How do you take care of outdoor plants in the summer?

Ah, summer. Longer days, vibrant blooms, and Scorching sun. While we bask in the warm glow of the season, our gardens can suffer under its relentless heat. But fear not, fellow plant enthusiasts! With a little planning and these essential tips, your summer garden can not only survive but thrive.

Water Wisely: The Bedrock of Summer Success

Watering is the cornerstone of any healthy garden, but summer ups the ante. Research from the University of California, Davis suggests that plants can transpire (release water vapor through their leaves) at up to twice the rate in summer compared to spring. Here’s how to ensure your plants stay hydrated:

  • Deep Soak, Not Frequent Dribbles: Aim for slow, thorough watering that reaches the root zone. Frequent shallow watering encourages roots to grow near the surface, making them more susceptible to drying out.
  • Early Bird Gets the Water: Water in the cool morning hours to minimize evaporation. Evening watering can invite fungal diseases in humid environments.
  • Mulch Mania: Apply a 2-3 inch layer of organic mulch around your plants. It retains moisture in the soil, reduces weed growth, and regulates soil temperature.

How do you water a garden during a drought

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Sun Smarts: Selecting the Right Plants and Positioning

Not all plants are created equal when it comes to sun tolerance. Here’s how to strategically position your plant fighters:

  • Sun Worshippers vs. Shade Seekers: Group plants with similar sun needs together. Full-sun perennials like coneflowers and daylilies will bask in the summer sun, while shade-loving host as and ferns will appreciate dappled light.
  • Repurpose Containers: Move container plants to shadier areas during the hottest part of the day. South-facing walls radiate heat, so position containers strategically to avoid afternoon scorch.

Expert Insight: Embrace Heat-Tolerant Choices

“When choosing summer plantings,” advises Lisa Mulhall, a horticulture expert with over 20 years of experience, “opt for varieties known for their heat tolerance. These superstars will reward you with vibrant flowers and lush foliage all season long.”

Here are some top picks for heat-loving performers:

  • Flowers: Zinnia, Butterfly Bush, Lantana, Cosmos
  • Vegetables: Tomatoes (with proper care), Peppers, Eggplant, Okra
  • Herbs: Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Basil (with regular watering)

Related: How to Keep Moisture in Soil?

Beyond Watering: Give Your Plants a Helping Hand

  • Soil Matters: Amend your soil with compost or other organic matter to improve water retention.
  • Slow and Steady Wins the Race: Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer during the cooler months to encourage strong root development. Avoid over-fertilizing in summer, as it can stress plants.
  • Weekend Warrior Weeding: Regular weeding reduces competition for water and nutrients.

Embrace the Beauty of Evenings:

Summer evenings offer a magical time to enjoy your garden. Many fragrant flowers, like night-blooming jasmine, release their intoxicating scents after dark. Create a designated seating area with twinkle lights to transform your garden into a peaceful evening retreat.

Remember, a healthy and vibrant summer garden is all about creating a microclimate that caters to your plants’ needs. By following these tips and incorporating a little creativity, you can ensure your green haven thrives under the summer sun.

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