Extreme Heat: Can your garden survive?

The Southwest expects extreme heat - but not necessarily in June.

The Southwest expects extreme heat – but not necessarily in June.

The jet stream is galloping north, and we of the high desert are in line for temperatures at 115F — and up. Extreme heat for here – we get blistering hot temperatures in July, August, September – and we expect it then. But it’s June, for Pete’s sake.

Can your garden survive extreme heat?

There’s no guarantee that gardens, lawns and newly planted trees can come through extreme heat stretches unscathed, but they’ll have a better chance of making it if you take these preventive measures while you can still step outside safely:

Veggie gardens:

  • Mulch – layer on three inches wherever possible. This will keep the soil cooler and help retain water.
  • Water –  deeply and often. Use a trickle hose or soaker to get the water to the roots instead of into the atmosphere.
  • Shade – leafy greens have a better chance of surviving with a shade cloth, which may slow down bolting.

Lawns: 

  • Soak to get water through dried soil. Water as early as possible in the day to reduce evaporation loss.
  • Skip the mowing until the weather cools off – not just for your health and safety, but also for the health of your lawn.
  • Set your water system for pre-dawn hours if at all possible.

Trees:

  • Trees need two to four inches of water each week to survive the high temperatures. Skip the sprinkler and grab the soaker hose.
  • Water early, water slow, water deep, especially on new trees and shrubs.
  • Mist can help save shrubs by protecting delicate foliage (if you’re willing to “water the air” to do so).

Bottom line, though, is this: You can grow another garden. You can recover, reseed or pave over a lawn. You can coax many trees back to health —or replace newly planted ones if they don’t make it.

You cannot, on the other hand, come back to life if you die of heat stroke.

Extreme heat can kill you. Know the symptoms of heat illness and heat stroke. Stay hydrated, and be alert for changes in your body temperature, pulse and blood pressure, and watch out for dizziness, pallor. If you STOP sweating, take immediate measures to cool down.

To your garden success!
Casey – the Garden Lass