HOW TO GARDEN IN THE ARIZONA HEAT

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It’s National Gardening Week, and with temperatures rising here in Arizona, gardening may be the last task on your mind. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to help your garden thrive despite the blistering heat! 

Arizona has a lot of potential for gardening in the summer with a wide variety of produce that can be grown in high temperatures. Warm-weather plants respond to heat very naturally and can adapt to most climates with just a little bit of extra care. Learn how to protect your plants with these tips and make your garden thrive this summer:

Watering

Many plants will have leaves that look wilted in the morning – it is a natural response to the heat because the leaves are storing water during the hottest times of the day. Even though they may look thirsty, this is not a sign they need to be watered. Actually, it’s a common misconception that plants need to be watered more in the summer. So, continue the watering schedule your plants have been on. If your plants are still looking wilted in the evening, then you can add more water to the schedule. Remember: wilting in the morning is normal, wilting in the evening means plants need more water. Also, watering early in the morning is best, as it allows the plant to absorb the most water. 

Shading

Shading can solve most of the issues people face when gardening during the summer. With temperatures reaching 90 and above, plants can get sunburnt. Tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and root vegetables need to be shaded the most. If you live in a place where the temperature is over 100, most of your garden can stay shaded the whole summer, aside from plants like melons and squash. They can be left uncovered even in temperatures over 100. Shade the plants all day and night – they will adjust to the heat, and the shade cloth still allows the plants to receive sun. Shading cloth can be found at local nurseries or hardware stores, and using recycled burlap sacks is also a resourceful option. Additionally, you can always consider planting your summer garden in a place that has plenty of natural shade. 

Mulching

Mulch is a mix of bark, gravel, wood and sand. Place mulch on top of your garden bed to help retain moisture. This will prevent the water from evaporating too quickly, so the plants can maximize their absorption. Pick up mulch at a local nursery, or use woodchips for a similar effect.

To make your garden prosper even more, check here for tips on what and when to plant in your area. Getting a jump start on your spring planting will ensure a successful summer crop. 

With these three easy tips, your plants can thrive through the summer heat. Use National Gardening Week as a start to your summer gardening adventure!