For better or worse, summer heat has finally descended upon our gardens.
Certainly, local gardeners will experience more periodic heat spells during the next two or three months, so how should a local gardener respond to these heat spells? With a cold glass of lemonade? Well yes, but what about our gardens?
Because a plant's reaction to heat is gradual, its impact is often misunderstood. In a futile attempt to mitigate heat stress, a gardener's usual response may only be to water more. But in many cases, more water won't make things better. In fact, it could only make things worse, promoting root diseases, which thrive in hot, moist, compacted summer soils.
Here are a few tips:
•Strong, well-rooted plants withstand heat better than weak plants or plants with small root systems.
•Check the soil. It may be dry on top, but moist a few inches below, where the roots are. Don't necessarily water because the soil surface looks dry.