Plants Can Suffer From Heat Stress
by Barbara Pentlicki
In these very hot days of summer plants, lawns, and vegetables will tend to shut down as they also suffer from heat stress. How do you support your outside gardens during the hot July and Aug temperatures?
- Avoid using horticultural oils: When the temperature is above 85 degrees horticultural oils tend to sauté your vegetables before you get them picked.
- Fertilizing Plants: As the temps are rising the plants are absorbing less. Fertilizing now could result in a burn to your plants.
- Planting and transplanting should be avoided during the hot summer days, but if it is necessary it would be best to keep it shaded from the sun. A tent over the plant for shade might help.
- Pruning trees and shrubs should be postponed until fall. Leaves help keep the plant cool. Pruning also encourages new young tender growth which needs a gentler environment.
- Don’t forget to set your blades higher on your lawn mower during the extreme heats of summer. Cut it just enough to keep it tidy.
Do consider the following to help your plants.
- If conditions are both hot and dry water them with about an inch of water several times a day which will be more beneficial to the plants rather than one large soaking Don’t forget to water in the morning to reduce the incidence of fungal diseases. A good blast of water on the leaves will shake off those pesky spider mites and other heat loving pests.
- Add mulch to the plant, it will keep the soil cooler and hold in the moisture.
- Move your container plants to a shadier spot if they are showing signs of stress.