4 Tips to Ensure Your Plants Survive the Summer Season

This year, you might be feeling lucky that we’re starting out the season with a mixture of sunshine and rain. However, all this precipitation doesn’t necessarily mean that the summer months ahead won’t catch up with your plants – especially with water conservation restrictions still in effect.

The CBC has pointed out in a recent article that regional watering will still be regulated due to population growth and snowpack depletion.

With the upcoming water restrictions in mind, we’d love to help your plants stay ahead of the summer regulations with a few tips to make things easier on you – and your plants.

Plant choice

Picking hardy resilient varieties that are adapted to your site conditions is key – and don’t make the mistake of assuming that native plants are drought-tolerant ones. Like all plants, our indigenous varieties are specially adapted to specific conditions, which could mean they need a spot that’s shady and cool just as easily as sunny and hot.

If you’re unsure about plant choice, check-in with our staff at Urban Roots and they’ll happily help you pick out a winner based on your needs.

Most drought-tolerant plants have similar built-in features that you can look for: grey-green foliage, small or thin leaves (sometimes with fine hairs on them), and deep root systems.

Picking a diverse palette of plants is also important to add strength and resilience to your garden; where one variety may falter, another will have strength.

Resources

Every garden has its own set of resources. You’ll want to check on where water is available and what restrictions are common in your area so that you can be prepared when the summer heat kicks in. You might also consider a drip irrigation system that is both water-conscious and automatic.

Some plants go into dormancy in extreme heat to conserve energy and will bounce back when the temperate drops. So don’t panic if a few leaves are dropped or if you see fewer flowers for a short time. Ultimately, if you do lose a plant, don’t beat yourself up – it probably wasn’t suited to the conditions and is best replaced by something that is. Even professional gardeners are constantly trying different plants and techniques. It’s all part of the challenge and fun!

Techniques

Planting in the spring or fall will help your plant material to get established well before the stress of the summer months. It helps to build healthy, deep roots that interlock with other plants, fungus (mycorrhizal), and soil micro-organisms, which means that they can all work together to survive stressful times.

Ensure that you’re not watering too much at other times of the year. It’s healthy for plants to experience some stress so that they can be prepared when larger challenges appear. Be sure to check your soil; if you scrape off the top layer and it’s wet underneath then you can hold off watering a bit longer.

You also can’t go wrong building and protecting healthy soil. Limiting soil disturbance and laying down mulch or topdressing can help prevent erosion and evaporation while encouraging micro-organisms to aerate and feed the community. Limiting compaction of the soil can also help provide good drainage for rainy winter months and promote healthy rooting.

Don’t feel overwhelmed when higher temperatures are in the forecast; with a little help and some thoughtful planning, your garden can stand strong. And don’t forget, Urban Roots is here to help you get what you need close to home, so come by and see us soon!


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