With temperatures peaking within the high 90s, summer is defiantly in full swing! Only specific plants in your garden can survive this intense heat and current rain showers. Here are some tips from Our Whole Community to keep your garden thriving in Central Florida this summer.
Here are a few strategies for your summer garden:
1. Grow heat tolerant vegetables:
You can still continue to grow black-eyed peas, collards, rattlesnake pole beans, speckled lima beans, New Zealand spinach, okra, sweet potato, malabar spinach, and yard-long beans.
2. Grow cover crops:
Plant cowpeas, sorghum, millet, lab lab bean and velvet bean. Sunn hemp is an excellent choice because it reduces nematodes too! These crops are fun and easy while they also improve the soil.
3. Solarize the soil:
Soil solarization is a process where you use the energy from the sun to kill soil pests.
- Clear all vegetation from the garden.
- Loosen the soil and cover for 6 weeks with clear plastic.
- To prevent the plastic from blowing away, place bricks or other weights on the corners.
- Plastic should be removed at the beginning of September to prepare for fall planting.
4. Mulch over the garden:
Use a 3-6″ layer of straw or wood chip mulch to help prevent weeds from growing and keep the soil from drying out. In addition, it will add organic matter to the soil and keep it living healthy!