5 Hot Weather Gardening Tips for Summertime Gardening

Depending on your climate, growing in the summer can be a little bit tricky. In certain places temperatures get upwards of 100°F regularly, which will test your garden’s stability. However, it’s possible to have happy healthy gardens in the deep heat summer — especially if you grow in containers.

Here are 5 hot weather gardening tips to help ensure a healthy happy summer harvest!

1. Choose the right crops.

Hot Weather Container Garden Crops from Gardenuity

First and foremost, growing the right crops during the summer will help you produce an abundant harvest. Be careful to grow only warm-season crops. Cool-season crops like peas or spinach with wilt and shrivel in the heat of the summer sun. Instead, grow warm-weather crops. This includes melons, okra, peppers, tomatoes, basil, and eggplant.

Each of these crops will thrive in the heat; in fact, several of them even require temperatures above 80°F to produce successfully. When you choose the right crop to grow for your season, you set you and your garden up for success.

If you aren’t sure what you should grow we can help! Our match technology matches you to a plant that is guaranteed to grow in your zip code. You can see exactly what you can grow now by shopping our garden kits!

2. Buy some shade cloth.

Whether you’re trying to hang onto a spinach crop in early summer or growing new transplants, shade cloths are really valuable. Invest in some good quality shade cloth for your garden. When you cover a garden with a shade cloth, the temperature goes down as much as 10°F. They are useful for extremely hot days or for the tenuous transplant stage as the baby plants get used to the new soil.

3. Water consistently and at the right time.

Child Watering a Hot Weather Garden

Throughout the summer heat, it’s imperative to maintain moist soil conditions. Hotter weather and sunnier days mean more evaporation. As such, your garden might require more water during the summer than the spring or fall. Don’t wait for your garden to wilt; check your garden soil daily (at least) to see if it needs water.

When you water your garden also matters. Water in the early mornings or evenings. Because the sun is hiding (or milder) during these times, there will be less evaporation and therefore less wasted water. When you water at these times, you allow the water to be soaked into soil before the sun comes out.

For more watering tips, see our complete guide to watering here.

4. Mulch, mulch, mulch.

The easiest way to keep soil temperatures cool and moisture levels up is to mulch. By mulching, you keep the roots of your plant cool and happy — regardless of how hot the weather is above the soil. It also means less weeding!

Mulch can be old leaves, grass clippings, hay, or straw in combination with newspaper and cardboard.

5. Arrange your container gardens to create shade

Container Gardens in Shade for Hot Weather Gardening

Growing in containers is particularly useful when growing in the heat of summer. Not only can you move your garden in and out of shade (or indoors on incredibly hot days), you can arrange your container gardens to create shade for specific plants.

For example, if you have a lettuce garden that’s lasting, place your climbing plants like cucumbers or tomatoes so that they block the sun from the lettuce garden. Shade trellises are a convenient solution for blocking shade. In any case, you’ll have a collection of beautiful container gardens to admire in the summer sun.

Whatever you do, checking on your garden regularly is the best way to beat the heat. If you’re watching your garden, you’ll catch problems as they arise and be able to respond accordingly.

Grow Pro Tip: If you grow with Gardenuity, Grow Pro will watch the weather for you and send you some reminders about watering, moving your garden to a shady area and tips on how to keep your summer garden thriving.

If these hot weather gardening tips were helpful and you want to get started growing this summer be sure to take a look at this advice from Brie on what and how to grow in the heat of summer.

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