Here in North Central Florida, we are already beginning to feel the burn of the upcoming summer months. While we can beat the heat by staying indoors in our cool, air-conditioned houses, our beloved plants are exposed to the heat 24/7. We have some summer gardening tips to keep your plants thriving in the heat.
Keep the Water Coming
The key to keeping plants alive in the summer is slowly watering them enough that the water soaks through the soil to the roots of the plant. The further down the water goes, the easier it will be for your plants to soak up the water. This also creates a reserve that your plants can use later if they get thirsty.
Also, you should water your plants in the evening or early morning. This will allow your plant to soak up all the water and take in as much as it can before the sun rises. Watering your plants in the middle of the day causes the water to evaporate faster.
Be careful not to overwater your plants, as that can kill them faster than the heat will!
Organic mulch helps to keep your plant’s soil significantly cooler while also restoring essential nutrients that are lost through evaporation. If you haven’t used mulch for your plants in the past, now is the time to pick some up!
Find Shade for Your Plants
Providing some shade for your plants helps to keep them alive in the summer as well. This is especially important for potted plants. Plants in the ground can distribute heat throughout the surrounding area, but potted plants only have a small space for heat to dissipate and therefore dehydrate faster. Shade can protect your potted plants from the direct heat of the sun.
Be Careful with Fertilizer
Fertilizers work best when there is enough water to distribute the chemicals. In the heat of the summer, it is hard enough for your plants to get water, let alone the fertilizer. Because of this, it’s best to skip fertilizing your plants in the summer months to avoid burning your dry plants.
Instead of using fertilizer, we recommend using compost in the summer. At Ward’s, we offer locally-sourced Soil Food. The benefits of using compost over fertilizer in the summer months are that compost improves soil water retention and improves plants’ tolerance to extreme weather while also providing your plant with much-needed nutrients.
Buy Plants at Ward’s
If you are looking to start your garden, but are nervous about the upcoming heat, Ward’s Supermarket offers a wide variety of plants and herbs that are easy to maintain. We source our plants directly from local Florida growers who take our North Central Florida climate into account when growing the plants. We also give sunlight suggestions on each plant and would love to help point you in the right direction. Stop by Ward’s Supermarket today to see our selection!