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4 Tips for Keeping Your Plants Cool This Summer

 

The Sacramento area is known for its hot summers, and heat can decimate a garden.  Don’t give up on all of your hard work until you try these 4 tips.

 

1.  Prioritize the pots.  You need to be extra careful with any plants that you have in pots. They don’t have the Earth to insulate them and, therefore, are much more susceptible to heat damage and drought. Be sure to keep these plants out of intense sunlight and leave them in the shade.  Water them at least once a day; just be sure you’re watering correctly.

2.  Water often, and deeply. Be certain to thoroughly and frequently water your plants.  You want to really soak the ground to coax the roots into growing deeper.  If you only water the top layers of soil, the roots will never go deep.  The deeper the roots go, the cooler the soil around the roots will be and the more nutrients they will be able to absorb.  This will help them withstand the heat and make them healthier in every way.

3. Mulch is where the magic happens.  A few inches of organic mulch has many benefits for your garden.  The biggest perk of mulch this summer is the reduced moisture loss; it shields the soil from the sun so it doesn’t dry out and it traps moisture underneath to keep the soil moist.  This keeps the soil temperature much more constant.  Don’t forego the mulch.

4. Make use of shade. Shielding your plants form the sun is essential if they are to survive the summer without bolting.  You can easily move the plants that are in pots, but the ones in the ground need a different solution.  You’ll need to construct some kind of tent or covered greenhouse over the more-tender of your plants.

The hotter it is, the more likely it is that your plants will begin to bolt.  Bolting is when your plants think they’re going to die and stop normal growth and instead produce flowering stems in an attempt to reproduce.  In short, bolting will ruin your plants’ chance of being fruitful this year.    Implementing these tips will certainly extend the life of your garden, and will delay or prevent bolting in your garden.

 

By Galen Vistica

Editor Housing Sacramento Magazine

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