Garden Heatwave: How to Care for Heat-Stressed Plants

Garden Heatwave: How to Care for Heat-Stressed Plants


[Music] Phew! It’s a hot and humid one today. It’s bad enough here, but I know lots of you have to
cope with weather that’s considerably hotter and drier. So whether you’re struggling with a
miniature heatwave or a summer-long slog of
extreme high temperatures, here are a few tips to help you
help your plants cope. It’s obvious that in hot, dry weather
plants will need more water to keep them healthy and productive, but it’s important to use smart watering
techniques to make the most of every drop. The best time to water is early in the morning,
when moisture is slower to evaporate and water levels can be recharged
ahead of the heat of the day. Check soil regularly – every day if you can –
and water if it’s dry at finger depth. Remember, it’s better to really drench
the soil once every few days rather than merely dampen the surface daily. Scrape soil into ridges around plants to
create bowls to water into, or water into old pots or bottles sunk into the soil
next to plants. That way the water will go directly to the roots
where it’s needed, instead of running away over the soil surface. Drip irrigation systems set up on a timer are a good
option if you’re not able to water daily in hot weather. Container plants can dry out very quickly, and may need watering up to twice a day,
especially if it’s windy too. Check that the water is actually being
absorbed though – you don’t want it simply running down cracks between
the potting soil and the container wall. Continue watering until you can see water coming
out of the drainage holes at the bottom. Pot saucers can be used to hold the water
around your containers for a little bit longer. When you’re done watering, it’s time to
lock in all that valuable soil moisture. Mulches of organic material such as
compost, leaves or grass clippings help to slow evaporation by shading the soil
from the sun’s rays. Mulches also help to keep the root zone cooler,
thereby reducing the stress that your plants are under. You can also create a living mulch
by planting densely, or using rambunctious sprawling
plants like squashes to shade the soil. When temperatures rise above 85-90F (29-32C),
many plants really start to struggle. Some, like tomatoes, cope by rolling up their leaves –
a natural response that reduces water loss. Many fruiting plants including tomatoes, beans
and peppers may also drop their flowers or stop producing new ones as they try
to cope with the heat. Now you may think the answer lies in fertilizing your
plants to make them stronger but this only exacerbates the situation, because your plants will then need more
water to process all that fertilizer. A sudden flush of nutrients also signals to the
plant that it’s time to grow – a dangerous and stress-inducing move
in soaring temperatures. So stop fertilizing and concentrate on
watering instead. When it’s hot outside I love to seek out some shade,
and so will many of your crops. Shade your plants with anything you can get hold of –
old net curtains or tulle cloth works well, as do old white bedsheets. Purpose-sold shade cloth is available in different
levels of sunblock, from 15%, 30%, 40% – right up to 100%. Your plants won’t grow as fast under it, but they’ll still get some sunshine
and will be a lot less stressed. Pin the shade cloth into position with bulldog clips or
clothes pins, using frames or hoops to support it. Many plants will benefit from some shading
from hot afternoon sunshine, including cool-season vegetables like
cabbage and lettuce, and fruits such as strawberries. Removing plant material by harvesting it means that
there’s less foliage or fruits for your plants to service. Fruiting and pod-producing plants
especially should be harvested promptly to save the plant’s energy. Finish ripening fruits that haven’t fully colored up
in the kitchen to give your plants a break. They’ll switch back to their productive selves
once the weather cools. Extreme summer heat can be as
stressful for our plants as it is for us, but give these simple strategies a go and
save your plants a lot of suffering. Now I’m sure you’ve got lots of tips
to help your plants keep their cool, so please share your techniques
in the comments section below. Don’t forget, the best way
to keep up to speed with all our latest videos is to subscribe, so check you’ve
done just that before heading off today. I’ll catch you next time. [Music]

43 Replies to “Garden Heatwave: How to Care for Heat-Stressed Plants”

  1. When watering I do it in passes. Rather then one big pass I do it 3-4 times with 1 minute brakes in between. That way more water is absorbed in the soil rather then just running down the same crack.
    Great video!

  2. Hi, do you think my loofa plant is not giving me fruits because of the hot weather? I live in zone 7/8 in Georgia.

  3. Timely advice – Thankyou.
    I sometimes give them a mist on a hot afternoon – seems to perk them up.

  4. I had to water containers three times yesterday, cucumber still looks a bit worse for wear from that warm breeze but is recovering!

  5. Have you seen my first video? I'm about to download another one. (Being a youtuber is HARD)! Edit my mom is sick and I had to shut down my channel for a while! I'll be baaaack!

  6. You have to love the bits with their *heatwaves*. Come to Australia, mate. You might find yourself growing a couple of balls.

  7. I put up a shade tunnel for my lettuce and radishes so that they are not overwhelmed, even during the hottest heat wave so I can have salad all summer long. Works quite well.

  8. Your video came at the perfect time as Southern California is getting very warm! I recently lost my strawberries to the extreme heat 😫 I'll use these tips to save the rest of my garden cuties. Thanks!

  9. I have old window screens and repurpose them for shading the plants from the afternoon 🌞 sun. I'll prune heavily to reduce the heat stress. ✌

  10. I have never used one of the bed skirts that come in a new comforter set on a bed inside my house. I like to use old sheers too. My grammy used to take the sheers from her laundry and mud room out on hot days and pin them to trellises and the fence to shade her cucumbers and squash vines. My grandad would be so mad because she would end up with new ones shortly after

  11. Summer in the Carolinas, when the garden bakes to a crisp but the weeds grow tall as trees. Thanks for the tips, I am going to use the "bury the pot" one.

