Gardening Answers

Hot! in the Southeast

DrPulte_Moderator | Posted in Southeast Gardening on

We need to take care of ourselves in the garden this time of year.  Know the signs of heat stress: headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, thirst, heavy sweating, etc. And get help if needed.

We also need to take care of our plants.  I try to water containers and other plants as early in the morning as possible.  This allows the soil and your plants to utilize soil moisture when it’s needed the most.  I am a big hand waterer – this allows me to treat each plant like an individual and respond to its needs.

What are you doing to beat the heat?  How is your garden holding up?


  1. User avater Moderator
    DrPulte_Moderator | | #1

    Heat continues in the Southeast - how are everyone's plants looking?

  2. User avater Moderator
    maryannnewcomer | | #2

    Hey Dr. Andy! Since you have a science background, I have a question for you about humidity. I have a couple of gardening friends in Tennessee and one in Houston. I live in Boise, ID, where our humidity is just 16%, but the temp is 96. I understand why I must be so vigilant about watering here; it is so hot and dry. But I know the heat index in places like Houston and Nashville can be formidable. HOU is forecast to be 112 tomorrow. It seems like the humidity would help the plants in these climates. But my friends have to water as much or more than I do. Does the humidity cause a problem with the plant's transpiration? Thanks in advance.

    1. User avater Moderator
      DrPulte_Moderator | | #4

      When temps get hot the enzymes that carry out photosynthesis lose their shape and functionality, and the photosynthetic rate declines rapidly. When it is very humid soil moisture does not decrease as fast as it does in arid places.. The best advice is to treat every plant in your garden like an individual - paying attention to its individual needs.

      1. User avater Moderator
        maryannnewcomer | | #6

        Thank you very much for that explanation!

  3. user-7821942 | | #3

    In response to the heat here in eastern NC, several years ago I gave up on growing vegetables in rows in a field. Even using farm tractors, the grass and weeds always got the upper hand and using hand tools in high heat and humidity was not an option I wished to continue. I now garden in containers and raised beds in a 30' x 40' fenced in area next to my former horse barn. I already had water there and one of the stalls is now a garden shed. I built this area using materials on hand and it is much easier to manage the garden with less water use, less stress on the gardener, and a much higher enjoyment factor. Still, in the summer I am in the garden at 6 am to beat the heat.

    1. User avater Moderator
      DrPulte_Moderator | | #5

      I don't have a giant garden - however, I find the less hose I have to drag - the more likely it is to get watered!

  4. dtutela | | #7

    This heat and drought has been brutal and very discouraging. I've set up drip irrigation in my raised beds and water before the sun comes up as well. It's pitiful watching them struggle. Not to mention the Japanese beetles have had a field day with pretty much everything this season. Oh well, that's part of gardening, right? My rain dance worked last week haha. Might need to do it again!

    1. User avater Moderator
      DrPulte_Moderator | | #8

      Great looking garden photo! drip is such a good way to be water wise!

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