Summer gardening tips to beat the heat

MARQUETTE CO., Mich. (WLUC) – The summer weather is on and it’s heating up just as flowers are blooming.

To green-up this time of year means to give that extra tender loving care to our plants.

And of course, it starts with water.

“You need to make sure you water deeply and regularly. And I would try to avoid, at all possible, watering during the heat of the day,” said Greenhouse Manager Fred Hahn at Nagelkirk Gardens in Harvey.

Hahn added that water droplets can either evaporate from leaves during the day or even burn them as they magnify the sun’s rays onto the leaves.

Timing is everything, and for Linda Andriacchi, owner of The Plant Connection in Ishpeming, she suggests watering early.

“The morning is the best time. Evening is like the worst, because your plants will stay wet. Overnight, that’s a chance for them to get more diseases and have other problems,” Andriacchi explained.

To further lessen the heat stress on your plant, bring in the mulch.

“With outdoor (flower) beds, doing some liberal mulching can really help. Keep the temperature down and keep the moisture into the soil,” said Hahn.

And be sure to acclimate any of your new flora.

“I suggest keeping them outside like under the morning sun. And gently moving them per different days under more intense sun to get them used to it,” said Andriacchi.

Balancing both solar energy and shade, like having a taller companion plant give partial shade to its shorter neighboring plant.

And don’t forget about the indoor plants we leave near the window.

“A lot of those plants are shade plants — a lot of our house plants are — and they would do best this time of year to draw them back away from the window a little bit,” said Hahn.

So get to know your plant, strengths and weaknesses, to help them beat the heat.

“Some plants can handle a lot more stressful situations than others. Vista Petunias are a great beginner plant. We have extraordinary conditions with these plants — blowing in the wind, sun beating down on them,” Andriacchi said.

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