Help Your Plants Beat the Heat

Martin’s Garden Notes

Here are a few tips on how to help your plants beat the summer heat.
Watering is only necessary when we have had an extended period of dry weather that creates stress on your plants. Annuals, vegetables and lawns are most at risk because of their shallow root system. Perennials, are somewhat less at risk, while shrubs, and trees have an even less
problem with dry weather. The depth of the roots seems to be the determining factor.
When you determine that your plants need water,( it is dry in the root zone, not just on the surface) water slowly and very deeply. Water enough to fill a coffee can 1″ deep. It is only necessary to water every week or ten days if you have very sandy and droughty soil. Shrubs and trees need even less frequent watering but just as deep.
My father was a proponent of “dust mulch” in the vegetable garden. He achieved this with frequent cultivation creating a dusty surface that prevented weeds and conserved moisture.
When you think about it, at 1 inch rain or water you provide every week all summer would keep all our gardens lush and green.

Island Garden Shop, Inc.
54 Bristol Ferry Rd.
Portsmouth, RI 02871