Heat Advisories!

Posted by on June 24, 2009 at 11:25 pm.
Johns Trip to Arizona

John's Trip to Arizona

It’s still June and we are already having 100°+ days!  According to the weather station at Rheudasil Park in Flower Mound, today’s high was 99.7 degrees.  AccuWeather.com is forecasting tomorrow’s high to be 102 degrees with a “real feel” of 108 degrees.  Heat advisory, humidity, “real feel” – gardening seems all but impossible.  And the plants are feeling it too.

But the gardening chores keep going so a game plan is in order.

  1. Don’t garden in the heat of the day.  Try to garden before 10am and after 6pm and stay in shady areas when possible.  This matches the times for watering restrictions in our area, so that is a good reminder of when to get out of the garden.  The reason water restrictions eliminate those times for watering is because evaporation is just too high during that time frame.  And if you are in the garden during allowed watering times, the sprinklers will help to cool the area off some.  You might even try gardening at night.  It’s amazing how the garden can change in the dark.
  2. You may think that the smartest thing to do in the hottest weather is to keep taking off clothes (just shy of being arrested for indecent exposure), but that would be the wrong thing to do.  Try to find a light weight, light colored, long sleeved cotton shirt that will allow air flow and soak up sweat, but will also reflect the sun’s rays.  Don’t forget a good sun shading hat.  I’m not a hat person, but I have become a believer in the power of a good hat.  A wet cloth around your neck can also be very helpful.  And don’t forget the sunscreen!
  3. Keep hydrated!  Take a big insulated cup of water into the garden with you – and drink it!  And DON’T drink alcohol in the middle of the heat.  Save that beer for the evening when the chores are done.  Alcohol is a diuretic–meaning that it promotes dehydration–and interferes with your body’s ability to regulate its own temperature. Alcohol also dilates your blood vessels, as does warm weather, and therefore makes you more susceptible to passing out.   Also stay away from the sugary drinks which don’t really rehydrate.  Sports drinks are better.

The garden needs help dealing with the heat also…

  1. Mulch!  Keep a good layer of mulch on all soils to hold in the moisture.  It really does work.
  2. Water deeply and less frequently.  Don’t immediately run for the hose if you see plants drooping in the middle of the day.  Most likely, they will spring back up as the temps cool off at night.  Adding water to plants in the highest temps may just boil your plants.  Watering slowly and deeply (to at least one inch) and then allowing it to dry some in between waterings will encourage the plants roots to grow deeper to cooler and moister soils.  Don’t forget the “finger test” – stick your finger down deep in the mulch and see how dry it really is.  Looks can be deceiving.  Potted plants don’t have a “deeper” to go to.  Potted plants will most likely need to be watered daily during the hottest days of the year, but try to water them in the cooler hours.
  3. Add compost, manure and other organic matter to improve the condition of the soil. This actually makes a huge difference in the temperatures that the soils are able to take and still retain moisture for your plants.  It also simply boost the health of your plants so that they are able to tolerate the heat better.  Do NOT add fertilizers in the heat of the summer because it will only cause stress to the plants by forcing them into growth just when they should be slowing down for the heat.

Be smart and stay cool!

-- Weather When Posted --

  • Temperature: 82°F;
  • Humidity: 71%;
  • Heat Index: 87°F;
  • Wind Chill: 82°F;
  • Pressure: 29.92 in.;


One Comment

  • Regina says:

    Did I say “Be careful in the heat”? What I meant to say was “BE CAREFUL in the heat!” Mowing the lawn at 7pm in 101 degree heat is not much better than mowing the lawn at 3pm in 101 degree heat. I should have gone out early this morning.

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