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As with doctors, the first rule is “do not harm” ~ the same practice should be put into place in the garden. During periods of very hot, dry weather, sometimes the best course of action is to do nothing. Don’t prune, apply fertilizer or spray the plants. Plants compensate for stress by relative inactivity. Cultural practices which encourage growth, instead of being beneficial, can induce further stress. If you are one of the many homeowners who have jumped on the bandwagon of container gardening, you are likely to have a container or two of vegetables or f lowers on the patio or porch. Container grown vegetables and f lowers can dry out quickly, however, especially if they are on a deck or concrete patio in full sun. Daily watering may be necessary. Apply water until it runs out the drainage holes. Clay pots permit additional evaporation from the sides and watering must be done more often than when plastic pots are used. Small pots also dry out

Container grown vegetables and herbs are perfect for people with limited garden space. faster than larger planters. Feel the soil in containers at least once a day and twice on hot, dry days to be certain that the plants are getting enough water. During periods of extremely hot weather, it may be advisable to move the containers to a cooler spot or shade them during the hottest part of the day. Sunlight reflected from the concrete or pavement can raise the temperature of the container 20 to 30 degrees warmer than the air temperature.

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July 2013 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times July 2013