If you live in an area that typically has summer temperatures that remain in the upper 90s (32C), then you could use some tips for gardening in hot climates.
The constant heat that is often accompanied by drought and high humidity, can make growing any type of plant challenging. Gardeners always find ways to rise to the challenge and continue to grow food and flowers despite what the weather throws our way.
Use these tips for making your gardening experience a little more comfortable for yourself and the plants.
We’re always advised to plant the garden in full sun, however, a little shade in hot climates is a welcomed reprieve for plants.
Increase shade by planting the tallest plants on the side of the shorter plants where they will be shaded by them in the afternoon. Use corn, sunflowers, tomatoes, or okra to provide shade in the afternoon for other garden plants.
Wood or metal stakes installed in the garden and covered with cheesecloth will also create light shade for plants.
Hot dry wind blowing across the garden will evaporate soil moisture and dehydrates the plants. Use windbreaks, either living or artificial, to reduce the wind damage to your garden. Plant drought-tolerant shrubs, install solid fencing, and/or build a shed near the garden to help reduce the amount of wind that blows directly into the garden.
Keep Soil Covered
Keep the soil covered with mulch or vining plants like cucumbers or melons. This will help keep the soil stay cool, prevent weed growth, and retain moisture.
Garden in the morning to reduce stress on the plants and to prevent yourself from becoming overheated.
Less water will be lost through evaporation when you water plants in the early morning. Plus, the plants uptake the water better in the cool of the morning.
Harvest food and flowers in the morning when the flavor and fragrance are at their peak.
Harvest Rain Water
Hot, dry climates have little rainfall when it’s needed the most so it’s essential to harvest rain water for garden use. Install rain barrels to catch roof runoff from every structure on your property.
Drought Tolerant Plants
Grow plants that are best suited for hot dry climates. They will need less water to survive and require less work from you.
Keep your soil healthy so it can keep your plants healthy. Use plenty of compost, practice crop rotation, and always plant a cover crop so the soil will never be exposed to the elements.
Wide Brimmed Hat
One last tip for gardening in hot climates – always wear a wide-brimmed hat when you go out to the garden. This will help keep you cooler and reduce the amount of sun exposure to your face and neck. It’s also a good idea to put on gloves and a thin long-sleeved shirt before tacking garden chores.