We’ve been having some pretty extreme weather around here lately, haven’t we? A heat wave one week, a full week of thunderstorms the next. With all the back and forth, our gardens probably have a little bit of whiplash. Not to worry though: Even if you don’t have a magical green thumb, there are plenty of different ways to protect your plants from all kinds of weather.
When it’s hot…
- Water your plants deeply, especially new plants. The water will help the roots take and stay in place. That could mean as much as around half a watering can to really soak them through.
- Try to get the water on the roots, and not on any leaves or petals. Water on a leaf on a hot, sunny day can act like a magnifying glass and burn the plant.
- Get an irrigation system if you can, something to snake through your plants and water them continuously during the day.
- Potted plants dry out fast, so plant in pots with reservoirs at the bottom, so they can have water throughout the day whenever they need it.
- Cover the top of potted plants with stones to keep them from drying out as fast.
- Add handfuls of compost after you water: It will keep the soil moist AND feed the plants.
- Mulch also does a great job at keeping the water in the soil from evaporating. (In a pinch, even adding pieces of newspaper or cardboard after you water will work as temporary mulch.)
When it pours…
- Support taller plants like sunflowers or butterfly bushes, to make sure they don’t have their stems broken by the wind or the rain.
- Remove dead roots and stems to make them less susceptible to the wind and rain.
- Make sure your garden has proper runoff or drainage, and make sure that water isn’t pooling in any particular place. If it is, make sure to fill in the area and/or remove whatever blockage is preventing it from draining.
- Make a sort of lean-to shelter for fragile plants, like herbs or delicate flowers.
- After the rain, check for exposed roots and recover them with soil.
- Check potted plants and make sure they’re draining. If they aren’t, be sure to get rid of any blockage that may be present.