Mike McGrath, wtop.com
WASHINGTON – Heat wave alert!
- Do your harvesting and other light garden chores early in the morning. Everything tastes best when picked early in the day, and early morning temperatures are a lot more healthy for you. Better to get up early and then take a nap at noon than to risk heat stroke from being outside at the worst time of day.
- Do not cut your lawn during a dry heat wave. Better to let it grow a little tall than to release all of its stored moisture and brown it out.
- Never fertilize a cool-season lawn (bluegrass, rye and/or fescue) in the summer. The hotter the weather, the more summer feedings will harm a lawn. And summer feedings can never help a cool-season lawn, they can only harm. Cool season lawns should only be fed in the spring and fall.
- You can feed Bermuda and zoysia now. Warm-season grasses are fed in the summer.
- If temperatures stay high and rain remains scarce, you can water your lawn and garden as often as twice a week.
- Water as early in the morning as possible, never during the heat of the day. The plants are closed up tight to retain moisture then, and evening watering leads to plant disease.
- When you water, do so for a good long time – at least an hour at a pop, preferably longer. Short, frequent watering can be worse for lawns and gardens than no water at all.
- Containers may need to be watered daily. The smaller the container, the more frequently you’ll need to water them (that’s a good reason to trade up to bigger pots.) To water containers effectively, give each pot a little water, wait 10 or 20 minutes, and then deliver more – this will lessen the amount that runs out of the bottom and help the plants do better between waterings.
- Don’t use saucers under outdoor containers – unless you want to be a mosquito breeder.
Tomato timing: Only early varieties fruit, well