How to Take Care of Outdoor Plants in Summer

How to Take Care of Outdoor Plants in Summer

Table of Contents

Indian summers are pretty harsh in most parts of the country and while we can sit in the protection of our homes and enjoy the cool air from fans and air conditioners, our outdoor plants are left to the mercy of the blistering hot sun. All year round we invest a lot of time and money into our gardens, taking care of plants and shaping our gardens into places where we can escape our busy city life. So it it is important that we keep our garden plants safe from the scorching heat as well! 
Every plant loves the sun. It’s what nourishes them, helps them grow and  blossom into what they are meant to be. But too much of sunlight without proper care be disastrous for them. That’s because, just like people, garden plants can experience sunburn too. And, also just like it is for people, this is a pretty unpleasant experience for them as well.

But avoiding the sun during the hot Indian summer can be next to impossible. It is constantly over our heads, draining energy and causing dehydration. So, with the summer season at hand, it’s important to prepare the garden and ensure that the plants don’t wilt away in the heat.

Also Read: Is your Garden Ready for Summers?

If you’re aware that you live in a typically hot region, then this effort begins even earlier, when you’re planting the seeds. Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to protect your plants from the sun.


1. Choose the Right Spot

Shade Tolerate Plants to Choose the Right Spot for Plants in Summer

When planting, put all those outdoor plants that require less water with those that need more water. That way, these two will create a miniature ecosystem that will be mutually beneficial. You can also pull out your outdoor potted plants from areas that receive a full day of sun and get them in corners that are shaded and don't receive as much sun through the day.

Otherwise, plants with similar water needs may take up too much of the limited resources. So, you want to avoid having one plant lose out by giving this some thought.


2. Shade Nets for Plants

Shade Net in Gardens

Buy Shade Net

This is the most obvious and perhaps the easiest thing to do. A shade cloth is easily available commercially and it will do the job for you. Also, if you would rather make the cloth at home, then you just need to take a fish net and weave strips of cloth through it. Then place it on the plants. Another easy method or reducing the sun's intensity on your plants, especially in south and west facing gardens in summers is using old bedsheets as barriers, the sunlight that filters through is enough to keep your plants happy.

But, remember to use this as a temporary solution because if your plants get accustomed to this shade, then they will find surviving without it tough.


3. Water your Outdoor Plants in Early Morning 

Watering Outdoor Plants

Watering plants before the sun gets hot ensures that a good water pressure is established before the heat gets to the plants. Water thoroughly every time you water your plants till excess water starts coming out of the drainage hole at the bottom. This ensure the entire soil is soaked so that the plants have a supply of water through the day while also making sure you're avoiding root rot. If you notice that your plants have gone limp in the evening after a particularly hot day, water or mist your plants in the evening to get them back to their best.


4. Group Your Garden Plants

Group Your Garden Plants

Grouping your plants out of the sun, or in the sun, creates a microclimate that helps the pants thrive more. The microclimate helps regulate the temperature to a certain extent and also helps maintain good humidity levels. In the grouping it also becomes easier to hide the delicate smaller plants in the shade of larger and more resilient outdoor plants that like direct sunlight. Adding an open pot of water or humidifier also helps up the humidity slightly for this microclimate.


5. Grow Protective Borders

Tall Grass in a Field

There are many varieties of grass which grow anywhere between 3” to 6” tall. These plants will cast a cool shadow over your other garden plants to help them beat the heat.

If you’re already growing such a variety, but you’ve been trimming it, now would be the time to let it achieve its full height. This creates a very cost effective shade.


6. Get Your Plants Some Mulch

Mulching Around Plants in Summer

One of the biggest dangers for plants during a heat wave is the soil drying out and eventually losing all its water and nutrients. It won’t be long after this that plants start wilting.

Also Read: How Can You Create Your Own Mulch?

But, instead of having to water the soil to keep it moist consistently, you can add a light colored mulch. This can be made easily by first cutting some grass and leaving the clips outside for a couple of days and then making mulch out of them in a water solution. You can place the final mixture on the surface near the plant, and this will ensure that the soil retains enough water for the plant to use.

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