Living in a hot, dry climate comes with many benefits, but it isn’t necessarily an ideal condition for a gardener. However, if you love a natural lifestyle, you find ways to make it work. For lots of plants, temperatures higher than 85 degrees or so aren’t ideal, and can be incredibly stressful for them. Because of this, gardening in high temperatures can be quite a challenge, but only if you aren’t following the necessary steps to ensure that your plants will be well taken care of. Here are some gardening tips for extremely high temperatures…
Always Use Compost
Any gardener worth their salt should be using compost at some point in their gardens. The ability to build nutrient-rich soil out of what would otherwise be complete garbage isn’t something that should be taken for granted. However, in extreme heat, compost goes from a highly beneficial practice to one that is almost essential. Hot and dry climates have a tendency to have less nutritional soil than alternative areas. For this reason, compost is crucial because it can create a healthy topsoil that is unlikely to be created naturally.
Pick Appropriate Plants and Flowers
Your climate and environment already effect the types of plants and flowers you can and can’t grow. If your environment is extremely hot and dry, then it may be beneficial not to try to break that paradigm too much and stick to growing plants that are hardy and can handle these conditions.
There is still a wide variety of plants that you can select, including many types of perennials, such as salvia and agastache. Lots of wildflowers also work for growing in the heat. As for produce that you can eat, hardy vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, leeks, garlic, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and eggplant are some examples of produce that you can grow in drought-prone areas.
Don’t neglect any of the gardening basics when you are gardening in extreme heat. This means it is important to find a regular watering schedule and strategy that makes sense for your plants’ environment. In any hot environment, or area where there is a draught, it is important to water the plants deep down in the soil. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including using a drip irrigation, or a soaker use. If neither of these are available to you, then make sure that you allow a pool of water to build up around the plant and sink into the soil. Just make sure that you don’t wash the topsoil away!
In addition to watering your plants deeply, make sure that you don’t water them as frequently as you otherwise would. This might seem counterintuitive, but it is inefficient to water your plants on their regular schedule when it is so hot, and can actually make them dry up quicker than they normally would. Also, one important watering tip is to make sure that you water your garden in the early morning or later in the evening, when the sun isn’t beating down on it, as this will prevent a majority of your water from evaporating.
Create an Insulated Area
If you are able to, it can be highly beneficial to create an insulated area for your plants to grow in, if your environment is constantly hot and dry. What this enables you to do is create a space where you can have more control over the temperature, and make it more humid, which is healthier for most types of plants.
Obviously, the ideal for this option would be to build an actual greenhouse. However, that isn’t always a feasible option for many gardeners, in terms of cost and available space. One alternative to this is to use a “green bubble”, which is essentially a miniature greenhouse that you can place around a small garden in your yard. Another alternative is to add some windows and a sunroof to your garage, where you can create a sort of makeshift greenhouse. Just make sure that your garage is well insulated!
Guest post by Alek Sabin
What are your favorite gardening tips for extremely high temperatures?
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