It’s hot out: How to keep your garden going strong in summer heat


Julia Atkinson-Dunn is a writer and creative at Studio Home.

With the predicted transition to the El Niño cycle on the horizon and hot, dry winds sweeping through my garden, I’ve been thinking a lot about the composition and placement of my plants. And dry next summer.

It’s been a few years since I started my gardening adventure, and while all of my good watering habits have worked very well, proper planting and preparation tend to be a reaction to the season rather than anticipating difficult dry periods. I noticed that there is

When I think of drought-tolerant gardens, I immediately think of my friend, Jenny Cooper, from the inspiring Blue House in Amberley. Jenny takes water conservation seriously and has spent years of research and experimentation establishing a beautiful yet strong plant bed that will withstand as much watering as possible.

read more:
* A gardener tried to recreate his town garden in the countryside.failed – brilliantly
* How to keep your garden thriving in the summer heat
* How to water your garden effectively and sustainably

I got a lot of valuable information from her faithful approach when designing my bed. and resist not relying on it,’ her advice bounces around my head with every decision I make.

But my attempts to feel smug about my new planting combination were thwarted by consistent rainfall last spring and early summer. Hmm.

Recently, I’ve noticed a definition of two terms that gardeners tend to use interchangeably. When learning about plants that catch the eye or are looking for climate-tolerant beds, we have found it helpful to understand the key difference between plants labeled “drought tolerant” and “drought tolerant.” I got

It is instructive to know the important difference between plants labeled

Julia Atkinson Dunn/staff

It is instructive to know the important difference between plants labeled “drought tolerant” and “drought tolerant”.

The former refers to succulent plants, such as cacti and succulents, that have evolved to live happily without water for long periods of time. These are a bit of a contrast to drought-tolerant and long-drying plants, but like many prairie plants, they naturally enjoy moderate watering.

Below is a list of plans I have thought of for my own garden in place of dry weather and water restrictions.

dry plan

Investigate your plant’s behavior and take an inventory this summer.

Ideally, you want to make beds with plants that share the same watering needs.

Even with the best of plans, a strange, sad and wilting specimen is revealed when things go from bad to worse despite neighboring countries holding on to power. To avoid turning on watering to soothe strangely thirsty plants, instead look at where you might be able to move this fall, where you’ll have better company.

Consider the shade.

It refers to a planted area with an airy tree in the middle that provides relief from the strong midday or afternoon sun, rather than full shade.

If that’s not possible, consider planting tightly or choosing plants that form dome-shaped clumps to cover the earth below and reduce evaporation during heat.

Julia Atkinson-Dunn

At-home gardening columnist Julia Atkinson Dunn breaks down plant types for those just getting started in gardening.

Start practicing good mulching now.

Research the best mulch and get to this as soon as possible. In my small urban garden, I prefer pea straw. It also helps improve drainage over time and works well in clay soils, which many of my favorite drought-tolerant plants prefer. It helps to enrich and loosen the

I replenish in the fall when the perennials recede and mulch twice a year with a good layer in the spring that sees me through the summer. significantly improve and dry the soil. I am shocked that this has made such a positive difference in my garden.

Find a way to store water.

Many options are available these days to capture and store rainwater. At home, I turned a wine barrel into a water reservoir and utilized a basic downpipe diverter to fill the tank when it rained.

Julia Atkinson-Dunn's niece, Ada, uses water from a wine barrel to water her plants (left).

Julia Atkinson Dunn/staff

Julia Atkinson-Dunn’s niece, Ada, uses water from a wine barrel to water her plants (left).

One barrel doesn’t last very long during water restrictions, but it’s certainly better than nothing, and I’m surprised at how useful it is. With a simple dunk of a watering can, you can water cucumbers and tomatoes with little effort while avoiding turning on your entire garden’s irrigation system.

Avoid Pot City.

As someone who spent my first few years gardening with a huge collection of potted plants, I can attest to being very picky about the height of the dry summers. If you thought vacation pets were handbrakes, try potted gardening.

However, your needs and wants may require a pot, so try to use the largest pot that will fit if possible. I’ve also found that mulching around potted plants definitely reduces the need for watering and is slightly less painful.

water management in summer

Water deeply, but less frequently.

For ornamental beds, instead of starting irrigation at a specific time each day, physically monitor your garden by sticking your finger in the ground and accounting for moisture in the garden. If it’s dry to your fingertips, it needs watering.

Regular short-term watering encourages plants to keep their roots close to the surface, making them brittle, weaker, and more dependent on humans.

Instead, water the bed deeply for about 45 minutes when you realize the earth is dry. Waiting for the bed to dry properly between waterings promotes plant resilience and avoids over-watering, which can lead to a new set of problems.

How often you need to water depends on your plant choice, location, and mulching technique.

Julia Atkinson Dunn/staff

How often you need to water depends on your plant choice, location, and mulching technique.

Get to know your plants

Vegetables are almost always much more thirsty than houseplants and require more attention to watering than anything else in your garden.

When choosing drought-tolerant plants, it’s important to note that many of these plants may need a little more watering as they will take root before reaching resilience.

Water at the end of the day.

It is well known that it is best to water in the morning before the heat wave of the day, but for many people it is much more convenient in the evening.

The main objective here is to avoid spraying valuable resources in the midday sun. There, precious resources evaporate quickly, and direct sunlight risks burning the leaves of plants.

To join Julia Atkinson-Dunn, @studiohomegardening or studiohome.co.nz



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