In the Garden: Helping plants weather a heat wave

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The hot weather is coming, and not only are we going to wilt a little bit, your garden will too. Charlie Nardozzi shows us all how to survive the upcoming week of hot weather.

Sharon Meyer: Charlie we have some hot weather coming up. And our gardens are going to need a little extra care, aren't they?

Charlie Nardozzi: I"m already hot! And you think, we're hot! Imagine your poor plants out there in the blazing heat! So they need to be watered. Now if you have a tree, a shrub or a perennial that you've planted just this year or last year so it's still kind of tender?

Sharon Meyer: It needs help.

Charlie Nardozzi: It needs watering, and the way you water it, you want to water it deeply and infrequently. So you want to water it so that the water gets down 8-10" in the soil. If you don't know how long to water to get there, there's a really simple thing you can do. Just have your water wand on, keep soaking it and count to 30. And by then it will be about 10-12" deep in the soil. If you do that every few days during the heat wave, that will help those shrubs and those trees survive.
Now if you have young plants, like the little vegetables coming up, or annual flowers, those you are going to have to water those every day, early in the morning, that's the best time to do it.

Sharon Meyer: Or at night?

Charlie Nardozzi: Well at night would be ok, as long as you don't get the leaves wet because you don't want to introduce diseases into those vegetables.

Sharon Meyer: Oh right, so early morning is better.

Charlie Nardozzi: Yes, early morning is better and make sure you soak it down into the root system, because they are losing a lot of moisture in this heat, and they are going to need to replace it every time.
And the final thing is if you have containers, and this is simple! If you've got containers in full sun, move them into the shade! That way you won't have to water as frequently otherwise you will be out there a couple times a day in this heat, trying to keep them alive. So stay on top of the watering, a little mulch will never hurt either, put a little mulch down around the plants, and hopefully everyone will survive the heat wave.