This time of the year is hard on any garden, especially with the temperatures still sitting in the high nineties. Things may start to look a little scraggly, wilted, overgrown, or tattered. This doesn’t mean that your garden is done for, though! We are going to outline several tips and best practices to help you keep your garden alive so that you can get the most out of it even as the season comes to an end!
Water At Night
This is key! Watering at night, or at least in the late evening or early morning when temperatures are still cool, ensures that the water you are using is being maximized. If you water your garden when temperatures are high, it is guaranteed that much of the water that is supposed to go to your plants will either evaporate or be carried off by the wind. In fact, the amount of water that evaporates increases exponentially with hotter temperatures. Especially with how dry our climate gets here in Northern Colorado, watering during the heat of the day can easily lead to anywhere from 25%-50% of the water from your sprinkler system being wasted. Not only is this not good in terms of water conservation, but it also means that your plants are not getting a large amount of the water they need to survive through the extremely hot temperatures we are experiencing. So, program your sprinklers to water in the coolest part of the day, or if you don't have an irrigation system set up, water with a hose-end sprinkler. We have all sorts of options in our online store, including helpful things like this water timer, making it so that you can turn on your water late at night and not worry about having to turn it off!
Put Down a Layer of Mulch
Putting down a layer of mulch or grass clippings can do wonders for helping your garden retain moisture. This layer acts as a sort of insulation or shield, protecting the ground from the sun. While the water that gets soaked up by the protective layer will still likely evaporate, it will keep the soil itself from drying out and hardening. With the temperatures being as hot as they have been, keeping the soil in your garden moist is so important for healthy plants. This layer of mulch or grass clippings allows your soil to retain moisture, giving your plants access to the water they need before it is evaporated by the sun. It also allows for better root growth in your plants, which brings more nutrients to the plants and encourages healthier fruit development. In some cases, dried grass clippings can even act as a reflective surface, directing the heat of the sun away from your garden.
Amend the Soil with Compost
If you have never added compost to your soi