How To Protect Vegetables in Hot Weather

Growing Healthy Vegetables in Hot Weather

How To Protect Vegetables In Hot Weather-a-tomato-plant
A tomato plant

The summer months are the time of the year when farmlands, plant nurseries, home gardens, and other plant growers are challenged with long days of extreme heat. This heat wave can cause plants to become stressed which can lead to other issues. Even drought-tolerant plants can be affected by long periods of temperatures that are high. The good news is there are measures that can be put in place to ensure that our vegetables or other garden plants survive while continuing to grow healthy during this time of the year.

Below we will not only be discussing how to protect our vegetable gardens in hot weather but how we can keep other garden plants cool and well-watered during a heat wave so they can maintain their beauty and luster.

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7 Proven Methods to Protect  Your Garden during the Hot Weather

1. Applying Mulch to Your Garden

The use of mulches is a real blessing during the winter as well as the summer months, in fact, mulches should be applied to garden plant beds year-round because of the many benefits they offer. The applications of mulch will not only keep the soil cool from direct exposure to the sun but can help to retain moisture for garden plants. Mulches will also suppress weeds that compete with garden plants for water, nutrients, and sunlight but will also supply nutrients to the soil as it degrades or breaks down because mulch is a natural organic. A 2-3 inch layer of mulch is sufficient.

There are many types of mulches that can be used from grass clippings, pine needles to bark nuggets, cocoa hulls, wood chips, dyed wood mulch, wheat straw, shredded leaves, garden compost, and straw. There are also inorganic mulches that don’t offer as many benefits as organic mulches but still serve their purpose of beautification and weed suppression, some of these inorganic mulches include gravel, rubber mulch, pebbles, crushed seashells, stone chippings, shingle, landscape plastic, landscape fabric, river rocks, pumice rock, etc…

Newspaper and cardboard can be used as mulch, these materials are naturally organic however this inexpensive method is used not for beautification but to suppress weeds and to help retain moisture.

2. Watering Your Garden during Morning Hours

Extreme heat can cause server water evaporation, therefore it’s best to water plants during the early morning hours, the hot summer months can cause water loss through the leaves of plants. When watering your garden during the hot weather make sure to deliver deep watering, not shallow watering that will not do, deep watering will encourage plant deep rooting creating a healthy strong root system. A plant that has a deep root system will have greater access to nutrients and water. Plants that develop a deep root system will not dry out as quickly.

3. The Benefits of Companion Planting

How To Protect Vegetables In Hot Weather-companion-plants
Companion plants

Companion planting is a great way to plan your garden, this method involves using taller heat-tolerant plants to protect smaller tender plants for example planting large plants next to mid-size to smaller plants. The canopy and the branches or limbs of taller plants will act as a shelter as they grow and spread over the smaller plants to protect them from direct sunlight and heat. With companion planting you get the best of both worlds. For more on companion planting and its benefits refer to companion planting with flowers, companion planting with herbs, companion planting, and ornamental grass companion planting.

4. Include Drought-Tolerant Resistant Plants

A great way to maintain a garden that doesn’t require too much moisture is going with a low-maintenance or drought-tolerant garden, these gardens in my opinion are pretty amazing and will withstand extreme heat. However, although these plants can survive the harshest of conditions when it comes to heat resistance they need a good soaking during the hot summer months but not as much as low-maintenance plants that need to be watered more often.

5. Advantages of Using Shade Cloth

The use of shade cloths is a great way to protect your garden from the extreme heat especially when it comes to sensitive plants some of which include spinach, lettuce, beets, kale, turnips, radishes, etc… shade cloth refers to the degree of which these cloths can protect plants blocking out the sunlight. When placing shade cloth to protect your garden plants ensure that the cloths are positioned above the plant or only on one side of the plant.

Just a simple wooden structure can be used to support your shade cloth, ensure that the structure that’s used is strong enough to withstand wind conditions remain in place, and not blow away or topple over. A large beach or patio umbrella or two can be used to shade smaller gardens, make sure that the umbrella is secured.

