Meet Mark Cullen

Canada's best known gardening personality, Mark Cullen believes that Canadians of all ages need to play more - preferably in the dirt. A best-selling author with over 400,000 books in print, Mark reaches over one million Canadians every week through various media outlets. He is Home Hardware's horticultural spokesperson and regularly contributes to various magazines, gardening shows and newsletters. With a familiar style that people can relate to, he delivers a message that is compelling, fun, informative and inspirational - all based on his organic approach to gardening. In his spare time Mark enjoys driving his Ford Model A - and of course he loves to garden.

Help Plants Deal with the Heat

~ July 4, 2012

As we roll into summer, Mother Nature sure isn't easing her way in. With two heat waves under our belts, I think it's safe to say that this summer is going to be a hot one. And just as you feel the heat, so too do your plants.

Watering is an important part of gardening and when the skies don't provide enough; it is up to you to fill the gaps. Here are some tips to help you (and your plants) get through the dry times.

1. When watering, don't just wet the top. In order to promote the growth of deep roots, your plants will need a substantial amount of watering. As the water soaks deeper into the soil, the roots will grow to seek it out.

2. Let the soil dry out before watering. In combination with the first tip, this will encourage the growth of deep roots and help the plant tolerate drier periods for longer.

3. Don't water in the heat of the day. If you're out there at 2pm trying to water those tomatoes, chances are, you're losing a significant amount to evaporation before the water even has a chance to reach the roots. Go for an early morning watering trip around your house and avoid the blazing sun.

4. Finally, don't waste water. It's a precious resource and the last thing we want to do is waste it. There are several Mark's Choice products available to ensure your water is being delivered where it is needed most. Try the Flat Weeper Hose or the Soaker Hose to deliver the water at the root zone. If you're watering by hand, try the Jet Shower Watering Wand for water that is gentle on your plants. And most importantly, get yourself a rain barrel so that when it does finally rain (and it will), you can collect this valuable resource and have it when you need it most.

So while you're cooling off in the pool, remember that your plants will enjoy the same benefits from the water as you will.