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Marietta Daisy Garden Club

Extreme Heat and Your Landscape

1. A drip-irrigation system provides consistent moisture We all know that a very effective way to provide consistent moisture to your plants is a drip-irrigation system. Here are some of the advantages this method has over handheld tools or sprinklers:

• It applies the water right where the plants need it—at the soil surface. • Almost no water is wasted through evaporation. • The system can be automated with a timer. • Lots of options are available in stores or online. • It is relatively easy to set up. 2. Shade heat- or light-sensitive plants with coverings While I can’t control the constant oppressive heat, I can control the amount of sunlight some of my more sensitive plants receive. I had already built bug protection screens around most of my fall leaf crops, as they were a favorite meal for pests. This made for a natural support in which to hold a shade cover. I used regular tan burlap purchased at a fabric/craft store and anchored it down with staples. If I had to separate or space out seedlings that I had thinned out (lettuce in particular), I gave them full shade for two to three days. Once they were over the transplant shock, I adjusted the burlap covers to give them more sun. In some cases, I only covered the side of the raised bed that got the more intense afternoon sun, allowing the plants to receive sun during the cooler morning hours. 3. With the drip irrigation and shade covers in place, the last form of protection was mulch. As soon as most of my plants were large enough, they received a 1- to 3-inch layer of mulch made from grass clippings and chopped leaves. I routinely checked the soil under the mulch to make sure it was holding moisture well.

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