Help Your Garden Survive a Heatwave

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It's been a brutally hot summer in most parts of the country. If your gardening efforts have gone unrewarded because of unusually hot weather and drought conditions, consider adopting some new gardening techniques until the weather returns to normal. These tips may help your garden even in ideal conditions.

Water early in the morning. Your plants will be able to absorb more water if you deliver it early in the morning before the heat of the day causes it to evaporate. Try to avoid watering at night, however, because damp foliage can lead to disease.

Mulch. Mulching is a time-honored gardening practice, but it's especially important during a heatwave. A simple mulch of leaves, grass clippings, or shredded bark can help to keep moisture in your garden's soil, allowing your plants to continue to grow and absorb nutrients.

Focus on native plants. Plants native to your local area stand a better chance of thriving during a heat wave than non-native plants. If you can't live without some of your favorite non-native plants, plant them in the shade or in containers that can be transferred indoor when the heat gets too brutal.

Concoct some temporary shade. If the relentless summer sun is scorching your plants and you don't have shade trees nearby, put up a temporary shade to protect them. You may have to get creative, but don't overlook picnic awnings, tent poles and bed sheets, or even dining umbrellas.

Don't let the heatwave rob you of your garden. Just adapt, and enjoy your harvest.

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