It’s panic time here in the Atlanta area and in other parts of the country where tripple digit temps forecast not only dangerous conditions but anxiety as gardeners scurry around trying to save their crops from baking beneath the sun and care for livestock who suffer when weather conditions deteriorate. Here are a few tips you can do to protect your plants.
Hydrate: Obviously plants need extra moisture now more than ever. However, never, ever water after 10 am. Mist plants in the early morning and late hours. The best time to water plants is between the hours of 7 and 9 pm. Plants have all night to absorb life-saving moisture. Also, any moisture that accumulates on leaves during daylight hours WILL burn plants.
- Protect. Now is the time to add an extra layer of mulch around all plants.
- Rest. Do not fertilize any plant or flower during the month of July. Fertilizer encourages new growth, something the plant cannot sustain since it is working hard just to survive.
- Pray. Most of all, pray for those living in drought regions; especially those whose homes are threatened with wildfires.
Now is also the time to reach out to those who are elderly and do not have air conditioning. Take them to the museum, the public library, to the movies during the hours of 2 -6 when temperatures are their hottest.
For the animal lover, place a bowl of water outside for the birds who are struggling to find adequate moisture. I have added ice to the rabbit’s water. Two bunnies are drinking almost one gallon per day. For the chicken lovers, add ice to their water, but also add a container of dirt so they can scratch in the dirt and cool themselves. You might also consider setting up a box fan in front of the chickens. Many of my friends are loosing their animals in the heat. Check on them several times during the day.
Renea Winchester is the author of In the Garden with Billy: Lessons about Life, Love & Tomatoes and Stress-Free Marketing: Practical Advice for the Newly Published Author. Visit her at www.reneawinchester.com
Try to stay cool and hydrated.