Gardening in the Dog Days

Here are some tips for keeping your plants happy and healthy when temperatures are on the rise.

  1. Mulch your beds.  4″ of mulch lowers soil temperatures by 10 degrees. Grass clippings, leaves, and woodchips make fine mulches. Do not use black walnut clippings as they contain a toxin capable of inhibiting growth in vegetables. Grow comfrey on the ends of your beds and cut for mulch throughout the growing season.
  2. Install shade providers (old bed sheets work well) to block out 12-4pm sunlight.
  3. Give your plants a checkup.  Plants will naturally wilt during the day under harsh sun. If plants remain wilted during evening hours it is a sign they need a heavy watering. Water soil deeply in the morning. Do not splash plants with water in direct sun; water on their leaves during the heat of the day can damage leaf tissues.

During extreme heat, both you and your garden could use a break–this is a perfect time to be nursing seedlings indoors to plant when it gets a little cooler.


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