Sunday, May 27, 2012

How to help your garden handle extreme temperatures….

Welcome new friends and fellow gardeners!
I’m so glad to have you visit on this hot, hot, hot holiday weekend!  It is 98 degrees as I type this, wow…. my garden and I are not liking this weather.  But we make the best of it and spent most of yesterday in the lake!
Let me start by saying I love it here on our lake, but the first swim is not such a fun day.  If you have ever lived on a lake you might know why….  The first day in is weed pulling day. Yes, if you are not a country girl, this one might just do you in….  We literally have to pull the weeds that have rooted to the bottom of the lake in our shallow water and throw them up on the bank.  Once we do this and swim in it regularly it is not bad and the weeds die down.  But it was a chore yesterday and I had mud and weeds from head to toe.  I certainly had a mud bath!   But the water felt great.  And my floatie is calling my name for later this evening!

As the holiday comes, so do the people out here at the lake.  Lots of parties and even a wedding reception last night.  I kept wondering why so many cars, I was out watering in my swimsuit and ratty capris… lol… wonder how many people I know drove by?  Oh well, it is horrible dry and watering is a full time job.  I have bought another 50 ft of hose for the front and am getting ready to add soaker hoses to the rose garden.  Our grass is burn up and all of my outer plantings look really stressed.  I would call it critical at this point.  This is unheard of for May, but this year is for the record books.
Watering for me is second nature.  I water every other day Monday thru Friday no matter.  But most landscaping at homes and businesses are looking very poor in the last few weeks.  You can very much tell who has irrigation and I worry about the trees.  For that reason I have not done much plantings or dividing in the past 3 weeks and worry about hydrangeas and other water hungry plants in our area.

For this I offer a couple of tips…. If you are out and about look for the little crystals that absorb water and turn into a gel like substance to add to containers.  Make sure they are planted at least an inch under the soil line or you will see them.  Covering them with much will do too.  I have started using them this year and have really seen a difference in the containers on the deck in full sun.

Another inexpensive fix you might try is filling a large trash bag with water and placing it around your trees.  Make a small hole so the water will drip out slowly.  Make sure the plastic is not over any plants or it will kill them.  But if it is just soil or mulch this might really help your trees.  The water-inflatable rings are great too, but this is a cheaper idea for this severe weather.

Always try to water in the mornings or evenings, but if you cannot during those times, water as close to the roots as you can.  An extended shaft nozzle is wonderful in the garden for so many things, but it will give you the reach you need to water at the soil line.  Plants can burn if watered in the bright hot sun.

And as I have said so many times, if your yard is prone to dry weather, plant living groundcovers or densely pack plants into your beds.  They keep each other cool and there will be no water wasted.  Plus no room for weeds!  Mulch can suck up light rains while groundcovers will keep things cool and moist.  Plus they decompose to fertilize your soil.  It’s a win-win.  And they look beautiful too.

Shrubs will survive and look good while perennial will stress in 100 weather.  So make sure you have a good variety of things. I pretty much do, with the exception of my wildflower bed and I am working on remedying that.  I have added some drought tolerant shrubs and evergreens to that area as well.  Daylilies, grasses and sedum are wonderful plants to grow and tough as nails.  Any desert wildflower will also do well in drought.

Make sure to give extra attention to things like hostas, hydrangeas, clematis and any new things under two years old in your garden.  They will needed to be watered every day until the highs go back down to the mid 80s or lower.

And if your plants are trying to set seed in this heat and you do not want the seed. Cut them back.  They will require less energy and will look better, and many will reward you with a second set of blooms.  Plus your garden will look better.

Remember to take care of the gardener as well with sunblock and staying hydrated.  When it gets this hot I keep a large jug of lemonade or tea in the fridge in the garage just for me.  I can pop in there and stand in-front of the door in the cool, it’s heaven.  That’s how your plants feel when you give them a drink!
So I hope I have given you an idea or two to help in these hot conditions.  Remember gardening can be an extreme sport!  But I wouldn’t have it any other way. 
 BTW, these pictures are from this week and I need to do another video, 
so many things are blooming and the lilies are fantastic this year.  

Hubby is off work and loads of things going on, but having a great Memorial Day. 
Hope you are as well.

Much Love and Happy Gardening….Brooke

 Mosaic Monday @ Little Red House
Macro Mondays with Lisa's Chaos
Metamorphasis Monday at Between Naps On The Porch
Keeping it Simple's, Motivate Me Monday's
Boogie Board Cottage's, Masterpiece Monday's
This Week In My Garden @ The Little Round Table
Cowgirl Linkup Party @ The Farmhouse Porch 
Show & Tell @ The Delectable Home
Cozy Home Party @ Your Cozy Home Scenes

The Country Garden Showcase @ White Wolf Summit Farmgirl


  1. Some great tips here. We are also dryer than usual for this time of year. It is a weird year. I water in the mornings and deadhead at the same time. Don't you love it when you are out working and looking your "very best" and someone either drops by or rides by and xo Diana

  2. Good tips, it has been hot here too and very dry! Love the clematis. Laura

  3. You have a beautiful garden and flowers..

    Visiting for Favorite Photo Monday- hope you can stop by:)

  4. I love garden and you have the beautiful one..

    Visiting for Favorite Photo Monday- hope you can stop by:)


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