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Hot, Hot August Heat

I'm really not sure how I feel about August.  Ambivalent is probably the most positive term I can use.  But I know how I feel during August. Wilted. Which is a polite euphemism for hot, sweaty and sticky.

I suspect my balcony garden is no fan of the dog days of summer either. The sweet peas have succumbed to heat stroke. The parsley has a sunburn. And the lettuce has bolted -- probably straight for Kits beach, if it's smart.

I'm not going to rename my blog but sometimes -- like during the first days of this month -- I'm tempted to do so. Perhaps call it  "The Balcony Garden & Grill -- where you can cook your greens before you pick them." 

But not all is withering and shriveling and turning brown. For relief from the heat, I can look at the cool white flowers of  Lewisia:

How about you? If you were a flower, would you seek the heat like a sunflower or blossom in the cooler seasons, like a viola? And if you have a south-facing balcony garden, how do you protect your plants from withering during the hottest days?

Reader Comments (3)

We've had more rain this year than ever before, but my more exposed plants are still suffering a bit. I have a south-facing balcony too! Most of my containers are up against the south end of the balcony, so that the railings offer partial shade. I have taller plants on the outside, shorter ones on the inside, so there's a bit more homegrown shade for the little ones. They're all close together to minimize sunshine on the pots (and thus heat on the roots). Every pot has some sort of 'groundcover' plant growing in addition to the vegetable -- things like basil and marigolds, to reduce exposed soil and thus minimize drying and weeds. Aside from that I'm mostly relying on water and lots of it. Water stakes are great, as is the hose that hooks up inside to the kitchen sink. Most things are doing well despite the heat -- better than I'm faring anyway!

August 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCorbet

I have a south-facing deck, which I tend to stock with plants that are fairly heat-resilient. I have a trellis at the front of it though, so it does provide some dappled shade.
I have a terrible habit of forgetting to water the pots, so am forever rescuing stuff from the jaws of death!

August 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTess

@Corbet: Thank you for the great suggestions and clear description of your set-up. I'm going to implement your ideas.

@Tess: the trellis sounds good; I have one in my storage locker -- a lot of good it's doing down there in the dark.

August 7, 2008 | Registered CommenterElaine

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