The sun is scorching this time of year, for people and for plants. If you don’t take the necessary precautions, that herb garden you planted at the beginning of the season could end up with some serious damage from sun exposure and dry soil.
Here are some things you can do to keep your garden cool and healthy.
Water Well in the Morning
Just like people, it’s important that plants stay hydrated to avoid overheating. When you know it’s going to be hot out, make sure not to skimp on the water. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, expect that plants will need double the usual amount of water when experiencing extreme heat. The best time to water is typically early in the morning when temperatures are still relatively low, then you should go back to check on the soil by midday to see if you need to water again. Remember: Potted plants will need more frequent watering than those in the ground.
Move Them If You Can
For herbs planted in a pot rather than in the ground, you can always switch up their location to prevent the plants from getting too hot. Move them to a spot that will provide some shade until the temperature is lower.
Cover Them Up
Take shade to the plants you can’t move. The Farmer’s Almanac recommends draping a shade cloth or an old bedsheet over the plants to block them from the sun.
Covering the base of the plant with mulch will help keep your herbs cool, as they can help retain moisture around the roots. This will also speed growth and keep weeds at bay, according to the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia.
Understand the Right Herbs for Heat
Some plants just do better in sun than others. For example, the master gardeners said that dill and cilantro are less heat-tolerant than some other herbs and might need to be “discontinued” if the heat does too much damage. Some herbs that do well in summer heat are rosemary, basil, and mint, according to the Food Gardening Network.
Protect Yourself First
Excessive heat can present dangerous conditions for people, not just plants. If you’re going to spend time working in the garden, it’s imperative that you take precautions to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke, including drinking plenty of water and taking breaks inside to cool down.
Feature image Halfpoint/stock.adobe.com
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