Surviving the Summer Heat


“In the good old summertime; In the good old summertime; Strolling through a shady lane; With your baby mine…”   

That song may describe a couple taking a walk in the mountains, but those lyrics certainly do not describe anyone living in South Louisiana. We are sweltering, and our plants are wilting. What are we to do?

My mother, Evelyn Talley, was a member of the Covington Garden Club for 50 years and presented horticulture hints to the group for many of years. I will share some of her suggestions with you. 

Mulching, watering, spraying and fertilizing are the “big four” for combating summer in our area.  Mulch all beds with leaves, pine straw or pine bark to conserve moisture and to keep weeds from sprouting.  For all plants watering is vital. Be sure to saturate thoroughly to avoid bringing tender roots to the surface. Continue spraying roses every seven to 10 days. Give azaleas a final feeding in order to produce beautiful spring blooms.

Bugs and insects aid us in the summer for they help keep nature in balance. Bees are needed to pollinate flowers. Earthworms are welcome. They aerate the soil by transporting particles from deep burrows to the surface. Their presence signifies that the soil is in good condition. Lizards, toads and frogs are friends of the gardener. Birds will tackle fruit and vegetables, but most of them are insect eaters.  

So when it’s unbearably hot and you don’t think you can tolerate another summer day, sing a few Christmas songs and you may feel a bit cooler.

For information about the Covington Garden Club, visit

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