Saturday, August 14, 2010

Summer Heat in the Celtic Ozark Garden

Summer Heat in the Celtic Ozark Garden has been very bad this year. We have been suffering greatly with days of 100 degrees, and very little rain. But this weather is not only hard on people, it is hard on the plants in your Celtic Ozark Garden. Even the tropicals like tomatoes can have trouble. Here are some simple maintenance tips to help your garden beat the heat.

Keep your garden plants mulched. Mulch can help to hold in moisture, and keep the roots of the plants cool. As long as you have a good root system, your plants have a fighting chance of recovery from heat. If segments of your plants dry out and die completely, remove them. Just be careful to make sure they are fully dried out.

Make sure to weed your garden. You can really make a big difference in the summer garden by keeping out pesky weeds. Even in my raised bed gardens, I will have a seed land in the dirt, brought in by the wind. Get them out. They take up precious moisture. If you garden in the morning, the dew may also help make it easier to get the weeds out.

Add some manure to the garden. Plants that have quit producing, because of heat, will often fire right back up with a little food. Manure is a kind of quick food, which gets nutrients in the grounds quickly. Just make sure the manure is over a year old, so it does not burn the plants.

Finally, make sure you water the plants and water yourself. You can drink out of the water hose. For the plants, I recommend warming the water first. Cold water can shock plants. You might consider even getting a water barrel for such things. Periodic rains will even help you fill the barrel. In the Celtic Ozark summer, though, it doesn't take long to heat a barrel of water.

Ozarks Weather Has Been Hot

The last month of Ozarks weather has been hot. Several summertime heat records have been broken. In Springfield, we have bumped along 100 degrees for several weeks. It sure makes me wish we had the summer weather of the last couple of years.

Today, we have yet another heat advisory and warning. So, there are several things to be on the look for today in the Ozarks. Try to confine outdoor work to the early morning and late evening. The temps are at least coooler then. Be on the look out for heat exhaustion, in yourself and others. Drink lots of water and little alcohol. (Sorry, even the Irish/Scots cut back on this hot a day!) Also, watch pets. Make sure they have water. We even put out an extra water dish for the animals that kind of roam our part of little Fair Grove, Missouri.

Please also, if you have older family members, check on them a lot. Many of these folks do not run air conditioning in the summer. They can dehydrate just as quickly. Ozarks weather has been hot, but we can beat the issues by sticking together.

Watch your gardens also. They really need water this time of year. We have been lucky to get a little rain the last two days. That really helps, cause plants love the warmer water temp. Cold water tends to shock vegetables.

Stay cool, fellow Ozarkians!

Ray Province, the Celtic Ozarkian