Well it has turned hot here in Las Vegas, cranking up to 115° the other day and will remain hot for at least the next few weeks, so I have to really keep an eye on my potted plants. In my yard I have what is called desert landscape which means “rock” all around, no grass which would cool things down. I battle every year to have some pretty flowers and greenery, but the thing I love are the roses when they bloom. And to keep them blooming and healthy I will take care in the spring to make sure they have a balance of fertilizer with plenty of nutrients, but then when it gets hot……stop and then care for them using compost to keep the heat off the roots, adding coffee grounds and eggshells every couple of weeks as they love a neutral or acidic soil, but not to much. When the weather turns cooler and then I can add a treatment of fertilizer. See what I use here. Pruning is also important removing deadheads and any brown leaves keeps plants blooming and encourages new growth.
For growing plants in your area; If you are unfamiliar, the best thing to do is talk to someone at your local nursery. When shopping for plants, generally you will find plants that work best for your climate in stores and nurseries as they sell plants that do well in your “Zone” see chart here, keeping in mind you will still need to know where the best place and how to plant them in your yard.
Because it is so hot, this year I am trying just a few vegetables, like cucumbers, yellow squash, (our favorite) which I am staking, up because of small area and of course lots of Basil, herbs and a pepper plant. I am using a tomato cage turning it upside down. Keeping everything in the shade of the tree late in the day! So far doing good.
These tips work for me:
Potted Plants Tip: For my potted plants, I have to keep those shaded after 11 AM and for the rest of the day as it heats up. And because they are in pots, some of them small, I water twice a daily. Early morning and around 4PM to help cool them off, but only at the roots, some plants do not care of water directly on their leaves. Also good drainage for pots is important, you don’t want water standing in the pot, you would get root rot and the plant would die. Here is a great list of plants to grow in pots Growing Plants in Containers to get you started.
Potting Trick: One of the things that I am trying this year when using a large pot is to fill 1/3 of the pot with packing peanuts, or could use aluminum cans mashed anything that would allow drainage and air circulation for the bottom of the plant. It also helps to keep your pot lighter for moving.
Succulents: I have come to love them, they are very hardy, can be planted in very small containers and need little water, but I do give them a small amount each day. The stores are carrying a lot more varieties these days, some are really unusual and exotic. You can even plant them in a bit of moss, add them to a tree branch and they’re great for Fairy Gardens, they dont overgrow like other plants do and they are great for indoors as well. Im sure you have seen them on Pinterest. When planting they still need the right kind of soil for planting in pots and I use simple mixture; 1:1 mixture of potting soil and perlite. Perlite is that white stuff you see in house plant mix, it helps keep the soil fluffed up, retains moisture without letting the roots get saturated. Of course, you can also buy Succulent potting soil.
No matter what kind of flowers or vegetables you plant you will want to use mulch to help retain moisture, stop weeds from growing and to help prevent insects from gaining access to your plants foliage. You can even add some small decorative rocks or pebbles on top to retain moisture, here they call it rock compost, which I dont understand, but ok. I’ve always thought of compost as being shredded wood and leaves, to me that is a cooler choice.
Stopping Insects and Pests For vegetables; I recently read that you can use eggshells around tomato plants, squash, etc., will stop insects from climbing onto plant. But dont put them to close to the stem as it can cut the vine.
I hope you enjoyed the article and if you missed some of my other garden posts, here are a few you might also be interest in these popular posts:
Growing Plants in Containers
Chemical And Insect Free Gardening
6 Ways To Care For Fresh Flowers
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