Top 5 Things to Do When Your Garden Is Too Hot

Person pushing a lawnmower.
If your garden is a little too hot and sunny, what can you do? 

It’s a hot day, followed by another hot day. You get the idea: it’s summer in your garden, and the heat just doesn’t let up. If you love plants but your plants don’t love the heat, what can you do to create a thriving garden even though it’s relentlessly hot outside.

1. Make Shade and Beat the Heat 

Adding a tree or even a selection of shrubs to your garden can help moderate the hot, hot days. According to NC State University, “The temperature in urban areas is often 9 degrees warmer than in areas with heavy tree cover. ” If trees and shrubs won’t grow in your area because it’s too hot and dry or you need shade closer to the house, add a patio awning. This has the advantage of cooling down both the inside and the outside of your home and provides a refuge where you can sit on warm days. Place your more mobile planters underneath it so that you can protect them from the intense rays of the sun. 

2. Slap on the White and Get a Cooler Patio 

Did you know that there’s a “cool roof” trend? Painting homes white has long been a tradition in hot countries, and this trend is now showing up on roofs and even on asphalt. According to The Guardian, “A white roof reflects around 85% of the sunlight that hits it.” If you’re trying to cool your garden down, think about adding more light colors rather than dark colors to your space. For instance, if you’re painting your patio or your fence or adding rocks, an arbor, or patio furniture, add light colors to reflect the light and keep the heat away.

Bonus Tip: Consider how rainwater is channeled through your garden. Be sure your gutters are in good condition and install gutter guards to keep them clog-free. Downspouts should direct water away from the foundation of your home and if possible into a segment of your garden that will benefit from the water. To learn more about gutters download our free gutter guide.

3. Add Shade Cloth

If you are growing tender plants that need some extra TLC during the summer months, consider adding a shade cloth to your garden. You can use this cloth as a floating row cover draped over your plants, or you can develop a hoop or a support structure that sits over top of your garden and supports the shade cloth.

Purple flower.
Some plants actually do best in hot, dry conditions. 

4. Choose Plants That Love the Heat 

Some plants really like to be hot and dry. If you live in a naturally hot, dry climate, these could be some of your native plants. If not, take a cue from those climates and add plants that truly thrive in those conditions. These include:

  • Zinnias 
  • Moss rose 
  • Sedums 
  • Echinacea
  • Sunflowers 
  • Petunias 
  • Salvia 
  • Cosmos

Cacti, succulents, and many prairie grasses will work here as well.

5. Maintain Moisture Levels

While hot and dry gardens are not always one and the same, the two often go together. It’s not healthy for your plants to be both heat and water stressed. If you have a hot garden, make sure that you water in the cool of the morning so the sun doesn’t shine through the water droplets onto the leaves, burning them in the midday heat.

While mulch is often known as a way to maintain moisture in the soil, it’s also a way to keep the soil cool. When the sun shines on bare soil, the soil heats up. When the sun shines on mulch, it takes a while for the heat to penetrate lawn into the soil where the roots of your perennials are and where your tender new plants are growing. You can also add a layer of ground cover plants as well to provide shade to one of the most sensitive parts of your garden: your soil. 

At Harry Helmet, we want to make gardening simpler. That’s why we sell and install products like awnings and gutter covers. Talk with us today about how we can improve your home and garden, and schedule a free estimate.

Written by Del Thebaud

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