The climate in Calgary can make keeping a garden healthy all summer long more than a little challenging. We know that won’t stop anyone from trying — Albertans are up to any challenge. But while perseverance and grit will take you a long way, a little bit of knowledge can make the road to success far easier.
Over the last few years, our summers have been getting hotter and drier than ever before. Forest fires seem to charge across western Canada every summer; this year the provincial government preemptively banned fires across the province in order to stop the burning. With hot, dry summers there are two big considerations. First, you need to ensure your plants are getting enough water, and secondly, you need to prevent the soil from getting so hot it cooks your plants’ roots. If you’ve been gardening for a while, you’ll also need to consider soil health, including soil maintenance and crop rotation.
Use Lots of Mulch.
The easiest way to manage soil temperatures and moisture levels is to use mulch. A layer of 4-5 inches of mulch, effectively isolates the soil from the sun, keeping the soil comfortably cool and moisture levels just right. As an added bonus, mulch will also reduce weeding and, as it slowly breaks down over the season, it’ll release nutrients into your soil. At Soil Kings, you’ll find a wide variety of mulches that are wind-resistant or crafted to specifically help with moisture retention. We also offer top quality, premium garden soil which has fine mulch blended directly into the soil to boost moisture capacity and drainability.
Water Like a Pro.
One of the most important things for the health of your garden is maintaining consistent, moist soil conditions. If you wait until your plants start to wilt before you water, you’ll harm your plants’ health and limit their productivity. We also recommend watering either in the early morning or evening. If you water during the middle of the day when the sun is highest and the day is hottest, you lose more water to evaporation, and the droplets of water on your plants’ leaves can even magnify sunlight and burn your plants.
Manage Soil Health.
Whether you’re starting a brand new garden or you’ve been working at your garden for years, you’ll need to consider your soil. Your soil is your garden’s foundation, and if it’s poor quality and lacking nutrition, your plants won’t thrive no matter how much love you give them. For a new garden, either our KINGS Premium Garden Mix or our 7030 Garden Mix are perfect to get your garden started on the right foot. For an established garden, consider adding compost, worm castings, or top dressing with one of our garden mixes for an extra boost to your soil’s nutrition. Remember, you’ll also want to rotate where you plant and give each of your gardens a season of rest after a few years.
Gardening is always a lot of work, but that’s especially true when the weather is hot and dry. Choosing the right mulch and garden blend can help. Call Soil Kings today or order online, and have your landscaping materials delivered tomorrow!