Bumblebee species feeding on hardy, purple ice plant (Delospermum cooperi) at the unH2O Xeriscape Garden in Kelowna. - Image Credit: Gwen Steele

Adjusting to summer

Gwen Steele offers tips on helping plants adjust to drought, heat

After a cool, wet spring and unprecedented floods, summer weather arrived suddenly with extreme heat and drought.

I find it hard to adjust to the sudden change and so do many plants.

Plants have grown bigger than normal, just as they do with over-watering.

The lush growth makes them more water-thirsty and vulnerable in the sudden change to hot weather.

Here are some tips to help your plants:

1) Weed thoroughly. Weeds compete with plants for moisture.

Put any weeds that have flowered or have invasive roots into the green bin (e.g. quack grass and morning glory weed). Your home compost doesn’t get hot enough to kill these.

Note: Keep you home compost moist so it will rot.

2) If you have garden areas that aren’t mulched, do that now.

First remove all weeds. Next soak the ground really well then spread the mulch material.

This can be any organic matter. Some examples: Glengrow (city yard waste compost available at the Glenmore landfill and from some nurseries), your own compost, rotted leaves, and straw.

The mulch will retain moisture, greatly reduce weed growth and prevent a hard crust forming on the soil surface, making it much easier to pull any weeds that do grow.

3) To avoid loss due to evaporation, only water when the air is cool – i.e. two to three hours before and after dawn.

It’s best to water for longer, less often so the ground gets a good soak.

Short frequent watering only wets the soil surface which will dry out quickly.

It also encourages drought-vulnerable, shallow root systems.

4) If you have annuals or perennials that persistently wilt, trim them back so they don’t need so much water and have a better chance to recover.

5) Cut back plants that have finished blooming to allow them to flush out new growth. Some species like Nepeta (catnip) will re-bloom.

•••

Join OXA Program Director, Eva Antonijevic , for a free presentation on Tuesday, July 18, from 7 to 8 p.m., in the unH2O Xeriscape Demonstration Garden, 4075 Gordon Dr. in front of the H2O Aquatic Centre.

Eva will lead you through the garden discussing the creation of the garden beds eight years ago and touching on the underlying principles of xeriscaping.

She will point out pollinator friendly plants and introduce you to some of the Okanagan’s best-known solitary bees.

As climate change continues, creating climate resilient landscapes is increasingly important.

Learn how to landscape with nature, so our gardens can perform double duty, not only beautifying our homes but also cleaning our storm water, providing food for pollinators, and contributing to the Okanagan’s genetic biodiversity; all while using minimal water and no chemicals.

Eva will focus on appropriate water-wise plants we can grow in this valley.

Gwen Steele is executive director of the non-profit Okanagan Xeriscape Association. Learn more about Gardening with Nature and plants for the Okanagan on the website at www.okanaganxeriscape.org.

Just Posted

Community Leader Awards: Sheila Gardiner-Watt

The Kelowna Capital News celebrates those in the community who go above and beyond

Mamas for Mamas founder survives with new lease on life

Kelowna’s Shannon Christensen escaped a dangerous situation and lived to tell about it

Announced this week in Kelowna

A listing of some of the events that were announced in the Kelowna area this week

Big White ski instructor named Top 10 in Canada

Big White’s Josh Foster has been selected for the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance (CSIA) Interski team

Kelowna restaurant hosts popular New York Chef

Need something to do this Valentine’s Day?

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Letter: Site C figures not correct

Kelowna letter-writer raises questions about the Site C dam project

Letter: Site C opponents are whining

If native treaty rights are being disrespected, just who is disrespecting them?

Albas: Canada Jobs program being politicized

Conservative MP Dan Albas’ weekly column takes on the student summer job plan

Fuhr: Pension for Life is a commitment to veterans

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr talks about his government’s commitment to veterans

Coquihalla drivers prepare for snow

Wintry conditions persist, with snow warnings for Coquihalla

Rockets take down Royals

Kole Lind has four points and Jack Cowell scores twice as Rockets rebound from 7-2 loss at Seattle

Most Read