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Most people would shy away from starting any gardening project in the heat of summer, which actually makes great sense as evaporation rates are at an all-time high, it is scorching hot and newly planted greenery would have a lower chance of survival in the blistering heat.
But for those with existing gardens, mulching is key to keep the moisture locked in beneath the soil so your plants continue thriving and their roots get to stay cool. You can use 2 to 3-inch layers of organic mulch made of wheat straw, finely ground bark, or chopped-up leaves.
To keep your plants consistently well-hydrated, try drip irrigation by installing in-line drip irrigation tubing or a soaker hose which will prevent water waste due to evaporation, and will keep the soil moist for longer. Using a sprinkler system is discouraged, but if you already have one installed, ensure you water the plants early in the morning or during early evening, and avoid doing so at midday.
Your plants will also benefit from some form of shade as it will prevent them from direct contact with the sun’s rays. Potted plants can be moved to shaded areas like your porch or under a tree; else, you can place a shade cloth over your green pets or some overhanging netting to filter out the heat.
Also, be on the lookout for fragile or severely stressed plants whose wilted leaves do not regain firmness even after watering. Plants with larger leaves are naturally more prone to temporary wilting as a way to conserve water. You know your little green friend is in trouble if watering fails to revive it.
• Mulching will keep the moisture locked in the soil
• Using drip irrigation works to prevent water waste
• Water plants early in the morning or early evening
Source: Lovely Claire CD, Special to Classifieds
The writer is a freelancer