As we all know well, our summer weather can be a bit wild and unpredictable! If you want to know how to protect plants from heat waves in Fort Lauderdale (as well as the inevitable torrential downpour), follow the tips in this simple guide for South Florida gardeners.
While it’s undeniably beautiful and picturesque here on the coast, it comes at the cost of some pretty extreme weather now and again. It’s certainly worth the effort to take some pre-season preventative measures, to save yourself the heartache of dealing with the wreckage of a garden left unprotected.
How To Protect Plants From Heat Waves
Intense heat and sun can lead to all sorts of complications in the garden, like scorched leaves, fatigued plants, and quickly evaporating soil moisture. Take these extra steps for protecting plants from heat, so they can remain strong and healthy through another scorching Florida summer:
1. Water your garden early in the morning, before the sun is bright. This will help keep your garden greenery nicely hydrated through the day, while also helping to insulate and protect their roots.
2. Apply a light-colored layer of mulch. This helps seal in moisture and block the sun’s rays from causing it to evaporate. The light color helps to reflect the light instead of absorbing it, which also helps to keep things cool.
3. Avoid applying fertilizer during extreme heat. Some of your plants, particularly your lawn grass, will be a bit more stressed, so super-charging their growth with fertilizer will only fatigue them more.
4. Use shade cloth for more vulnerable crops when needed. The fabric will help filter out some of that sun so that it won’t get overwhelmingly hot.
How Do You Protect Plants From A Hurricane?
Hurricanes and other coastal calamities can range in severity, and the resulting damage can cause gardeners a lot of grief. Going the extra mile to lessen storm impact and prevent major damage will save you tons of time, money, and effort in the long run. Go through this list before we head into the rainy season—your garden will thank you!
1. When planning your garden, try to opt for tougher, wind-resistant varieties. If you’ve chosen some more delicate flowers, try to transplant them somewhere near a fence or wall to offer some wind protection.
2. Prune damaged and low-hanging tree branches before every hurricane season. Remember to dispose of any diseased branches safely, and disinfect your shears between cuts.
3. Secure vining and climbing plants in place with twine.
4. If a big storm or hurricane is on the way, bring in all your potted plants, hanging baskets, and any other smaller outdoor objects or ornaments that could end up blowing away.
5. For severe storm prep, stake your smaller trees by driving stakes into the ground on either side of the trunk, leaving a little bit of wiggle room, and fastening them together with rope.
6. Pack away any patio furniture that isn’t securely anchored down.
7. Clear your gutters of debris regularly to ensure the rainwater drains away from your home.
8. After hurricanes, rinse away salt spray from plant leaves to prevent them from getting burnt.
Us Floridians won’t let a little heatwave or mega-storm stop us from having a fabulous, flourishing garden. So long as you act fast and take these necessary steps before the weather starts to turn, you’ll significantly reduce damage.
Got any questions, or need any supplies before we head deeper into summer? Living Color is stocked up with all the goods for this season, and we’re happy to arrange for delivery and curbside pickup. Give us a call in-store, and we’ll help get you all prepped and ready!