Many people from different parts of the country think that those of us who have gardens in our yards in San Diego have it easy. After all, the weather provides us with sun and temperatures in the 70’s every single day of the year, right? Wrong. Those of us who live in and around San Diego County fully understand that different times of year bring different variations in weather. They may not be as extreme as they are east of Southern California, but they are present and those of us who are trying to grow our food need to deal with them properly to protect our crops.
San Diego County residents are currently dealing with a somewhat unexpected patch of very hot and dry weather. This is the sort of weather that usually hits us in July or August, but here it is in May soon after many of us have planted our gardens. This type of heat can put our crops at risk if we’re not careful, so if you are in this position you need to consider a few ideas in order to make sure that you’re not wondering why nothing is growing 6 – 8 weeks from now.
The first and most obvious step that you should take to protect your garden from heat is to water the crops. However, this does not mean that you should simply dump gallons of water all over your plants and assume that will work. It is still possible to over-water gardens, and that can do as much if not more damage to crops as heat. Instead, you need to water your plants such that the amount of water you use sinks down into the soil without inundating it.
The timing of your watering is also quite important in the heat. You should water early in the morning so that immediate runoff and evaporation is minimized. This will provide the water with an opportunity to sink down into the roots of your new plants and give it the opportunity to preserve itself throughout the day. Watering in the heat of the afternoon will not provide nearly as much benefit.
There is also the matter of providing a protective layer to your soil. If you have recently mowed your lawn and you collected grass clippings, these tend to make the best mulch. These clippings are light in color and therefore reflective, and putting them on top of the soil can help you keep the sun off of the soil and the water quite effectively. In addition to the mulch, you can provide shade for your soil by putting up some type of protective cloth that stands between the soil and the sun. Use that cloth much like you’d use an umbrella at the beach instead of putting it directly on top of your young plants.
If you’d like more help with managing the outdoor portion of your property, contact the San Diego landscapers at Juniper Landscape Company today to schedule an initial consultation.