Salisbury Flower Logo



Gardening in the Heat


Gardening in the Heat

by Rob Sproule

When the summer mercury rises, it’s not just humans and pets who get uncomfortable.   Heat waves bring a lot of stress to gardens, but there are easy things that you can do (and avoid doing) to help your plants beat the heat.



If possible, try to water first thing in the morning.   It can seem like a chore, but a walk around the garden before heading to work can really clear the head!   An early drink will keep the soil cool as the mercury rises.

If morning aren’t an option for you, the next best time to water is in the evening, after the scorch has soothed.   This isn’t a great idea when we have cold nights or mildew may set in.

Avoid overhead watering in the afternoon heat.   It’s a pet peeve of mine to see water being launched 20 feet into the air by sprinklers at 4pm on a hot day.   Not only is it highly wasteful, but it’s expensive, as well.   If you water during the day’s heat, invest in a soaker hose that keep the water low to the ground.


Minimize Stress

Just like you don’t want to go do push-ups all day in 30 degree heat, your plants don’t want to be stressed out, either.   Avoid “surgical” tasks like planting and transplanting until it cools off a little.   Root systems work overtime in heat and don’t need any extra disturbances.

Try to water first

Plants have different types of root systems depending on where they come from.   Native and/or cool climate plants tend to have deeper roots and are therefore better equipped to handle dry conditions.   Tropical plants, like tomatoes, peppers, and many annuals, have roots close to the surface.   Try to give them a little extra water, or when the soil dries and hardens it could damage the roots.


Cooling the Soil

Dark soil absorbs heat like a sponge, and hot soil can be dangerous to the roots just under the surface.   Cool off the soil by adding mulch around heat sensitive plants like salad greens, root crops, and pansies.   Cedar mulch or straw is best; avoid rock because it will heat up and actually make the problem worse.

Keep your lawn a little longer in the heat.   Longer blades (around 3″) will both keep the roots cool by shading the soil and more leafy tissue means more ability to transpire, which helps cool the plant.

Keep in Touch with what’s happening at Salisbury Greenhouse



Read through our Growing Guides for tips to enrich your garden! 

More like this

Profile view of seedlings in the rain | Salisbury Greenhouse - Sherwood Park, St. Albert

Identifying and Resolving Overwatered Plants

Excessive rain can lead to overwatered plants, especially in Zone 4a. Learn how to identify the signs of overwatering and discover effective solutions to keep your garden healthy and thriving.

Recent Articles

It's Seeding Time

Join us for this free event
to get all the tips and tricks to start growing your own garden or plants!

Seeding Saturdays

at Salisbury at Enjoy
April 1st

1PM to 3PM


at Salisbury Greenhouse
April 2nd

1PM to 3PM

Online registration is currently unavailable.

Please sign up for FREE in store!

Stay in Touch

* indicates required
( ) - (###) ###-####
Yes, I would like to receive text messages to my phone number.
I understand that I can opt out by testing STOP to the text messages.
To ensure that you receive only the content you want, please select the communications you would like to subscribe to:
Salisbury Greenhouse
Get your gardening tips!
Salisbury at Enjoy
Hot plant drops!
Salisbury Landscaping
Beautify your outdoor space