SHARING SECRETS: Beat The Heat!

Edited by Cathy Tylka, for Let’s Talk Plants! October 2022.

WIX stock photo.

This month’s question:

It’s really warm in Southern California right now. What do you do to “beat the heat?” Do you wear protective clothing? What time of day do you garden? Water? When do you harvest your crops or fruit? Are you being good to yourself as well as your garden?
And, just to let you know, I encourage you to send me "secrets to be shared"! secrets@sdhort.org
 

Vince Lazaneo surprises us with this reply…


I go out after dark to work in the garden. Being completely blind I am not handicapped by the lack of sunlight. For me, it's more comfortable to pull weeds and to water after the sun has gone down. Don't try this though if you have sight since it might be dangerous.

 

Barb Huntington gives a short and sweet reply…


When it is this hot, I fill the birdbaths and go back inside.


 

Loretta Mitch-Lynn answers the questions (in orange):


It’s really warm in Southern California right now. What do you do to “beat the heat?” I work early in the morning for a few hours. Right now, the evenings are still too warm.

Do you wear protective clothing: Always a hat, short sleeves and long light trouser or light baggy shorts.

What time of day do you garden? Early morning 5-6 a.m. and evening 7 p.m.

When do you harvest your crops or fruit? When they are ripe:)

Are you being good to yourself as well as your garden? Of course!

And, just to let you know, I encourage you to send me Secrets to be Shared! Internet :)



 

Carolyn Conway discloses…


I get up early in the morning to do garden jobs, then do inside jobs until evening, when I go back outside and water so it will have plenty of time to soak in before sunrise the next day.

 

Beth Van Boxtel corresponded from 92024…


…I grow lots of ornamental plants, and I have 150 roses. I have five patio umbrellas to shade certain sensitive plants from the heat (young roses, plumeria, hibiscus, and purple/red blooming roses). I only garden before 9 a.m. I water before 9 a.m., and on hot days, I water early in the morning and later in the evening. I cut roses early in the morning, and I harvest tomatoes between 7-9 p.m.


 

Diane Kennedy of 92028 replied…


… I have fans, not AC, so with the hot nights the house is often in the eighties. I use a wet towel on my neck and wet my hair a lot and position the floor fans so they are where I'm working. I drink hot tea as they do in other hot countries because it makes me sweat, and that is cooling. Watering for most plants is when the soil is coolest at the beginning of the day, when they start photosynthesizing, and for succulents late at night (they have CAM photosynthesis so aren't active during the day). I garden early and late. Most crops I harvest very early in the morning. Are you being good to yourself as well as your garden? I'm not succumbing to all the sweet cold treats and am exercising at home to keep healthy when I'm not at work.


 

Lori Johansen responded…


… Here is what I do to beat the heat, no explanation required…

Staying cool and neglecting the garden.


 

Cindy Bruecks of 92107, voices…


… I have one secret weapon for the heat: a cheap, lightweight beach umbrella. I have one umbrella stand that is also relatively lightweight. That is, it's not a huge hunk of concrete, it's a hip-high wrought iron "pipe" with a frilly wrought iron base, and it holds the beach umbrella. I can easily re-position it as I weed around the yard. I simply put it so it shades me. Much better than working in full sun!! Yes, it's still hot if I'm working near the concrete pavers that thread throughout the garden, because if they've been in the sun, they are quite hot. But shade is so much better than sun, so I feel I'm blessed with my own makeshift shade wherever I go.


 

J. R. Miles writes…


... I live in a very old and poorly insulated house. I'm pumping water out of my rainwater barrels onto my roof. Almost all the water ends up back in the barrel and my house is 5 - 10 degrees cooler for about an hour.

 

Debra Lee Baldwin of 92026, shares a secret…


… If I need to work in the garden for any length of time during really hot weather, I soak myself with a hose. I may resemble a drowned rat, but gosh it feels good. Best of all, with minimal discomfort, I get the job done.


 

Andrea Wagman-Christian declares…


… We installed many outdoor lights over the 37 years we have lived in this 1/4-acre property in South Park. I garden mostly at night during the heat waves. Besides everything being on drip irrigation, I mulch as often as I can, my fav being worm castings. I also have a very small worm farm and I use worm juice in my pots & containers.


 

Karen England of 92084 shared …


… I drink lots of ice water to beat the heat. My home has a whole house water filtration system, so there is no bottled water for me! My household water is embellished with pink lemonade lemon wedges and fresh herb and edible flower sprigs and is served in one of the last remaining crystal glasses from my wedding registry back in 1989. Water served in this way doubles as a floral arrangement on my desk – refreshing to the eyes as well as to the rest of the body.



 
Next Sharing Secrets Question…

…What is your favorite thing to do in your garden in the fall? Show me!
 

Cathy Tylka, RN, retired Emergency Nurse, found her love of plants and the SDHS merge many years ago. Cathy acted as Treasurer for the organization and volunteer for many activities. Now, more than happy to assist in gathering questions to ask you in the Sharing Secrets area of the Newsletter.