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Staying Alive: Plants in the Heat of Summer

14 Jul 2017, 2:30 pm

Staying Alive: Plants in the Heat of Summer
Tips and tricks to keeping your plants alive during the summer. 

 

I recently found myself trying to impress a girl. In an attempt to do so, I started showering regularly and bought a car that can make it safely from point A to point B.

But it turns out there is much more to this courtship thing than I initially thought.

Admittedly, I have a leg up on the competition when it comes to adequately dressing for the weather– even grabbing a spare jacket when I know heat of the day will escape as the sun goes down under clear skies and a lack of wind. So when my sister told me I needed to start keeping plants, I figured it wouldn’t take much more than what I already knew.

Boy, was I wrong.

Watering

It turns out, too much of a good thing isn’t necessarily a good thing.

You see, too much water and you open the door to a host of problems that go much further than just drowning the poor plant.

To keep things as simple as simple as possible, avoid watering leaves to keep the threat of disease at a minimum.

There are different ways to water indoor and outdoor plants, so let’s get to it.

The Garden

This one was easy. I’ve rocked an outdoor garden for years, and along the way google has helped me solve a few problems I didn’t know existed.

During the dog days of summer plants require more water— duh.
But it’s how you water that makes all of the difference.

Watering in the middle of the day isn’t the worst thing you can do, however there are many more efficient ways to get those vital drops of water to the roots that crave the moisture.
Watering in the morning or evening allows the water to make it to the soil and absorb without evaporating into thin air!

Oh, and speaking of plants and evaporation– ever wonder why it gets so humid in our nation’s heartland come the heat of summer?
Hint: it’s all about the plants.

Corn Sweat: What Is It Doing to Our Weather?

Another pro tip for all you out there trying to grow fruits and vegetables in your back yard…

Try to find a spot that gets light in the morning and shade in the afternoon. By the time we reach peak daytime heating the sun’s rays can actually be a bit harsh on those fragile plants– even those ones that claim they need all the light they can get!
I do this by putting the garden on the east side of the house. This way I get most of the light, but by the time the heat hits– the plants are nestled safely in the shade.

Indoor Plants

This whole need of plants actually started because my sister told me herbs in the kitchen in which I could harvest and chiffonade basil for an appetizer is a super suave move.

Easier said than done.

You see, we don’t have A/C in the house so keeping that basil plant alive was a bit of a chore at first. Battling the few hours of sun and drastic temperature swings of the kitchen turns out to be more of an art than a science.

Once again, the main thing here is to NOT over-water.
Apparently, most indoor plants like things on the dry side– but not too dry. And if that makes no sense to you, don’t worry, I was once asking all of the same questions you are cursing into your computer right now.

  • Stick your finger in the dirt
  • lick it.
  • If it tastes bad, try again

Kidding! But you will have to get your finger dirty…

The best way to tell if the plant needs water is to feel the soil. And I’m not just saying that so you go around sticking your finger in random pots of dirt– although, I do have the responsibility of watering the plants at my local coffee shop because I couldn’t keep my fingers clean.

If the dirt is dirt, it’s time to water.

To keep things simple, I just use a pot with holes in the bottom. This way the excess water just drains out. But keep in mind, the water comes out a little dirty, so if you aren’t looking to clean up a giant mess– take this process to the sink.
I find it best to just leave the plant in the sink until all of the excess water drains out then return the little guy to its home.

As far as sunlight. We all love a little sun!
When watering, just make sure to rotate the plant so all sides get a little love from those revitalizing UV rays.
If the leaves lose color— time for more light!

A Sensible Solution

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I had some help with the plants and this article.
You see, the girl I was trying to impress actually has a green thumb. So as I text her in order to find out what to write in the article, I can’t help but think, “Hmm, I guess I did see you do that a few times.”

For WeatherNation — Meteorologist Jeremy LaGoo

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