Heat Wave Plant Protection – 8 Easy Steps

By Pedros CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

  1. Mulch, mulch, mulch – Maintain at least 3 inches. It is the best thing you can do to protect tender plants roots and hold moisture in the soil. Don’t bury the stem of the plant though. Pull the mulch away from it – just a bit.
  2. Remove weeds near your favorite plants. They compete for water and nutrients.
  3. Make sure your planting beds are well irrigated prior to the heat wave. Then your plants can face the sizzling onslaught with vigor and vitality.
  4. During a heat wave apply additional irrigation water as needed. Remember to do this in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler and evapotranspiration rates are lower.
  5. Protect tender plants from the sun if possible. Use shade cloth or set up a temporary shade sail with whatever you can find. Move potted plants to the shade.
  6. If you have a lawn, don’t mow before or during a heat wave. Taller grass blades help shade the roots.
  7. Don’t prune your plants right before a heat-wave unless absolutely necessary. Pruning typically triggers dormant buds to break. Tender new plant growth isn’t sturdy enough to withstand high temperatures.
  8. Delay installing new plants. They perform so much better when planted during cooler weather.
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