Well, here I sit at the computer on another hot, sweltering day looking outside wondering if the plants and animals are hotter than me!
I never dreamed I’d be gardening during a heatwave where the only people, plants and animals that are happy are in air conditioning.
Although tropical flowers are beautiful, I certainly don’t think I would like to live in the tropics although I have heard it is cooler there than in Indiana during the summer.
At least there is winter ahead, not that I particularly like snow, but I guess it is better than knowing what a roasting pig feels like.
Plants Don’t Always Look Good When Gardening During A Heatwave
I went out to my pond today and now that the plants have become accustomed to this heat, they seem to be growing like crazy.
Maybe that’s another drawback of the tropics, there’s nothing like having giant plants overrun their space!
I had to add two additional tubs to put extra water plants into because you couldn’t even find the water in the pond–no joke, it was that crowded.
I must admit that my Angel Trumpets still don’t seem to like this heat although they should, but they are so small and punny it isn’t even funny.
As for my Pineapple, well, crispy fried it is…..even with tons of water!
My Banana plant seems to be coming out of its slump as does the Bird Of Paradise.
My herbs, both those in containers and in the ground, just look sick as they flop over like they haven’t been watered in a week.
The Hollyhocks look sad too with their huge leaves wilted.
Ways To Protect Plants During A Heatwave
I have finally resorted to a nightly watering since I am gardening during a heatwave as well as my usual morning watering, but even that isn’t helping much.
One recent suggestion that I read about was to put a heavy mulch over the roots of your plants to help retain soil moisture.
I suppose this does make sense, although I haven’t done it yet myself.
I suggest a three inch layer of mulch or even compost would work to help keep the roots cool.
Another suggestion is to create a shade house over the top of your plants.
You can use shade cloth, a canopy – just be sure its tied down well in case of high winds, or even an umbrella.
Basically anything that blocks out the sun to help keep your plants roots a little cooler will help.
One reason I have not mulched is because most of my tropical plants are in containers and I hate to fill the pots to the top with anything.
It makes it hard to properly water and lets face it mulch is really made for plants that are growing in the ground in my opinion.
The reason most of my plants are in pots is because I was just too lazy to dig holes this year so I could submerge the pots in the ground or plant the plants directly into the ground!
It’s a lot of work to dig up tropical plants and repot them after summer is over.
One great way to enjoy the plants this summer and still stay cool would be to visit Botanical Gardens.
There are many of them all over, along with a few private estates and gardens scattered here and there.
I think those must be the luckiest plants this year, all tucked inside in air conditioning!
Dealing With Bugs When Gardening During A Heatwave
Have you noticed for as hot as it is this year, there are a ton of bugs?
Since some tropical plants react negatively to some pesticides – and frankly I don’t care to use them, I have found a new way to handle pest problems.
Let the birds eat them.
Now, I am not talking wild birds, although those do help, as do bats.
They loosen up the soil, gobble up the bugs and fertilize the soil all at the same time.
Turkeys and Guineas are also known for this, and they love Japanese Beetles.
I also noticed that when the chickens were roosting above the Plumeria Tree and leaving their droppings behind that it seemed to create more blooms on it than any other year.
Plus it is much fuller than it was last year too.
So, you see, even though the weather is miserable, gardening isn’t much fun, and we all could wilt from heat, there are ways to cope, and maybe even enjoy some great plants in air conditioning!
Until next week, have fun gardening during a heatwave and remember to hydrate so you stay cool!