How do we get our plants through the summer, especially with extended periods of drought followed by torrential downpours? We want to keep our plans from getting stressed.
When it heats up, smaller and newly-planted plants will become stressed by the heat. Container plants are even more dependent upon the home gardener for help to combat the heat. Plants deal with the heat much like we do, with water. Plants use evapotransporation to transport water to their surface, sort of like sweating works for us.
We're fortunate to live in a location that has a year-round growing season for flowers and vegetable gardens. Louisiana get son average 108 days of rainfall dumping 63 inches of rain. We have a few tips to help plants to survive the summer heat.
Make sure plants are established before it really heats up. How isn't the best time to plant. Water heavily the first few weeks for good establishment. Secondly, use mulch, such as pine straw or pine bark mulch, to keep the air from evaporating the water from the soil as quickly. Third, water in the mornings or late evenings. Fourth, use drip irrigation. It saves time and wastes less water. Fifth, provide shade. Sixth, control the competition. That means weeds that compete for water.