How to beat heat stress in Plants
The weather has been heating up recently and we are due another heatwave in August. Great news for evening drinks and alfresco dinners, not such great news for our gardens. Strong sun exposure paired with increased temperatures are a sure-fire recipe for dramatic water loss in your plants. However, there are a few tricks you can employ to give them a helping hand…
Protect your pots:
For potted plants, you have the benefit of being able to move them. Seek out shaded spots and place against a wall to add stability. Try to water as regularly as you remember and favour evening watering to reduce moisture loss as much as possible.
Mulch for moisture!
Mulch is fantastic at protecting plants from the heat. Mulching suppresses weeds and provides long-lasting moisture and nutrients. You will need to place a thick layer of mulch on the top few inches of soil where root activity occurs. This will also reduce the amount of watering needed. The ‘Greenhouse People’ suggest using vermiculite, a naturally occurring mineral. This can be found in potting soil or purchased alone. It will increase nutrient retention and aerate the soil, resulting in healthier plants.
Leave Grass Clippings Alone:
When you’ve cut your grass, leave the cuttings on the lawn. They will add back nutrients and hydration to the soil as well as providing light shade to the soil. You could also pile the clippings on flower beds to shield them from the heat, too.
Early Morning Watering:
For humans, drinking water first thing in the morning has been shown to provide arrange of health benefits and the same is true for plants. Watering early in the morning ensures roots are amply hydrated before the heat of the day kicks in.
Use Irrigation hoses and soakers:
Both hoses and soakers work by slowly delivering water to the plants’ roots, preventing evaporation and saving water. Irrigation hoses use flexible plastic tubing that contains mall holes. Water drips from these holes into the soil. Soaker hoses are made of a porous material that water seeps through. Another tip is to use rain, rather than tap water. Rainwater contains all necessary natural minerals without any added chemicals.
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