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3 Ways to Help your Garden Beat the Heat

High temperatures can stress out your garden and undo all of your hard work. That is unless you take steps to heatproof plants against hazy summer days. Here's how:

3 Ways to Help your Garden Beat the Heat
Prepare garden beds

Prepare garden beds

Prepare garden beds for flowers and vegetables before you plant in the spring. Turn the soil and add generous amounts of organic compost to help maintain moisture, increase biological activity and prevent soil compaction. For container gardens choose a good loose, fertile potting mix to prevent plants from drying out. Add a one- or two-inch layer of mulch to flower or vegetable beds and containers to protect roots from temperature extremes and keep weeds at bay. Replenish mulch in the heat.
Choose the right containers

Choose the right containers

Choose light-coloured, non-porous plastic, resin or glazed pottery containers for flower and vegetable gardens. Terra cotta and wood are also good insulators but will cause soil to become dry more quickly. You can apply a sealer to make them non-porous or put plastic containers or liners inside to hold the water. Make sure containers have proper drainage holes in the bottom. Pot “feet” can help drainage by raising containers off the ground.

Self-watering containers are also excellent. Never let the reservoir dry out, but if it does, water the container from the top to completely moisten the soil, then fill the reservoir. Make sure the pots are large enough for your plants to reach full size.

Water early

Water early

Water in the early morning so moisture has time to soak into the soil before the heat hits and flowers and vegetables have the water they need during the hottest part of the day. Consider installing a drip watering system or soaker hose for garden beds and containers.

Also, be sure to keep up with weeding to keep your garden in its healthiest state.

Annuals and perennials that can take the heat

To keep your flower beds lush and colourful once the hot weather arrives, add annuals and perennials that love the heat.

  • Annuals that keep their cool in full sun include amaranth, periwinkle, celosia,cleome, gazania, lantana, petunia, portulaca, marigold, sunflower, verbena andzinnia.
  • Perennials that thrive in hot weather include astilbe, coreopsis, daylilies,geraniums, coral bells, purple coneflowers, salvia, sedum and veronica.

Be sure to check out our Plant Library for more details on plant varieties, including bloom time, features and care instructions.

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