Reported by foodem.com, the online wholesale food marketplace-
Here at Foodem, we’re all about home gardening. Producing fruits and vegetables in your own back yard is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and your family. As with everything, there are pros and cons, but self-gardening has a number of pros.
For instance, the health benefits alone make gardening worthwhile. The fruits, vegetables and herbs grown in your garden are packed with necessary vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, enabling a healthier diet. An added bonus is the physical activity gardening promotes. Depending on what is being done, muscles will tone and improve in function, and a considerable amount of calories will be burned. Gardening is also more cost-effective. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics says we’re spending less on groceries, many of us are still feeling the pinch at the register when merely buying necessities.
For those that have indulged in home gardening, the relentless heat wave has threatened your hard work and has posed a challenge; the challenge of protecting your crops and your food supply. While it’s impossible to completely defend against searing temperatures, there are simple techniques and tactics that will help ease their affects. Take these actions below to combat the extreme heat:
Mulch, Mulch, Mulch
Using mulch is one of the best ways to prevent the soil in your garden from drying out. In extreme temperatures, apply a liberal layer of mulch, preferably reflective mulch such as dry grass clippings, to reduce the amount of direct sun exposure. In turn, this helps to slow the rate of water evaporation, keeping the soil moist for longer.
Water, Water, Water
Just as humans, you have to hydrate your garden plants. In a heat wave, shallow roots are dehydrated and water is lost through leaves, so it’s extremely important to thoroughly water your plants. The best time to water your plants is early in the morning to prevent heat scald. Contrary to some beliefs, sprinklers should not be used to water your garden. Instead, the use of soaker hoses or drip irrigation is recommended, as they provide a deeper soaking. Click here for other creative ways to water your plants.
By providing just a little shade to your garden plants, you can extend their life and growing ability. Use shade cloth, which can be purchased at any garden store or use an old bed sheet hung by poles to block direct sunlight and prevent blistering of your plants.
Keep Plants Well-Fed
Since many vegetables begin fruiting when hot weather hits, it’s mandatory to keep them well-fed. The best way to feed your garden is to use ample amounts of nourishing compost. This will supply your plants with essential nutrients needed to grow strong and healthy.