summer's inescapable heat has created challenges for gardeners and their
plants. My newly planted hydrangea ĎEndless Summerí is showing signs of stress
and is starting to wilt because of the extreme heat and humidity of August. You
really have to pay close attention to your plants this time of year because the
hot weather can have a deleterious long-term effect on their overall
always provide tips to keep people and pets safe during hot weather but what
about our plants? Many plants need
extra attention to cope with the heat once temperatures skyrocket. When a plant
starts to wilt, thatís its visible response to heat. Wilting is the plantís ability to reduce
moisture lost through transpiration.
This is considered a survival mechanism for that plant. Plants will also close their stomates to
prevent moisture loss.
This will of course have an effect on
the plantís ability to carry out the photosynthetic process. This is the process whereby the plant converts
light energy into chemical energy. If a
plant is under heat stress, it will not produce as much sugar as it needs for
food which can lead to starvation of the plant.
Extremely hot weather can cause tomatoes
and bell peppers to abort their blooms. The
same can be said for bush beans. Day temperatures over 90 degrees and night
temperatures above 70 degrees greatly reduce pollen production. Once night
temperatures fall below 70 degrees, the plant should begin to set fruit.
Be sure to irrigate your garden properly. Give your plants about one to one-half inch
of water per week. You want to water
deeply but infrequently. This is
adequate for lawns, woody plants, flowers and vegetables. Be sure to irrigate early in the morning so
those leaves can dry off before nightfall.
This will help to reduce disease problems. Donít forget to apply two to three inches of mulch
in your garden; this will help to keep those roots cool. Please do not do any
volcano mulching around the base of your trees!
Well, itís time to check on my ĎEndless
Summerí hydrangea. I would sure hate to
lose it in this summer heat.
Until next time, happy gardening and