Protect your ladies.
Plants like warmth, humid air and water. But as always, there can be too much of a good thing.
- Heat. The last few summers have seen long hot periods with almost no rain. How do you protect your plants against this? Obviously plants love the sunlight. But long periods with temperatures over 30 degrees can hamper formation of flowers. Place a sun screen over the plants and vaporize water over the leaves to cool the plant. Also, consider getting lightly coloured pots, since they don’t heat up as much and help protect the root system. The second challenge during long dry periods is watering. Check regularly if the soil around your plants is still moist. In high heat that probably won’t be the case after a day or two, so water well! If you prefer not to use drinking water for this, you can catch rain water earlier in the year. Be aware that a rain barrel can be a breeding place for pests and diseases.
- Wind. Strong winds generally won’t be a problem in summer. But the fall is just around the corner. Hard wind or storms are easy to avoid by moving potted plants. Move them carefully to a spot that’s largely sheltered from the wind. You can also take your plants inside. It’s only temporary, after all. If your plants are in open soil, you obviously can’t move them. That’s why it’s important to choose a good spot right at the start of your grow. Ideally, this spot is protected against wind from two or three sides. It does need some airflow, of course.
- Heavy rain and hail. After a few very hot days, it’s not uncommon to get a heavy thunderstorm with rain or hail. This can devastate your plants. Again, you’re OK if you’re growing in pots. Just move the plants carefully to a safer spot. In open soil, that advantage is lost. Your only real option is making a small roof that you can place over your plants. All you need is some planks, board and plastic sheet. Build a small ‘cabin’ with a solid roof that can withstand some hail. If the weather gets really heavy, a sheet roof would probably end with holes.