That sun just keeps on shining and nary a cloud is in sight yet again. Wonderful if it is a beach day for you, but what about for your garden? Many a garden in the London area is looking wilted, crispy and downright dry to the bone. Wide swathes of brown lawns attest to the fact that we have had little rain in the past several weeks. While that isn’t a problem for the grass, as it goes dormant in the summer heat, trees and other plant life does not. How do you prevent them from drying up and playing dead? Check out these suggestions for how to beat the heat in your garden.

BEAT THE HEAT IN THE GARDEN

  • Tree Watering Alert:

    Right now there is tree watering alert in London, Ontario. People are being asked to water their trees either with a soaker hose left on for 30-60 minutes or a 20-litre bucket drip. Trees require a minimum of 25mm of rain per week, so if you are watering by hand a rain gauge might be helpful to help measure that. Trees provide shade for you, your house and your gardens, keeping you all cooler, so say thank you with a big long drink for those hard-working trees.

  • Water Drop

    Water Drop (Photo credit: Isolino)

    Plant more trees:

    Not only will you be supporting the Million Tree Challenge, but you will also be reducing the amount of sun on your garden. That makes your whole garden cooler, plus it improves the quality of water that makes it to the ground as well. Add that to improved air quality, which is welcome during the many heat and smog alerts that strike in the summer and you’ve got plenty to reasons to plant a few more trees in your yard.

  • Add a rain barrel:

    When Mother Nature does grace us with a spot of rain, be ready to catch some of it in a rain barrel. You will have access to water, without having to worry about what day you are watering on (in London, even-numbered houses can only water on even days, and odd houses on odd by City of London bylaw) or how much it is going to cost you. Some rain barrels make a nice addition to your garden as well, with small planters included to

  • Mulch Party

    Mulch Party (Photo credit: Willowtree2005)

    MULCH!:

    If you didn’t get around to it in the spring, I will remind you now. A layer of mulch helps to prevent water loss through evaporation. It also helps to keep the soil cooler (don’t we all want that!), lessens the amounts of weeds (which compete for water) and improves the quality of the soil itself. Your whole garden will benefit from the addition of mulch, so get on it now!

  • Time your watering:

    Before you head out to water your garden, be smart about the time of day that you water. Early morning watering, before the heat of the day sets in, gives your plants an opportunity to absorb that precious moisture, before the sun whisks it away. You can also water in the evening, after the sun has retreated for the day, again reducing water loss due to evaporation.

  • Yarrow is a pretty drought-tolerant species for the garden

    Plant drought-resistant species:

    With temperatures staying hot for longer and longer periods, perhaps it is time to look at more heat-resistant species to replace your water-loving ones. Xeriscaping is an art in and of itself, plus it reduces your consumption of water altogether. You might discover a whole new love of gardening, as you explore drought-tolerant plants like black-eyed susans, butterfly bushes, maiden grass and more!  Heck, you could get rid of your lawn altogether and just fill your yard with a variety of heat-loving plants that will make you, the birds, bees and butterflies all happier!

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