Beat the heat

Published 7:48 pm Thursday, June 9, 2011

With an influx of hot weather and a lack of rain, gardeners should make sure their plants are getting enough water. Using a water gauge in your garden is one way to ensure plants get just enough moisture.

Heat shouldn’t stop the blooms

The unbearable heat and lack of rain sometimes can mean death for plants that flourished through spring, but with proper care and maybe some heat-seeking new additions, gardens can make it through those tough summer months.

Tim Johnson of Johnson’s Gardens on Holland Road said his shop usually pushes the growing season until June 15, but the recent heat wave has put a damper on the end of the season.

However, he said plants can make it through summer and gardeners can still plant new additions, but in order to stay healthy in the severe temperatures, the plants need regular watering.

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“The main thing is keeping things watered,” he said. “When the sun comes out, it dries things out and you have to make sure you get the water under the plants.”

Smithfield Gardens hard goods manager Margie Cooper also said plants can flourish even in the hot sun if they are properly watered.

Along with plants getting enough water, Cooper said gardeners should be careful to not give them too much.

She recommends all gardeners get a water gauge to measure how much water their plants are getting on a regular basis.

“You need to know how much water is actually falling,” she said.

Cooper said even people with automated sprinklers need to make sure the plants are getting the right amount.

When the rains do return, she said water gauges are even more useful because gardeners can see how much additional water the plants need.

In addition to a water gauge, Cooper said, gardeners should feed their plants a root stimulator.

“Anytime you put plants in, anytime of year, you have to make sure you put in root stimulator,” she said.

Both Johnson and Cooper said there is still time to add new plants to the garden to add color for the summer.

Johnson said even though many plants don’t enjoy the heat, there are several types that thrive.

He suggests adding plants such as portulaca, vincas, latanas and coleus to liven up your garden.

“These are all things that enjoy the heat,” Johnson said.

Cooper said zinnias also tolerate the hot weather and add beautiful color to gardens in the summer.