6. Protecting Your Container Garden

Container gardening is a great way to grow vegetables, herbs, fruits, and other garden plants, what I love about container gardening is having the ability to remove your plants during adverse conditions including extreme heat. These gardens are also known as portable gardens, if containers are too heavy to lift then by all means get help. Also, consider investing in a trolley where the container can be placed and transported to a cool shaded area. The containers can always be returned to their previous location once the water returns to normal or as the cooler months approach.

7. The Right Containers

If you prefer for the containers to remain in their permanent location then consider the use of plastic, glazed ceramics, or metal containers, these containers are non-porous and will retain moisture for longer periods than terracotta pots that tend to dry out more quickly or consider sealing your terracotta pots with terracotta sealant will offer some help of allowing these container types to hold moisture longer.

How To Protect Vegetable In Hot Weather raised-bed-gardens
Raise Bed Gardens

Bonus Point Just for You

1. Oh what about the lawn we can forget the lawn, during the extreme heat turfgrass should be kept 3-4 inches in height, the reason for allowing your grass to remain a little taller will help your turfgrass to retain more moisture along with encouraging a deep root system that will cause the roots of your grass to have more access to water.

2. Growing healthy plants is a great way to prepare them for the extreme heat, healthy plants that are going into a heat wave are more likely to thrive with the proper water practices than plants that are declining or have poor health.

3. Knowing your garden plant’s water requirements is so important, because of the heat a mistake that happens in some cases is overwatering garden plants. Applying too much water can also negatively impact your garden plants, too much water where the soil is continually saturated will encourage the development of bacteria causing a lack of oxygen that will lead to fungus followed by root rot so remember even during a heat wave monitor the amount of water you’re giving your garden plants.

4. Having a drip irrigation system installed is a great way to deliver water to the plant’s roots, a drip irrigation system works by allowing water to be directed slowly to the plant’s roots encouraging deep roots and discouraging water loss.

Signs that your Plants are Heat Stressed

  • Dry leaf edges
  • Wilting leaves because of water loss
  • Cupping and roll up of plant leaves
  • Bolting-which means plants will produce flowers prematurely
  • Plant leaves turning yellow followed by browning
  • The leaves and the blossoms on vegetables start to drop
  • Dropping leaves
  • Leaf drop
  • Smaller and poor production in crop yield
  • There may be an increase in the presence of garden insect pest
  • The leaves, flower buds, and flowers show signs of discoloration
  • Plants may stop flowering

The final word on how to protect vegetables in hot weather

Protecting our vegetables including other garden plants and our lawns is that easy these steps are so simple but effective to ensure that your gardens continue to grow healthy and thrive even during the summer months and extreme heat waves. Join the many homeowners who have put these practices in place and see for yourself you will be happy with the results as you reap the rewards of your efforts.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

2 thoughts on “How To Protect Vegetables in Hot Weather”

  1. I found this article on how to protect vegetables in hot weather to be incredibly informative and timely. As an avid gardener, I have often struggled with maintaining the health and productivity of my vegetable plants during the scorching summer months. This article provides valuable tips and insights that will undoubtedly help me and other gardeners overcome these challenges.

    You did an excellent job of outlining the various threats that hot weather poses to vegetable plants, such as dehydration, sunburn, and heat stress. Furthermore, they offer practical solutions and preventive measures to mitigate these risks and ensure the well-being of our precious plants.

    I found this article to be a comprehensive guide on protecting vegetables in hot weather. Your knowledge and expertise shine through, and the information provided is presented in a clear and concise manner. I have gained valuable insights and actionable strategies that I will implement in my own garden to ensure the health and productivity of my vegetable plants during the summer heat.

    Thank you for sharing this valuable resource. It is an excellent reference for any gardener looking to protect their vegetables from the challenges of hot weather. I highly recommend this article to all fellow gardening enthusiasts seeking practical tips and advice to safeguard their vegetable crops.


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