The Houston Summer Gardener Survival Guide
When it comes to heat levels, Houston summers are somewhere between molten lava and the planet Mercury, so us gardeners have to prepare for some pretty intense weather conditions. But, it’s nothing a Texan can’t handle, especially when we’ve prepped with all the tools and supplies we need to cruise through summer gardening season!
With all the time you’ll be spending out there tending to your summer veggies and annual flowers, you gotta make sure you’re staying safe and protected from the sun, while also having a straight-up good time. It is summer, after all! We put together a master list of all the tools and knowledge every gardener needs to come out of this season victorious!
Stay Hydrated, In Style
Of course, everyone has to get their recommended 8 cups a day, but it’s so much more crucial to drink water when you’re out in the sun! Water helps to prevent sunburns or heat stroke from worsening, and we get dehydrated so much quicker when we’re sweating.
For those of you who aren’t so keen on drinking plain water all day, this is a perfect opportunity to use up some of your garden veggies, berries, and herbs! Buy a drink pitcher or a travel cup with a built-in infuser so you can fill it with fresh flavors from the garden. Try some of these amazing combos that bring tons of flavor, an extra hit of vitamins, and very few calories:
- Strawberry + Basil
- Pineapple + Mint
- Lemon + Rosemary
- Cucumber + Lime
- Blackberry + Orange
If you love drinking Cokes and are trying to scale back on the sugary drinks, you can always make infusions with seltzer water! Expensive flavored seltzers are all the rage right now, but making your own is so simple. You can even add a tiny bit of homemade simple syrup for some sweetness, infused with fragrant garden herbs like basil, mint, or lavender.
Put On A Groovy Summer Playlist
When you’re hanging out in the garden on a sunny afternoon, you need a sunny playlist to match—something upbeat, yet mellow, with good vibes only! Think, 70’s funk and soul, beachy R&B, sunshine indie pop, and other tunes that make you wanna boogie in the backyard. Don’t have time to put together your own gardening playlist? No problemo! We made the perfect Plants For All Seasons playlist full of feel-good jams that are perfect for working away in the garden, followed by sipping some ice-cold drinks on the patio, snacks in hand.
Don’t Skimp On The SPF
Seriously, slather on that sunscreen! Roast your garden vegetables, not your skin. Sunburns cause so much skin damage that we can’t immediately see, but that can lead to all sorts of complications down the road. Painful sunburns are definitely no fun, but there are even worse consequences if you aren’t careful!
We recommend using a sunscreen with at least SPF 45, and reapplying every couple of hours, especially if you’re sweating a lot. If you use the aerosol kind, be sure to rub it in well. It might feel like it’s coating your skin, but if you don’t spread it all over, you could end up with a regrettable burn pattern that will have you looking like a strawberry cow. You know, like, a pink cow that makes strawberry milk. That’s a thing, right?
Garden Hacks: Work Smart, Not Hard
Physical labor feels so much more strenuous when you’re out in the blazing Houston heat, so you’re going to want to take as many shortcuts as possible without sacrificing your garden’s quality and success. Get creative with your garden hacks, and look up DIY tutorials whenever possible to see if you can gain any inspiration on how to update your approach to basic garden tasks. Some worthwhile tasks include:
- Putting together an automatic irrigation system
- Using a PVC pipe to slide fertilizer directly to the base of your larger, dense shrubs
- Set up a mailbox and fill it with your garden tools, so they’re always right where you need them
- Cut off the bottoms of milk jugs and press them into the soil over new seedlings, to protect them from rabbits while also trapping in humidity like a mini-greenhouse
- Try companion planting to improve vegetable flavors and deter pests
For all the supplies and tools you need to make this hot summer gardening season as chill as possible, visit Plants for All Seasons or place an order over the phone for delivery or curbside pick-up! We still have plenty of heat-loving starter plants available for a late-season harvest of delicious fruits and veggies. Now go forth with your slickest shades and sunhat, and conquer the summer 2020 gardening season!