Soil and water

Provide some TLC for hot plants

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Provide a cover for these plants to help them in hot weather

master gardeners

Well, it looks like it will be a “scorcher of a summer”. Most gardeners said some of their vegetables were just starting to sprout. Here are some tips to help them, and you, survive.

  1. Increase watering frequency. Once we hit 100 degrees, vegetables, containers and annuals will need to be watered daily.
  2. Watering in the morning will help with evaporation. Water deeply as you want the roots to dip deep in search of water. Don’t let water get into your plants.
  3. Consider buying a shade cloth. You can drape it over T-posts driven into the ground and secured with zip ties. You can also create a temporary shelter with two parallel U-shaped pieces of PVC pipe. For smaller spans, you can anchor the ends by driving them into the ground. For taller ones, hammer a piece of rebar to put the end of the PVC pipe over. Drape a shade cloth over the pipe and secure it with binder clips.
  4. Add more mulch to cool the soil – with the added benefit of reducing weeds.
  5. If you have containers that can be moved, place them in the shade.
  6. Do not abandon. Just because they’re withering a little doesn’t mean they’re dead. Keep giving them water and they’ll probably get better.
  7. When planting, consider using a companion plant to create shade.

And what is good for the garden is also good for the gardener. Ask yourself these simple questions:


  1. Am I drinking enough water? The CDC recommends drinking 1 cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes about a liter every hour. Drinking at frequent intervals is more effective than a large volume all at once.
  2. Am I wearing loose, light pants and shirt and do I have my sunglasses and a hat? My favorite summer garden clothes are my old worn khaki pants, my old t-shirt and a long-sleeved shirt.
  3. Am I working outdoors in the cooler part of the day and at my own pace? In West Texas, we are blessed with low humidity, so our sweat evaporates quickly and provides a cooling effect. Even so, the best time to go out is in the morning and early evening when it’s coolest. Remember to pace yourself and take frequent breaks.

We all lose track of time when gardening, but if you’re feeling faint, dizzy, confused or nauseous, it’s a sign it’s time to stop. There will always be tomorrow to finish. Remember, you want to enjoy your time outdoors in your own garden paradise!

If you have any questions, call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700.

Additional information is available at westtexasgardening.org. Click on “Resources“.