Can your garden take the heat? The roasting temperatures and unrelenting sun of June and July can take their toll on late-summer plants in the form of yellowing leaves, wilt, dying branches and premature blossom drop. Not only can high heat cause plant damage, but it can also make plants more susceptible to heat-loving diseases.
Heat stress on plants boils down to water. Whether you’re watering your plants adequately or not, intense heat accelerates evaporation. If your plants aren’t able to keep enough water in their systems, you might see leaves with crispy brown edges, foliage dropping or sunburned veggies. In simple cases of heat stress, adjusting your watering schedule to early morning, watering plants slowly and deeply and adding a few inches of mulch to your planting bed can go a long way toward helping plants retain moisture.
Withered plants are also easy prey for disease during hot, humid weather – especially because many heat-loving fungi thrive on wet leaf surfaces (and generally, a gardener’s first reaction to wilting leaves is to increase watering). Does the wilting or browning affect only some parts of the plant? Does browning appear in rings or spots? Does your plant look different from how it should look normally – are there patterns of light and dark green on leaves or is there altered coloration in the flowers? How prevalent is the problem – is it specific to one type of plant? If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, plant disease could be the culprit.
Powdery mildew, scab, rust leaf spot and black spot are some common plant fungal diseases that thrive in August weather. A good, multi-purpose fungicide product that takes care of these diseases, like Garden Safe® Brand Fungicide3®, can be used to control infection (and insects!) on flowers, trees, shrubs, fruits and vegetables.