How’d you feel about the sun recently pushing our temperatures up into the upper 90’s? We had a big string of cloudy weather (and not enough rain), and now that the sun has finally arrived, it blazed in like a furnace! We need the sun to rosy up our tomatoes, but not to wilt their leaves. We wish for the sun to open the blooms of our flowers, but not dry out their soil. Today I’ve got a few things to remind you about when it comes to plants and San Antonio summer weather. Get ready gardeners, cause here comes the sun! 

4 Tips for Plants During the Summer Sun.

Plant wilted from summer sun

Wilted plants don’t always mean they need water. 

I know, I know, droopy leaves are generally a sign that your plants are thirsty, right? This is not necessarily true in summer! Sometimes the wilting is not because your soil is dry. It may just be that the heat from the sun has caused some of the water in the foliage to evaporate. If this is the case, your plant will generally perk up in the cooler morning hours. This happens often when the sun is shining and the temperatures rise. ALWAYS check your soil for moisture before watering. If you water just because your plant looks wilted, you may just end up with a hot, soggy mess at the base of your plant that quickly results in root rot and the death of your plant.

Mulch to protect plants from summer sun.

Mulch is your plants’ best friend.

I bet you are tired of hearing this, but I’m gonna say it again. Mulch is one of the best products to have in your gardening arsenal. When the sun is blazing, a 2’-3’ layer of mulch will help cool the soils around the roots of your plants and conserve moisture by preventing evaporation. Do it, do it now!

Geranium

Some spring container plants may need to be moved.

Potted plants like geraniums or lobelia that enjoyed a center spot in the sun might need to be moved to a location that can offer some shade in the afternoon. Trust me on this one. It could just take one afternoon for the sun to sizzle the leaves of your heat sensitive plants. 

June Bugs arrive during the summer sun.

Pest activity on ramps up in summer.

Hot weather lures in the pests. It’s time now more than ever to be diligently observing your gardens and landscapes. Early detection of pests is key. Fruits are developing on veggies and they don’t just look delicious to you, they are irresistible to pests! Watch out for hornworms and leaf footed bugs on tomatoes, slugs and snails on petunias, spider mites on marigolds and junipers, and aphids on, well, most anything. 

 

When June bugs show up around your porch and patio lights, they’ll be heading to your turf a couple weeks later to lay eggs which turn into grubs that feed on the roots of your lawn. None of this is stated to give you a fright, it’s just to give you a heads up so you won’t be taken by surprise. Again, prevention or early detection is key when it comes to pest control and gardening. Check out our “pests” section on our Learning Center on our website for more info. 

 

I hope this helps you get a little more prepared for summer so this way you can enjoy the sunshine and still enjoy your plants through summer too!

~The Happy Gardener, Lisa Mulroy