India’s summer heat and humidity takes a toll on plants, but this can be mitigated. Keep soil moist and well-drained. Lay down layers of mulch to absorb heat. Create shelter for sensitive plants. Follow these tips and your plants will thrive through the summer!
Summer is here and with it, heat and humidity! How do we keep our plants from withering and drying out? Kyaari has plenty of experience with heat and plants. Here are a few tips to help you help your plants thrive throughout summer.
IT MATTERS HOW YOU WATER
Make sure to keep your soil moist and well-drained. If the soil is dry, plants have already consumed the available water and nutrients and you’re left playing catch-up. If you’re transplanting, a helpful trick is to create a small basin around each plant that can act as a funnel for rainwater. Use rains to your advantage!
For younger plants, water often to encourage root strength and expansion. With the well-established root system of more mature plants, it will be more important to let the water run deep into the ground to reach those roots. A deep root system will help protect plants from the heat, holding water longer and being farther from the heat of the sun.
AVOID WATERING AT MIDDAY
The morning is the best time to water your plants. It prepares them for the rest of the day and gives the roots and soil a chance to absorb water. If you wait to water until the middle of the day, the water will quickly evaporate in the sun and you’ll leave your plants thirsty.
If you can’t water in the morning, evening is your next best option. However, while evening watering does cool plants off from the hot summer day, the above-ground parts don’t have as much time to dry off as they do in the morning, and rot and fungal growth are more likely.
MULCH, MULCH, MULCH
we are firm believers in the value of mulching. The benefits of using mulch are worth the cost and effort! A layer of mulch will protect exposed roots from the sun and will absorb heat before the soil does to keep soil temperatures cooler throughout the day.
Although it may not seem possible, considering the amount of humidity we have in India, soil still dries out quickly with direct exposure to the sun. Mulch traps moisture below the surface to keep soil from drying out.
Not only will using mulch reduce weeding, it also improves the soil if you use the right stuff! Organic materials like straw, untreated grass clippings, chopped leaves, or hay are great options as they will enrich the soil when they decompose.
SHELTER PLANTS FROM THE HEAT
A simple way to protect your plants is to create an actual shelter from the heat. If you have shrubs and small plants that need extra heat protection, vines or trees will provide a natural buffer between the plants and the sun.
If your plants grow along a wooden fence, try growing some vines on the fence. The vines will absorb the sun’s heat instead of the fence, reducing the amount of heat given off from the fence toward your plants.
And if you have plants that may not produce once temperatures reach a certain point (like tomatoes), consider using a shade cloth to filter both sunlight.
SOME PLANTS LIKE HUMIDITY
Did you know that some plants thrive in humidity? Two attributes to look for are 1) native plants accustomed to growing in your area, and 2) plants resistant to fungal diseases sometimes caused by our humid nights.
A little extra care will go a long way to keep your plants alive and well throughout the heat and humidity of summer!
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