Keeping Your Garden Fresh & Alive in The Southern Heat
Living in the south, we're use to our gardens enduring extreme heat and humidity. Check out this helpful article by Abundant Mini Gardens.
Some gardeners live in climates with extremely hot summers, where daily temperatures frequently exceed 90, or even 100 degrees. If this is your situation, summer may be the most difficult season for your garden, instead of winter. Check out the below tips from seasoned gardener, Debra.
1) Focus on plants that love the heat
Look for those vegetables that were bred for the desert, the southern states, or the tropics. These include: tomatoes, eggplant, melons, peppers, malabar spinach, cowpeas, and lima beans. Sweet potatoes, okra, and southern peas can handle the most heat.
2) Keep your plants well-watered
Although in some situations you may need to water daily, it’s very important to water your plants deeply – a minimum of 6 inches down – at least once a week for clay soils, and twice a week for sandy ones. Don’t guess – check your soil moisture level by using a trowel to dig 6” down.
3) Make sure your soil has a good level of organic matter
Healthy levels of organic matter (about 5-9%, depending on your soil type and climate) can make a huge difference in helping the soil to retain more water. In addition, a healthy soil full of beneficial soil organisms, such as mycorrhizal fungi, helps plants to better tolerate drought.
4) Start seeds indoors under lights
Many seeds will not germinate at all if the soil gets too hot. During periods of extreme heat, one option is to start these seeds indoors under lights, and then transplant them into the garden after hardening them off (gradually adjusting the plants to direct sunlight and wind). Make sure you keep your newly planted seedlings well-watered and partly shaded as they get established outdoors.
For a full list and to read the full blog, visit Abundant Mini Gardens.