The Kansas summer brings sweltering heat and arid climate that threatens our gardens every year. Vibrant green foliage turns brown and wilts, blooms suffer, and lawns go dormant. If your garden has been consistently losing the battle with the Kansas summer, try some of these techniques to help your crops cope.
Kansas winds combined with high temperatures can leave our gardens extremely thirsty. Of course we should water, but how much and how frequently? Most gardens need about an inch each week. This soaks the root zone about 4-6 inches deep. Early morning watering is preferred since the air is cooler and the water is less likely to evaporate. Drip irrigation hoses are an efficient way to keep the soil moist throughout the day without soaking the foliage. Monitor your garden frequently and respond to any signs of stress.
Dealing with pests in the summer is an inevitable part of gardening. Be preventative as much as possible to avoid spraying chemicals. Weak plants attract predators and should be removed from your garden. Use compost to build healthy and organic soil that helps develop strong plants. Keep the garden clear of debris and weeds to minimize insect habitats. Barriers, such as row covers and cloches, are a more direct way of repelling pests by completely blocking their access.
Get the most out of your water usage by adding a layer of mulch or placing a shade cover over or near your garden to reduce evaporation and protect from the wind. Regularly pull any weeds, as they compete with your plants for water. Fertilizer stimulates growth which can cause stress under extreme summer conditions and should not be used on wilted or browned plants (wait until October to fertilize).
Summer is a time to kick back, relax, and enjoy all the hard work you’ve put into your flower or vegetable garden. Rental Ranch has plenty of tools and equipment to help you prepare for the extreme conditions so your garden can survive the Kansas summer. Check out our lawn and garden equipment available to rent.