The summer heat is known to bring stress to gardens and lawns. How can you protect your valuable plants from becoming victims of this heat? Well, you are not alone. We have some tips here for you.
There are ways you can make your plant to be cool and refresh this summer. Some of the general ways are providing water, protecting them from the sun, window opening at night, mulching, and preventing fertilizing the dry soil.
So, in this post, I will be walking you through how to keep your plant cool even during the scorching summer season.
Effect of Summer Heat On Plants
In most places, summer comes with extreme sunlight and heat. It can cause different problems for plants. For instance, heat from the sun can cause the plant to sunscald, fruits to ripen unevenly, and leaves to wilt.
Though some plants can withstand high temperatures, it is very essential to prevent them from harsh weather.
How To Make Plant Cool In Summer
We have some tested and proven ways to make your plant cool in summer. When you follow them strictly, the summer heat will not kill your plant. Let us dive into it without delay.
1. Sunlight Management Using Shade
The best way to keep the plant cool is to manage the amount of sunlight that touches the plant. You can achieve this by creating a shade that covers the plant. You can also use a patio umbrella, sheet, or tarps to shield the plant from direct sunlight.
Shade protects plants from sunlight. It also cools the plants down the cause of shielding the plants from direct sunlight. The shade can decrease the temperature by 6°C.
How to make shade for plants
1. Produce a shade using shade cloths from polyethylene or polyester to knit them in a special way to protect the plants. The shades filter the sun and allow less amount of sun to touch the plants and the fruits.
2. Shade cloths that have higher density block more sunlight, provide more protection and last long. Shade protection ranges from 20% (light shade) to 90% (heavy shade).
3. The percentage of shade depends on the kind of plant and the intensity of sunlight. Plant like lettuce requires 70% shade because it is a shade-tolerant plant.
4. Avoid contact with the shade of the plants. If the shade touches the plants, it may burn the plants. To avoid this problem, use cages or stakes to support it a few inches away from the plants.
5. Tie the shade cloths using twine or use rocks to keep them at a fixed position if the cloth touches the ground.
2. Use of Mulch to Keep Plant Cool
Mulch is a good way to insulate the soil. It keeps the temperature of the soil stable for a longer time before escaping into the air.
The major aim of mulching is to keep cool soil cool and warm soil warm. It neither warms up nor cools down the soil.
Mulch behaves like a shield or blanket. Though the sun may touch the plant, it does not harden the soil or dry out the water from the soil. By so doing, the plant remains relatively cool for some time.
You might also want to read our in-depth reviews on Best Mulch for Vegetable Garden, check it out!
How To Mulch Your Plant
The following steps will help you to protect your plant using mulching.
1. Prepare the surface of the soil before applying the mulch. This is by pruning the dead and diseased branches of the plant.
2. Transport mulch to the area. The mulch can be in bags for easy transportation.
3. Apply the mulch to the soil. You can use any method that you feel is appropriate to apply the mulch around the shrubs or flower beds.
4. Apply evenly and check the depth to ensure it is at least 3 inches. Ensure that the mulch covers the bare soil very well.
3. Use of Row Covers to Shield Plants
The row cover helps in protecting plants from direct sunlight during summer. Though row cover is majorly used to warm the plants during fall or spring, it can also be used to cool plants during the height of summer.
The good thing about this method is that the row cover can stay for days or even weeks. With this, the plant can stay cool during summer for a long time. The row cover can be lightweight or heavyweight.
Thicker and heavier row covers provide better protection for plants from sunlight and pests. You can use polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyester to produce a row cover.
How to use Row Covers
The following are steps to use row covers to make plants cool in summer.
1. Select the polyethylene or polyester you want to use for the row cover.
2. Join them to ensure that it will cover the whole plant.
3. Carefully cover the plants a few distances above the plant to allow air to enter and leave the plants.
4. Ensure that the row covers are firmly attached to a support. One thing about the row cover is that it can stay for days or weeks without bothering to remove it.
4. Early and Proper Watering of Plant
Early watering of plants makes the plant relatively cool despite the scorch of hot weather in the summer. The best period to water the plant is very early in the morning when the temperature is not high.
Make a deep and proper watering that will get to the root of the plant. When the sun comes in the day, it will dry up the water on the leaf and some of the water on the soil. The deep one that got to the root will make the plant to be cool for a certain period.
Deep watering in the early morning enables the plant to survive the hot, dry day. The plants also develop a deeper root extension system than when shallow watering. To ensure that you continue the process, set your timer to remind you when necessary.
