As we shake off the last of the winter blues and start to look forward to summer our thoughts turn inevitably to the HEAT. Last summer was brutal for a few of my heat loving plants. I found myself moving patio umbrellas to shade my tomatoes, adding shade cloth behind my cucumber trellis, and rethinking my garden spaces.
This season I moved some of my vegetables to an area that will get more filtered sun in the late afternoon to help protect them from the higher temperatures we get in the summer months here in the valley. There are vegetables that thrive in the full afternoon sun such as squash, okra, onions, peppers and melons. Tomatoes love sun as well but can benefit from a break in the late afternoon from the direct sun as it can cause blossom drop and other problems. Herbs do well in full sun and are a great addition to your vegetable garden.
There are some beautiful flowers that can stand up to the afternoon temperature and sun as well. Sunflowers are amazing and fun to grow and you can grill and eat the large young heads! There are perennial flowers that do well in the hot summer months such as rudbeckia, catmint, Russian sage and daylilies. They make a bright addition to your sunny garden areas.
During hot weather, water your gardens at least two or three times a week. Watering the garden deeply is critical. The water must go down deep to encourage deep roots and to get away from the hot soil surface. Time your watering for the morning and water well and water deeply. Mulching is important as well. It acts as an insulator and helps keep your soil cooler in the summer.
Gardening in the hot summer months can be challenging but always rewarding. Keep in mind that the bounty is worth the struggle. Fresh vegetables and fruits that you grew yourself taste so much better than any store-bought ones. Growing our own food is an invaluable skill that we need to teach to the younger generation.
We will have more varieties of plants soon, as we prepare for each season! Check out what we currently have by going to our website, www.ashlandgreenhouses.com and clicking on “availability list” at the top of the web page. We are open seven days a week throughout summer. As always, feel free to send an email to email@example.com, or give us a call at (541) 482-2866 if you have any questions.