We are experiencing a major heat wave. This morning I heard that there is a heat advisory for 29 states in the North east and south of the country, with temperatures in the 90 to the 100 degree mark! This is not necessarily bad for your garden, as long as it gets at least one inch of rain or watering per week. A simple rain gage or even wide glass jars or can in between your beds will give you a close idea of how much rain or water your plants are receiving. When you do water, water deeply and directly to the roots, avoid giving flash showers and wetting the entire plant. Watering early in the day is also recommended to give the plant the moisture it needs to make it thru the heat of the day. More tips on watering here. Most important in extreme heat, for the sake of water conservation is to water your trees and shrubs first. Next, your perennial borders and last, your grass. Grass has the amazing quality of going dormant when water is scarce, it does not die, just turns brown and rests, as soon as it starts raining again it will come back. If you are one of those people who is not overly concerned of a little brown on the grass, let it go. More water on lawns actually promotes shallow roots which weaken the grass and makes it more likely to die in extreme conditions.
Work must go on in the garden. Perhaps our chores are a bit lessened in the heat of the summer. I have narrowed my chores to some light weeding, watering and deadheading. I try to go out early in the day or in the evening after the sun is low in the horizon. Both times are my favorite in the garden: Birds and other wildlife are very active and the morning chorus and going ons are in full swing. Weeding is important because this opportunistic plants rob your perennials of needed nutrients and water. Deadheading keeps the plants producing blooms and contributes to the overall beauty and health of the plant.
“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water”.
LORAN EISELY, The Immense Journey, 1957