Caring for new plants can be difficult. From the shock of being taken from their current environment, transported, and permanently planted outdoors where they are at the mercy of the ever-changing weather, many plants may struggle initially. Make the transition as easy for your plants as possible with the following suggestions.
Make Sure They Are Getting Enough Water
With the tender state of your new garden plants, they might need some extra water! When you first plant your garden, remember that it has been sitting throughout the off-season not getting regular watering, having the only moisture in the soil come from any recent rain or snow. Because of this, the soil in your garden is often very dry. Though sometimes wilting plants can be due to over-watering, it is by far more common for plants to wilt, and even die, from a lack of water. So, if you think this might be the case with your garden babies, water them deeply. If you aren’t sure how to tell if your plants are getting enough water, dig into the soil surrounding your plants. Moisture levels should be seen at least 3-4 inches beneath the surface. If soil at this depth is dry, the roots of your plant are not getting enough access to water.
Protect Them from the Wind and Heat
Both of these elements can really take their toll on young, vulnerable plants. Wilting will often occur midday, as the temperatures rise and the plant is unable to provide as much moisture to its extremities. The plant will often recover later in the day as temperatures begin to cool back down. However it never hurts to give your plants a quick sprinkle of water. Not only will this hydrate the ground and provide additional moisture to the roots, but it will also help cool the leaves off in the hot summer sun. In extremely hot and dry conditions, your plants may need some additional help. Shade covers or misters can be great options that will help revitalize your garden.
In the case of wind, there are several ways you can keep your plants standing tall. One option could be to stake and secure your plants. This is a great option for tall, gangly plants such as corn and tomatoes. Staking such plants to a secure object allows them to sway in the wind without breaking off at the base. There are also different planting techniques that involve using a combination of different plants that can help protect each other. For example, planting alternating rows of low and high plants can help provide protection for smaller, more vulnerable plants.
Feed Your Plants So that They Can Feed You
Sometimes, wilting plants can also be a symptom of undernourished soil. Make sure your soil is full of all the nutrients your plants need to grow strong and healthy by applying a garden fertilizer. Be wary of over-fertilizing, though. If you have recently fertilized your garden, and your plants begin to wilt almost immediately, it is likely because they are over-fertilized. If you think this might be the case, give your garden a heavy water. This will flush the soil and disperse the excess fertilizer, returning your plants to their upright state.