Carrot in flower- Save those seeds!

Planting and Transplanting in the Hot Summer

Four Easy Tips to Summer Planting Success

Tip 1- Provide shade with Shade Cloth

Make some shade for newly planted seeds. Shade cloth over the planting bed will help seed germination when temperatures are high.

shadecloth.jpg

You can place the shade cloth over your planting bed temporarily and once the seeds have germinated, remove the shade. Or if you are growing lettuce, like I am here, leave the shade cloth on. I am hoping this will slow down the greens from going to seed in the heat.

seed_germination.jpg

Using the shade cloth, the germination rate is incredible! I was over zealous here in planting, because these were seeds I had saved from last year and so I had THOUSANDS! I was not sure if the germination rate would be very good, but they were all viable.

Tip 2- Provide Shade with Burlap

IMG_0819.jpg

I had some extra space by the potatoes and so I planted radish seeds. Because it is so hot right now, (daytime temps are above 90 degrees), I placed burlap on top of the area. I check daily to see when the seeds germinate and then I'll remove the burlap so the sprouts will green up.

Using the burlap keeps the soil cool.

Burlap over the seeds keeps them from washing away when you water. Have you ever planted seeds, then accidentally overwatered the area with a powerful stream? The seeds will move in the soil and then many will be washed to the sides of the planting area, or brought back to the surface for the birds to feast upon!

Plus, it is easy to see when your soil needs more water, when the burlap is dry-- time to add water.

Tip 3- Provide Shade to Transplants with Cardboard
cardboard_box_tomato.jpg

Transplanting can stress a plant and doing it in the heat of the day can kill your plants or at least cause them to wilt. Cut out a hole in the top of the box so the plant gets some direct sunlight for an hour or so, but it is still protected by the shade for most of the day. Leave the box on for at least 2 days to allow the plant to recover and develop some roots. Lift the box to water the soil around the plant.

TIP 4

Always water the soil around your plant! No need to power spray your small defenseless plantings. Getting leaves wet when the sun is baking can cause burning.

Watch to see if the water stays near the plant, if the water runs off and away from the plant, it's time to fix your soil.

This is important! Water the soil, not the plant! Drip irrigation or hand watering with a hose on new plantings is important. Overhead sprinkling (if you must) should only be done in the early morning.

If the water runs away from your plant, build a small dam around it to keep the water in. Or dig a trench and plant your plants in it.

chipped_tree_trimmings.jpg

Add compost or wood mulch to hold the water.