July and August are not the easiest months to garden — while it’s hot and uncomfortable for you, it’s even worse for your plants! In theory, some zones can plant all year round, but that’s not always the case. We’ve developed some strategies for planting in midsummer that will help the plants survive and thrive. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for midsummer planting to help both you and your garden!
Do’s For Midsummer Planting
Do know your area’s average first frost and first killing freeze. With this date, you can count backward to know if you have time to plant more tomatoes or flowers. On each plant’s label, look for the number of days to harvest, and that will be the number you count back from the first annual frost.
Do know what plants are recommended for planting in your area, and stick with those. Find out more about planting zones and check to see which zone you live in by clicking, Find My Planting Zone. Native plants are even better because they are adapted to the temperatures, soil, and growing conditions where you live.
Do plant early in the morning, before the heat sets in.
Do water thoroughly after planting, and regularly for two weeks (or more) to help the plant’s roots establish.
Don’ts of Midsummer Planting
Don’t plant on days when the mercury is forecast to soar over 100 degrees, unless you’re planting something like an agave. There’s a difference between upper 90’s and over 100 degrees, and your plants can tell the difference.
Don’t even attempt to plant a tree or large shrub during this time — the higher temperatures cause undue stress on a plant that large and they will have a difficult time getting established.
Don’t forget to consider shade cloth in the veggie garden — plants like peppers really appreciate some protection from the heat.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself as well! Wear a mineral (rather than chemical) sunscreen, long sleeves, and a wide-brimmed hat for skin protection, and keep a water bottle handy to stay hydrated.