Prepare The Garden For The Coming Heat

We just had a taste of our upcoming summer heat, with a day reaching 93 degrees, still comfortable enough to keep doors and windows open during the day and leave more windows open at night than we’ve managed so far this year. In the garden, tomatoes love the extra warmth and begin to bloom and even put cherry tomato fruits, and beans, cukes and pumpkins germinate strongly. But the unpleasant intensity of the heat will come, so make sure the soil and plants in your garden are well prepared to thrive and not just survive the onslaught.

Preparing the garden

Watering-continue deep watering so that the complete root systems of each plant remain moist (not soaked).
Fertilizing – assuming you’ve added additives like fertilizer and compost to your planting beds before planting, sprinkle a little more Dr. slow-release organic fertilizer. Earth or EB Stone when the vegetables start to bloom so you have the extra energy to fix and ripen your fruits. Choose fertilizer versions, the first number of which (nitrogen) is lower, but the second (phosphorus) and the third (potash) are higher, so that the energy of the plant is more focused on the development of its roots, flowers and fruits.

Planting new things-it’s up to you to decide based on your locale. Here in Pasadena, California in recent years I no longer-planting tomatoes and more enthusiasts in the summer, because I just did not want to spend the money to use the extra water I should, due to the intense heat constant; and when I planted them and watered the plants that resulted in difficult situations, they did not feel comfortable really somehow. So if you decide to add more plants, let them enter as soon as possible to make sure their roots are well established before the real heat comes and stays. Therefore, I have set a point of honor to have my successive tomato plantings set up at the end of April at the after. Keep in mind that anything below 90 degrees is acceptable for plants, above 90 degrees will start to be stressful for plants, and above 100 is definitely convoluted. At these high temperatures, the plants literally stop and interrupt photosynthesis, so further watering may drown them until temperatures drop to the low 90s.

Mulching-Keep a two- to four-inch layer of organic mulch covering the soil to prevent crusting and cracking of the soil surface, maintain moisture, encourage earthworms, moderate soil temperatures, improve soil when it breaks down, and prevent weed seeds from germinating (and those that germinate are easy to pull).

Covering plants – As a last-minute protective measure on hot days, spun polyester or similar fabric (even an ordinary old cheesecloth) helps to reduce the amount of direct sun, but still allows the circulation of water and air. This worked well on my tomatoes this year when we had two days of heat at 116 degrees.

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