Sunday, August 15, 2010

August Heat Wave

The garden is doing well despite the heat wave; the Man of the House spent the day before it got hot hauling the sprinkler and hose around, giving everything a deep soak. I have gone out in the morning and evening to give the pots a deep drink. Here are a few tips for helping your plants through a hot spell:

  • Move pots to a location where the pot its self is shade to keep the soil cooler.
  • Don't let the pot get entirely dry, once the soil is dry, it is a lot harder to re-moisten it.
  • If your pots do dry all the way out, water them slowly, or top the soil with ice cubes which will slowly melt and soak into the soil. Or soak the whole pot in a tub of water for an hour or so (but don't drown it!). Once you think the soil is moist, stick your finger in and make sure it isn't dry in the center.
  • If  a plant looks wilty at the height of the heat, and watering doesn't help, check back on it in the evening or early morning...if it has perked up, then it is OK. Hydrangeas really wilt when it is hot (like me!)
Berry and Basil get their sunbathing in before it gets too hot!

Basil's cool spot, under the living room chair
I've never lived in a home with air conditioning, so I've learned a few ways to keep the house cool...we vent out the hot air at night with a box fan blowing out and shut the place up tight with closed drapes by mid-morning. Last fall I bought an evaporative cooling really works. The vest is filled with a water holding polymer...kinda like Soil Moist that you can use in potted plants (BTW: I don't use Soil Moist in my pots). The vest gets soaked in water, gently rung out, and then it will slowly release moisture for several hours. It doesn't really feel wet, just cool. It really does keep me cool as long as there is a breeze (out doors, open car window, ceiling fan). They make them for dogs too, but Berry and Basil don't really mind the heat.
Soaking of the cooling vest
I do hope some good will come out of this scorching weather...ripe tomatoes!

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