Hot enough in the gar­den for ya?

Sum­mer gar­den quiz

Alberta Gardener Magazine - - Local Dirt -

Test your knowl­edge by an­swer­ing true or false to the fol­low­ing ques­tions.

1. Thun­der­storms make plants greener.

2. Rain­wa­ter is best for plants be­cause it is so pure.

3. Gen­er­ally, wind is bad for plants.

4. A hot, sunny day is a good time to col­lect seeds.

5. A hot, sunny day is a good time to cut flow­ers for in­door bou­quets.

6. Put your hang­ing bas­kets in the shade dur­ing a heat wave.

7. Wa­ter­ing on a sunny day will cause leaf scorch­ing.

8. If you don’t wa­ter your grass through the sum­mer it will die.

9. Plants ab­sorb more wa­ter dur­ing a full moon.

10. Let­tuce ap­pre­ci­ates a lit­tle shade on a hot day.

1. True, and not just be­cause of the rain usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with an elec­tri­cal storm. Light­en­ing causes ni­tro­gen in the at­mos­phere to com­bine with hy­dro­gen to make am­mo­nium, and with oxy­gen to make ni­trate. These are po­tent plant fer­til­iz­ers, which get washed to the ground in the rain. Ni­tro­gen is a key com­po­nent of chloro­phyll, the sub­stance that makes plants green.

2. False, in the sense that rain­wa­ter is not pure H2O. It is ex­cel­lent for plants partly be­cause it con­tains plenty of sul­phur, which is vi­tal to the for­ma­tion of plant amino acids. De­pend­ing on the area, rain­wa­ter can con­trib­ute as much as 40 pounds of sul­phur per acre per year.

3. False. Wind may knock the stuff­ing out of your pe­onies in the spring, but it also has sev­eral ben­e­fi­cial ef­fects. Wind as­sists with pol­li­na­tion and spreads seeds (though ad­mit­tedly seed spread­ing isn’t what most gar­den­ers want—think dan­de­lions). It also pushes young trees to de­velop stronger an­chor roots. As far as the ef­fect of wind on gar­den­ers, it’s the one thing that may make work out­side bear­able when it’s re­ally hot!

4. True. Col­lect seeds from plants when they are at their dri­est to pre­vent mould and mildew from grow­ing on them in stor­age.

5. False. Ex­treme heat causes many flow­ers to wilt as soon as they’re cut off from their life source. It’s true you will get more en­joy­ment from some flow­ers in­doors dur­ing a heat wave—some flow­ers will last longer in an air con­di­tioned en­vi­ron­ment, and you may last longer look­ing at them in an air con­di­tioned en­vi­ron­ment!—so cut them early in the morn­ing be­fore the day gets re­ally hot, and bring a bucket of luke­warm wa­ter to plunge the cut ends into im­me­di­ately af­ter be­ing cut.

6. True. If you are will­ing and able to wa­ter them fre­quently enough—some­times twice a day—go ahead and leave your hang­ing bas­kets and pots in the sun. But if you are not vig­i­lant, a heat wave can do in your favourite dis­plays. Mov­ing pots and bas­kets to a shady area dur­ing a heat wave buys you a lit­tle more time to make sure they’re get­ting suf­fi­cient wa­ter. Bloom pro­duc­tion on sun lovers will, of course, go down, but it will pick up again when the weather sta­bi­lizes and you move the plants back to the sun.

7. False. There is a long-stand­ing myth that sun­light gets mag­ni­fied through wa­ter droplets on leaves, burn­ing the leaves. But have you ever seen this hap­pen? The strong ar­gu­ment for not wa­ter­ing your gar­den in the sun is that it’s in­ef­fi­cient; too much of the wa­ter gets ab­sorbed back into the air be­fore it gets ab­sorbed into the soil. How­ever, if your plants are look­ing sick and wilty in the heat of a sunny day, a good wa­ter­ing may make the dif­fer­ence be­tween life and death. (Note, though, that some plants have a ten­dency to take an af­ter­noon nap on a hot sunny day and re­cover hap­pily when the sun goes down with no spe­cial care.)

8. False. If you keep a healthy lawn, go ahead and leave the sprin­kler off through the hottest part of the sum­mer. The grass will turn brown, but that’s a sign of dor­mancy, not death. It will green up again when things cool down a bit.

9. True. Ac­cord­ing to bona fide sci­en­tific re­search by North­west­ern Univer­sity pro­fes­sor Frank Brown, plants do ab­sorb more wa­ter dur­ing a full moon, even when they are grown in­doors with­out win­dows.

10. True. Let­tuce is a cool-weather crop and it re­ally suf­fers through the dog days of sum­mer.

8-10 cor­rect: You shine like the sun! 5-7 cor­rect: Cool, Daddy-o. Fewer than 5 cor­rect: Maybe you were hit on the head with a hail­stone as a child.

Can your out­door planters take the heat?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.