ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — With temperatures on the rise this week, it may seem obvious to look after people and pets during hot stretches, but what about your plants?
Knowing how to properly water and maintain your gardens on hot, sunny days is a very important part in making sure your plants and flowers are as stress free as possible throughout the summer.
And to keep that stress as low as possible, Director of Horticulture at the Cornell Botanical Gardens, Emily Detrick says you should water your plants early in the morning or early in the evening.
“Like us, plants don’t really want to be messed with when they’re really hot, so avoid weeding or feeding with fertilizer, or even watering in that middle peak during the day even if they’re wilting and it looks like they’re telling you they’re thirsty” Detrick said. “Avoid the temptation and wait until early or late to do that watering.”
Watering your plants at the base instead of on top of the foliage can help prevent pathogens from spreading from plant to plant when it’s warm and humid.
Detrick says perennials, whether it’s woody plants like shrubs or trees, are also typically more resilient to the heat due to their deeper root systems, and to try avoiding transplanting flowers during this time of year.
“Knowing your soil and light conditions through the day and throughout the year and picking a plant that’s going to do well in those conditions is always going to set you up for more success than trying to pick a plant you know you want to grow and adjusting the conditions of your garden to meet that plant’s needs,” Detrick said.
In the instance of more extreme heat, drought and heavy flooding events, choosing plants that will be the most resilient to extreme weather will serve you better in the long run.
Experts also suggest making sure you know your plants’ needs and water requirements before you under or over water, and using mulch like straw or grass clippings can be a great way to keep moisture locked into the soil, and keep your plants cool.