It’s getting hot out there, and with little rain to quench our thirst, our gardens are starting to feel the effects, too. With more frequent droughts and higher and higher recorded temperatures every year, it’s a good idea to start planning for the future of your garden. While there are many things you can do to prepare for the hot weather before you plant, there are also some things you can do right now to keep your plants cool this summer!
How Can I Protect My Powell River Garden from the Heat?
There are many tips, tricks, and methods you can use to protect your garden from the heat this summer! Here are some of our favourites:
It can be hard to keep your garden hydrated and well-protected when it undergoes long periods of heat without much rain, but a few simple watering tricks will make a ton of difference. Firstly, water deeply at the base of your plants to ensure their roots soak up all that moisture; you don’t want to waste any water on foliage. We also recommend watering in the early morning or evening when temperatures are cooler, allowing your plants to absorb and retain moisture before it’s evaporated by the sun’s heat. For those of you with water-wise gardens, you can also reuse water during dry spells by using dishwater, bath water, or even water from play pools and dog dishes to hydrate your plants.
With current concerns surrounding water scarcity, now is definitely a time to consider alternative watering methods, and one such method sure to save you both time and water is drip irrigation! Drip irrigation systems are designed to slowly release water into your garden and cut down on water usage by keeping your soil consistently moist, eliminating the need for sprinklers, hoses, and watering cans.
If you didn’t mulch in the spring, now is a great time to do so! Mulching is another excellent way to protect your garden from the summer heat, as it allows the soil to retain moisture by blocking direct sun from hitting the base of your plants. Even container plants will benefit from a good mulching, as they tend to dry out even quicker in the heat.
Shade cloths are fabric barriers you can hang over your plants to protect them from heat and UV radiation. There are many cloth options you can choose from with varying levels of shade density, so you can change the level of heat protection for your garden depending on how much direct sunlight your plants are receiving.
Keeping your soil healthy is critical for protecting your plants from drought and heat distress, and adding amendments—like good quality compost and perlite—is a great way to help them stay strong, retain moisture, and maintain proper pH levels!
Right Plant, Right Place!
Ultimately, the best way to protect your plants from overheating is to put the right plants in the right places in your garden! Before planting anything in an exposed area of your landscape, like a border, make sure it can withstand high heat, full sun, and potentially even drought-like conditions. Remember, too, that younger plants might be more heat sensitive until they become established, so it’s good to give seedlings and newer plants more heat protection.
Move Things Around
Containers are great for protecting plants from heat since you can move them around if they start to show signs of heat distress. Many plants will do fine if moved to a shaded area during intense heat, but if natural shade is not available, you might want to consider other methods of heat protection–like shade cloths.
Planting a variety of native plants is an excellent way to ensure your garden can survive whatever the local weather throws at it. Plants native to B.C—like lupines and elderberry—are perfectly adapted to our climate fluctuations and are much more tolerant of the slight variations in our summer temperatures than many non-native plant species.
With annual temperatures continuing to rise, planning now for the best garden heat protection strategies will provide you with much less work in the future. For more ways to help your Powell River garden beat the summer heat, stop by Mother Nature and chat with us today!