As the August sun bears down on gardeners and their gardens, it can be difficult to keep plants thriving during the hot summer days. The best way to beat the heat is to perform maintenance tasks early in the day, water your garden regularly and as well as keeping yourself hydrated. Cooler temperatures are ahead and now is the time to start planting fall crops as we begin the transition into fall.
Planning. It’s hot out, so plan to do your garden chores earlier in the morning or late in the afternoon. This is a great time to make sure you have seed collecting envelopes, labels, or storage containers so that you can harvest the seeds of your best performing plants. If you are planning a fall vegetable garden, now is the time to buy seeds and start them indoors.
NOTE: Regularly check your garden center and nursery for an end-of-season clearance section. Sometimes there are straggly, discounted perennials, pots, or other garden supply deals that you can snatch up.
Pruning. Avoid pruning trees and shrubs since doing so this late in the season can stimulate new growth that will not harden off in time for the cold winter weather ahead. Delay pruning until the end of the dormant season early next spring. Pinch off herbs to promote a bushier plant and to keep them from going to seed.
Water. Deeply watering vegetable gardens is paramount as the root systems are well developed. Early morning is the best time to water as evening watering is less desirable because plant leaves that remain wet through the night are more susceptible to fungus diseases. Mulching plants will help to reduce water losses and improve harvest yields. Container plants or hanging baskets will need to be watered daily to keep them thriving.
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