Joel In The Garden

Take steps to protect plants from heat

Take steps to protect plants from heat
Peas to meet you

EUGENE, Ore. — A week in the 90s with no rain is enough to leave your garden bone dry, but there are steps you should take to keep your plants from suffering heat stress.

When the weather's this nice, it's easy to forget about your food plot. But now is a time when you should be paying attention, because your plants could be trying to tell you something: they're stressed.

The dog days aren't here just yet, but heat stress is enough to cause many plants to wilt and drop their leaves prematurely. You can fight this by watering early in the morning. It's a good idea to break up the soil around the plant to make sure the roots are getting hydrated. One remedy to heat stress is to increase the soil's acidity, which you can do with used coffee grounds.

Next, I've noticed an abundance of snails have returned. To repel them, you don't need to use poison or chemicals, just use crushed up eggshells, which you use to create a perimeter. The brittle shells will irritate both snails and slugs and the calcium is good for the soil as well.

My pea plants are now flowering and a few of my tomato plants are starting to bear fruit. In my trellis, my pole bean vines are growing like weeds thanks to the string supports I weaved into the frame.

Finally, don't forget, it's your tomatoes and your flowers you want to turn red, now your face. So wear that sunscreen.

One more piece of advice when it comes to pulling weeds, try and pull them before they set seeds. Some weeds will continue to develop their seeds even after you pull them, so remove them from the garden area all together.