  12. Until yesterday we had such temperatures as high as 42°C here in Belgium! It's been the second heat wave in Belgium in two moths and this one lasted more than 10 days, I really thought the veggies would die, especially since it hasn't rained a lot since begin of 2019 so both the soil and the air were horrendously dry… I've focused on watering after sunset (22h30) and less often but much more generously, and it has indeed shoed much more results than watering lightly everyday like I did last year!

    Fortunately it's now been raining for 20hrs in a row and the temps have literally dropped 15°C. Heaven for the crops, especially the freshly sewn and germinated seeds!

  13. this couldnt have come at a better time as our temps are climing into triple digits. I have issues with roots rotting with trays underneath. my tomatoes are rolling leaves, thought id back off on fertilizing by half. Great timing with video

  14. I have a tip for indoor orchids. They tend to dry out and die fast cause the air is too dry inside. I used to think I needed to water them more…yeah that kills them cause they don't like being too wet either. Instead an orchidgrower told me to put a bowl filled with those clay balls in them…fill that bowl with water. That way your orchid doesn't get dry air but still keeps its feet dry. It seems to keep my orchids alive. So the pro tip actually worked.
    Only problem with it being 40° here….apparently its so hot now even a tropical plant can't handle that kind of heat. In 1 day the bowl dried up and so did its flowers. 😱😭 The plant itself is fine (good leafs and green roots) but the flowers are all dried up and dead. Also make sure your orchids are nowhere near your airco…they don't like the breeze of fresher air. Also a good way to remove all your flowers from your orchids. It was so hot I turned the airco on but forgot about one little orchid…next day…BAHM all the flowers on the floor. It took me a little while to realise it was because of my airco…..it was fine before.

  15. Hi. I heard that it's better not to overwater tomatoes because a little bit of stress is what will help them produce tomatoes. Is this correct?

  16. Thanks for this video! I didn't know that about the fertiliser. My sugar peas and marrow fat peas, some plants are going totally pale, is that heat stress or do they need fertiliser?

  17. I find watering in the evening best, as it gives plants the luxury of a cooler night period to recover before they have to face the heat again the following day. Watering in the morning is ok, but it needs to be done by 7am at the latest, as the sun after this is already warming up the ground again, and plants don't like warm water.

  18. Thank you for showing aged and bug damaged crops!  Every garden has some!   I learn more seeing the good AND the ugly!   Thanks for your tips!

  19. Nice video, I disagree with only watering in the morning however. If your soil is well drained and its structure is loose loamy type soil, as mine is, watering in the evening is actually better as it encourages roots to go deeper where even in brutally hot dry climates like ours, there is moisture. In fact, my Spireas get watered once a month and even then only if I remember! Veggies such as tomatoes especially are HUGE nitrogen hogs so side dressing them regardless of weather is essential, and over-watering them actually causes spindly growth with lots of unproductive branches, I give them a deep, deep drink via ground soak hoses once a week, and my peppers a little more because their natural habitat is humid, not dry like here in Utah. And keep in mind sometimes when tomato leaves curl up it may be an Aphid infestation, turn the leaves over to check, and if so get some ladybugs, they eat several times their weight in Aphids. It's really all about knowing which plants needs more, and which plants need less water, droopy plants are thirsty, plain and simple, but if you live in a dry climate and have WELL DRAINED SOIL, hold off to the evening and give them a nice deep drink to encourage root depth, remember slow soaking is your friend, it cuts evaporation and allows the water to penetrate soil that has isolated roots so that the water runs off and does not benefit the plant.

  20. Great video thanks.
    Where we can't shade, we use a foliar of Molasses and Nickel to help restore nitrogen balance and prevent leaching which would otherwise restrict protiens and have the potential to attract insect pests to our already heat stressed plants.
    Organic mulch helps since this releases CO2 as it oxidises. Higher rates of CO2 enable plants to operate at higher temperatures..We also use a CO2 foliar treatment called Nano Breathe..
    This also helps calcium levels helping keep roots and plant happier..It also has Magnesium and Iron, both useful in maintaining photosynthetic efficiency.

    Humic acid helps increase the soils ability to hold water, up to 40% more rentention, as well as providing many other benefits to support.plant and soil health.
    Also always grow with active biology. This can help maintain access to water as microbes like us are 70% water. Mycorrhizas in particular are incredible at.both storing water and locating sources in the soil which can be.out.of reach of root networks alone. Added biology helps maintain access to critical micro nutrients which in turn help plants resist environmental stressors.
    Humic acid and Seaweed at 5:2 as a foliar has also been a trick to help plants resist high heat which we have had good success with.

    Overall, increasing photosynthetic efficiency really boosts resistance as things heat up.
    We always spray out of the sunlight. 😊

  21. Thanks, I couldn't figure out for the life of me what was happening to my green beans. Dropping their flowers answers that even tho I 'thought' I was watering enuff.

  22. I had some gardeners cut a tree down in my complex. The vent for their chipper was pointed at my fern and burned it, how can I ensure its recovery?

  23. Long time fan, first time commenting – I hail from Sunny South Africa and I love GrowVeg! Your tips are always helpful, i love making use of partial shade nets or planting big bushy crops next to smaller vegetables that may need more shade. I love growing little rows of lettuce and flanking them by rows of sweet peas. The two just compliment each other while growing. I am also a big fan of using chille plants as little bushy borders for my raised beds as I've read they're supposed to improve drainage in the soil and I love those eye-catching chille flowers, they always attract beneficial bugs to the raised beds. It gets incredibly hot around here, especially in the summer peaks. I will be putting your advice to good use this season!

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