Ah, August. The dog days of summer. The time of year when the sun is beating down mercilessly, and the sweat is pouring off our foreheads. And yet, for some reason, we decided to plant a garden. What were we thinking?

Keeping a garden alive in the hot summer months can be a challenge. 

First things first: water, water, water. Your plants are going to need it more than ever during this time of year. But don’t just water them willy-nilly. Be strategic about it. Water early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid evaporation. And make sure you’re getting the water down to the roots, where it’s needed most. This isn’t a sprinkler party, people.

Secondly, shade is your friend. If you can provide some relief from the scorching sun, your plants will thank you. Consider investing in some shade cloth or constructing a temporary structure to provide some respite from the heat. And while you’re at it, why not create a little shady oasis for yourself? You deserve it.

Thirdly, mulch is magic. Not only does it help to retain moisture in the soil, but it also acts as a barrier against the blazing sun. Plus, it looks pretty darn good. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your mulch choices. Try pine needles, shredded leaves, or even rocks. Just don’t use your neighbor’s cat, no matter how tempting it may be.

Now, let’s talk about the plants themselves. When it comes to August gardening, you’re going to want to focus on the tough guys. The ones that can take the heat and keep on truckin’. Consider planting some drought-resistant varieties, like succulents or cacti. Or, if you’re feeling particularly daring, try your hand at growing some hot peppers. They love the heat and will add some spice to your life (and your meals).

And finally, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Gardening can be a sweaty, exhausting endeavor, especially in the August heat. Make sure you’re staying hydrated and taking breaks when you need them. And if all else fails, just grab a cold beverage, and admire your handiwork from the comfort of your air-conditioned living room. You deserve it.