Gardening in the Summer Heat
|Hibiscus 'Hollywood Firecracker'
Fall is the absolute best time to plant however you can successfully plant in summer with some extra care. Here are some tips-
Start with planting the right plants! If you are planting in full sun areas, you absolutely have to buy plants that are acclimated to our blistering heat.
If you do buy plants during hot periods, pay more attention to the placement of the plant in the nursery than what it says on the tag. Nursery tags can be misleading as they are informative, for they are usually produced by the vendors and not the local nursery. If a plant tag says it takes full sun, but it is under our shade cloth, it needs to either be planted in a shady area or put into a pot in the shade, and planted into more sun at a more appropriate time. And of corse we are always happy to help if you need us and are unsure about what ask us if you are unsure!
Some other suppliers of plants may sell plants this time of year, but don't expect great results from a plant that is used to being in sheltered or cooler conditions. Box stores have a very high turnover since their plants are guaranteed by their vendors, so they just send back the old ones and get new fresh ones (usually from southern California), and they are not used to this heat!
Magnolia Gift and Garden does not order in and sell plants that are not acclimated to our summers. Once a plant is able to sit in a hot black pot in 100 degree heat, it is easy to see that putting our plants into a cooler hole in the ground would in fact be a step up for them!
Always add additional soil and mulch to your plantings. Your native soil can get pretty parched in summer, so add some
Eureka! Planting Mix
to all plantings. Also be sure that the soil is not extremely warm when you use it. Planting in the early morning or evening will help. Adding a layer of mulch or bark will also help to insulate the roots from heat.
If you do buy a "drought tolerant" plant, you need to know that it takes a plant time to develop this trait in your garden. If you plant this late in a season, just about any plant is going to require daily water to make it through our hot summers. Drought tolerant plants can be weened off water more effectively in cooler seasons.
Once you've planted, be sure to water your plant everyday for at least two weeks to get it settled into its new home.