Paula's Patch: A Minnesota Garden

Come wander in; my gate is always open! Gardening / Birding

Protect Plants During Dog Days of Summer July 15, 2011

Well, the heat is on! And your instinct is to water, right? First, consider the soil – does it hold moisture well? You may not need to water as much as you think. But if it dries out easily like the soil in containers, you’ll obviously need to water more during this container | | paula bonelli

You can temporarily bring in containers during the hottest days or at least move them to a shady spot. A gentle sprinkle in the wee hours of the morning will help dampen the soil or if you have drip irrigation, use it.

Another solution for delivering water slowly is to recycle a plastic pop bottle. Fill with water, punch small holes in the cap and invert into your garden or containers for a slow, deep watering.

During days of 85+ heat, plants begin to suffer and try to go dormant to conserve energy. To help keep your plants from feeling it, follow these tips for helping them survive the dog days of summer, especially during consecutive days of high heat.

  • Bring plants in out of the sun if possible. The sun will simply fry them no matter how much water you give them. Bring them into a porch, garage or place in a shady location.
  • If you have a vegetable garden, and it’s practical, create a tent to provide shade over it by using stakes and an old sheet.
  • Native plants will fair best; if you have an exotic or tropical plant that is not native to your Zone, get it out of the heat.
  • Water in the early part of the day to reduce evaporation.
  • For best results, use a soaker hose rather than a sprinkler so it can deliver water at soil-level.
  • Plan ahead — when you know it will be hot, saturate plants and flowers you can’t move. Water deeply, at least a 6″ deep saturation.
  • If you leave containers in the sun, you will need to water them each day and possibly twice a day.

yard_flowers | | paula bonelli

Tip sources:,,,


One Response to “Protect Plants During Dog Days of Summer”

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