Cary, NC – Cary has seen record heat for the past several Summers, so here are some tips on how to keep your plants cool so they can thrive this Summer.
Throw Some Shade
The easiest way to cool down your plants is to put them in the shade. While the temperature won’t be any different, without the direct sunlight beating down on your plants, they will feel much cooler, as much as 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, as we know, plants also need sunlight to thrive to do not give them total cover. Get your garden near some trees or near a deck or patio if you have it. You can also put benches and chairs near your garden so their shadow will occasionally go over your plants and give them a break from the heat.
Additionally, there are some vibrant flowers that do very well in the shade. Some of those include foxglove, primrose and the large Japanese forest grass plants people like to have here in Cary.
Other Ways to Stay Cool
The best way to keep your plants cool is not to think about the plants and the leaves themselves but the mulch and soil they are growing in. Keep your soil cool by insulating it with mulch, bark and even ground-up newspaper.
If you know there is some sort of water feature near your home, such as a fountain or a creek, consider growing your garden near it. As the water evaporates in the heat, it will cool down the air around your garden.
On a related note, before you start planting for the season, clean your pots and containers first. The Summer heat can help foster diseases in your containers, which can stay there for a long time. Get your containers cleaned first – for terracotta pots, you may consider baking them in the oven at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for around an hour, as diseases can stay in them for a long time and need to be removed more severely.
Story by staff reports. Photos by Hal Goodtree.
The Gardening Column is sponsored by Garden Supply Company on Old Apex Road in Cary.