It’s hot out there! When the weather is this hot and sticky, there are a few things that you can do to help your garden. For the most part, high temperatures are no big deal if it’s just a day or two, but more prolonged heat waves can stress and sometimes even damage your plants. Signs of stress include wilting, leaf rolling or cupping, blossom/fruit drop, bolting, and even scalding. 

An obvious first step is to water, but mindfully. The prevailing wisdom is that it’s generally best to water in the morning, since less water is lost to evaporation, and plants and soil have time to dry before the cooler night air. If you’re noticing that your plants look really droopy though, it’s generally best to water right away. If at all possible, water slowly over an hour or two instead of a quick soak with the hose. A thick layer of mulch can help the soil retain more moisture, and protect delicate roots. If your plants are in containers, consider moving them to a shady spot for the day. When there’s excessive heat in the forecast, you should also avoid things like pruning, fertilizing, and using chemicals. Keeping your beds weed free can also help, since your plants won’t be competing for resources.

Most importantly, make sure that YOU stay cool and hydrated. Try to work early in the morning, or during the early evening hours when it's the coolest outside. Take lots of breaks, and drink lots of water.