these hot months.
Tip Two: Use shade cloths
Plants growing in their own pots can be moved to a shadier spot, but what about the plants in your raised beds? Shade cloths allow enough sunlight through to keep your plants happy without scalding them. You can buy some inexpensive and reusable shade cloths and tent them over wire arches to avoid squishing your greens.
Tip Three: Grow native and locally-sourced plants
Some plants are just not meant to live long once the temperature rises above 70 degrees. By growing plants that are more tolerant of our Austin climate, you can spare yourself the frustration of wondering why your spinach is bolting or why your tomatoes are wilting. We post ideas of hot season plants you can grow each month to boost your gardening success. Come see June's What to Plant Guide Here.
Tip Four: Plant Intensively
When you pack your raised beds with greens, the density of their foliage shades the soil and keeps their roots cool. Bare soil dries out much faster than soil covered by a canopy of flowers, herbs, and vegetables, so if you spot an empty patch in your garden, go ahead and plant something else!
Tip Five: Keep your soil healthy
Nutrients in the soil can help your plants recover from the heat faster. When you design a garden with Lettuce Grow Something, we’ll set you up with a soil blend that has proven itself in our Austin climate year after year. With every change of the season, we recommend adding a layer of high-quality compost and organic fertilizer to keep your soil happy.
We hope this helps your garden not just survive but thrive over the long summer months to come. Stay cool and keep growing!
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