Things To Do To Help Your Plants Survive the Summer
Despite that we want the plant to cool, it is essential to consider these facts so that the plant can survive the season.
1. Avoid Excess Watering
Though it is essential to do deep watering, excess water will cause harm to the plants. Excess water can harm plants more than less water. Monitor the rate the soil dries up to know the appropriate amount of water you should apply to the plants.
2. Stop Any Spreading Disease
It is essential to clean the leaves of the plant to avoid disease from spreading. When you clean the plants, you will stop or destroy the disease that could survive from one season to another.
The containers are also an important part to clean. Ensure that the containers are clean and free from any form of infection.
3. Fertilizing The Plant
If you do not want the plant, avoid applying fertilizer to the plant. Instead of the fertilizer providing nutrients to the plant, it may cause the plant to die before its time. You can wait till the summer is over before applying the fertilizer.
What To Do Before The Arrival Of Extreme Heat
There are quite essential steps you can take while waiting for the scorching heat of the summer. Some of the things that can help you protect your plant and make it cool include:
1. Ensure to water the plant deeply, especially, during the cool period of the day to keep the plant hydrated.
2. Remove dust and pests in the early morning by spraying water on the leaves. As the sunrises, the water on the leaves will dry. This will decrease the possibility of excessive bacterial or fungal growth in the plants.
3. For the young and tender plants, trim them if you feel it will be difficult to keep them hydrated during this period.
How To Recover Plants That Are Heat Stressed
In situations where the summer heat has affected the plants, there are ways you can reduce the losses and recover the plant from heat stress. Some of the ways are:
1. Move The Plants That Are In Pots Indoor
You can move the plants that are in pots indoors to prevent direct contact with the summer heat. It is another way of cooling the plant and preventing it from dying. How do you care for it? Keep the windows open to allow fresh air to enter during the day.
When the weather becomes hotter than the usual temperature, it is advisable to close the windows and open them at night when the air is a bit cooler. This approach will cool the plant better than when it was outside under the sun.
2. Put Temporary Shade Around The Plant
In situations where you cannot carry the plant, put temporary shading over the plants to shield the plants from direct sunlight. It will make the plant cool and reduce the stress of heat on it.
Temporary shade such as cloths, polyethylene, or tarpaulin is a good option. You can use them to protect the plants from the direct effect of sunlight.
3. Carryout Thorough Watering
There are some instances in that thorough watering can help use heat stress and recover the plant from loss. You can give it a try by ensuring that you water it deeply very early in the morning before sunrise. You also water it in the evening after sunset.
It is essential to note that overwatering can kill the plant. Ensure that you water the plant appropriately without making it to be excess. Gradually, the plant will start recovery from heat stress.
4. Avoid Fertilizing It At This Time
The heat stress period is not the best time to fertilize the plant. Remember, the plant is affected by heat not a lack of nutrients. Applying fertilizer during this time will not bring the solution. It may even worsen it because the fertilizer may lead to some burns on the plant.
Can You Water When The Day Is Hot?
When the weather is hot, muggy, and dry, plants need water to reduce the effect of sunlight on them. However, you must be smart about it. If not, it may lead to the destruction of the plants. Some of the ways to go about it are:
1. Use cool tools like an automated drip or soaker hose to supply water to the roots of the plants.
2. Channel the water to the roots of the plants so that the water gets up to 8-inches deep. This should happen as frequently as possible.
3. Maximize the morning period when the sun is not yet out to water the plants before quick evaporation starts when the sun comes. It enables the plants to soak much of the water before they evaporate.
Should You Water Plants Every Day During The Summer?
Is it the best thing to water the plant every day? Well, the answer is not yes. You may not necessarily water the plants every day if you know exactly what you are doing. Each time you water the plant, you should know the extent the water should sustain the plants.
In cases where you only do a little sprinkling of water on the plants, it may necessitate delayed watering. In fact, it may not even cool the plants during summer because the heat from the sun will dry up both the plants and the soil.
Thus, it is essential to get it right by doing the necessary things before the effect of the sun started showing on the plants. Watering is not the only way you can protect plants from heat during the summer period.
You can use any other method that seems easy and best for your plants.
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Wrap Up – How To Make Plants Cool In Summer?
The summer period is a serious period for plants. Extreme temperatures can destroy your gardens and lawns if you do not take proactive steps. The high temperature aims at drying the soil and plants as well as withering the plants.
The above tips will help you to make plants cool in summer and sustain their lives for the next season. When you follow them strictly, you will protect your plants from the scorching hands of the sun.