Q: Can I still plant now that the summer heat has arrived?

A: With the arrival of the summer heat, gardeners can still plant, but they should be mindful of gardening during the most comfortable times of the day. The good news is that those are the best times for plants, too. 

Many plants arrive at nurseries on cool trucks from greenhouses and they may not have had a chance to adapt to the outdoor heat. Make sure the plants you buy have a couple of days to acclimate to full sun while still in their pot. 

Plant early in the day when the air is somewhat cooler. Getting outside in the early hours is a great way to enjoy the sunrise and listen to birds chirping and frogs croaking. Water the new plants well and use organic fertilizer, as it is gentler on plants. Add mulch to keep the soil cool and moist as the new plants grow. Rig a small piece of shade cloth on stakes to cover the plants for a couple of weeks as they settle in the garden soil and continue to water the new plants about twice a week.

As the summer progresses, work in the garden early, and enjoy the garden late in the day. Your plants will thank you, too! 

Suzzanne Chapman
Author: Suzzanne ChapmanEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Suzzanne Chapman is the botanical collections curator at Mercer Botanic Gardens and promotes organic gardening, growing native plants, and protecting the environment. Send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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