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How to Protect Plants from Summer Heat

Help your garden beat the heat. High temperatures can stress out your garden and undo all of your hard work. Take steps to heat-proof your plants to keep them safe.

  1. 1 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.

  2. 2 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.

  3. 3 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 
  • Veronica

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