Friday, July 9, 2010

Hot Times for Gardens

Our high temperatures can be hard on the plants in your garden. My winter honeysuckle did get some burned leaves, but most are just fine.

What you might see

Browning of leaves in centers or on edges - sunburn. Looks bad but won't kill the plant.

Tomato or squash flowers dropping off - they just can't take the heat. There will be more flowers when temperatures fall.

Wilting - many plants wilt to get leaves out of the hot sun. As temperatures drop in the evening, leaves pop up again.

Grass burns around edge of lawn - concrete reflects the heat onto the grass. To maintain a green lawn water once a week - 1" of water. A few mowings will remove damaged grass.

What you can do now

-- Water in the morning to get plants hydrated for the day.

-- Spray leaves in the afternoon to cool them off.

-- Shade newly planted shrubs and flowers with a box or fabric in the hottest part of the day, but don't over water - they have a small root systems.

-- Mulch around trees and shrubs to reduce evaporation and cool soil.