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First aid for heat damaged plants with Ciscoe Morris

Four tips for treating your scorched garden. #k5evening

SEATTLE — More hot weather is coming our way later this week, and many people have been wondering what to do with their plants that were scorched by June’s heat.

The hottest guy in gardening, Ciscoe Morris, has these four tips:

  • Water deeply: “Number one thing if you hear a heat wave is coming, you want to water. You’ve got to water early in the morning and deeply. So get out at 5 in the morning and get your sprinklers out and make sure that you water for a good long time. That's gonna make a big difference - water early in the morning because you want lots of moisture to be in the garden as the heat goes up.”
  • Don’t be in a hurry to clean damaged evergreens: “So you probably have noticed brown needles on big Douglas firs and hemlocks, and maybe on your dwarf conifers. If the needles that die are out on growth point that's not good, but if they’re older needles the tree may be OK, as long as most of the needles aren’t brown. Don't do anything ‘til next spring, it's not gonna help it to cut them now. And on the big evergreens, there's no way to say it if it’s going to cause lasting harm, we’re just going to have to wait and find out."
  • Shield from the sun: “Some small leaf rhododendrons like full sun, but they don't like heat waves,” said Ciscoe, pointing to a small-leaved Rhody with brown leaves. “So if you've got an old umbrella, it will come in handy to save this plant. If you hear a heat wave is coming put an umbrella on your plant, it probably will save his life.”
  • Damaged leaves can protect new growth: Ciscoe showed us a Japanese maple with lots of brown leaves and said resist the urge to trim the ugly off. “I know the temptation is to cut all the stuff off but don't do it because it's helping protect the leaves behind it from the sun and heat.” But if you hear another heat wave is coming, put that patio umbrella to use. Ciscoe plans on deploying it to help further protect his prize Japanese maple later this week when temperatures will start climbing again.

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