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Intense heat, humidity and no rain creating the perfect storm for gardeners

Experts have certain advice on how to keep your garden safe from the weather’s harm.
Experts have certain advice on how to keep your garden safe from the weather’s harm.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 7:58 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -Gardening is a seed that was planted in Harold Duckett’s life since childhood.

“Gardening is a mental vacation, and it’s like going to the mountains and spending a couple of days,” Duckett said.

With his 400 plants in his backward, a staycation is just about all the getaway he can get. The longtime gardener wakes up every morning to protect his garden from its biggest culprit right now: the weather.

“You can’t take a week off and go on a trip in weather like this, it’s just too much of a risk,” said Duckett. “We have a watering system because rain here and in the summertime has gotten very unpredictable.”

Tennessee State University Agriculture Extension agent Rylan Thompson told WVLT News East Tennessee’s heat, humidity and weather patterns can be detrimental to gardens.

“These really quick rains don’t really give the plants opportunity to use the water but then spike that humidity then you know you are dealing with fungal pathogens and just some other issues due to that,” Thompson said.

Thompson suggested gardeners can keep plants and produce healthy by watering during the coolest time of the day like in the morning or late evening. Organic mulch or a shade cloth will act as a shield against the blazing sun.

“The plants respond a lot better than when they’re just stressed and the hottest part of the day,” Thompson said.

If you’re concerned or curious about your garden, agents from the Knox County Extension Office will come out to your home or give over-the-phone free consultations.

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