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3 Things To Do When It’s Too Hot To Garden (And 1 Thing To Avoid)

My mood in August

“My mood in August”

As much as I love the outdoors and to garden, I hate being hot, and I really hate humidity. Granted I live in Los Angeles where we are fond of saying, “at least it’s a dry heat”, but this summer has seen humidity levels creeping into the 70-80% range.

My head sweats.
The backs of my knees sweat.
I get cranky.

It’s too hot too garden. So what’s a gardening lover supposed to do during this time of the year?

Well, one thing you should probably avoid is planting anything new right now. The air is hot; the soil is hot; the sun is strong. Tender new plants will struggle to get established. Edibles like tomatoes, beans, and peppers will have difficulty setting new fruit because of the heat. Heat waves and dry spells may cause leaves to burn. A recent heat wave here in LA, where temps reached 117 degrees Fahrenheit, left the leaves of Camellias, Eugenia hedges, and even Agapanthus brown and crispy.

Wait until early morning temps start to dip back down into the upper 50s-60s before planting anything new.

So what gardening tasks can you take on when it’s too stinkin’ hot?

1.    Water

  • Adjust your watering schedule if necessary.
  • Make sure you are watering in the early morning to avoid evaporation. Add an extra watering day if necessary.
  • Also, check to make sure your hoses, drip lines, and sprinklers are actually working, and make any necessary repairs.

2.    Harvest

  • Keep harvesting your summer vegetables. Check every morning for new veggies to pick.
  • Remove and discard (in the trash, not compost) any diseased plants that are no longer producing.
  • Keep on top of pest control.

3.    Plan

  • The dog days of summer are a great time for planning your fall garden. In warmer areas of the country, fall is the best time to plant.
  • This is the time to order bulbs for spring blooms and seeds for fall/winter veggies. Start checking out those catalogs!
  • Organize your gardening supplies and clean your tools with a 1:10 bleach to water solution. Having clean tools will help prevent many plant diseases.

=> Not sure where to start with your planning?

  • Join my Garden Friends Group FB Group for help http://bit.ly/GardenFriendsClub
  • Stay tuned for more information on my online gardening program designed specifically for beginning gardeners (and those who think they are cursed with a black thumb).
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