Transplanting In The Heat Of Summer

What is going on in my garden?  Take a look at this picture and play the guessing game.  Well, if you’ve read the title, you probably know I’m not expecting rain.  I had to transplant something on a really hot day and I wanted success.  Though there is no guarantee that transplanting in the middle of summer will work, there are things you can do to put the odds in your favor. 

I didn’t always know this. Going back some 15 years ago, I didn’t garden much.  Ok, I didn’t garden at all. When Mike and I were dating, he said I did all of my gardening in the house gutters.  So I not only didn’t garden, I didn’t clean helicopter seeds from my gutters. Mike married me anyway. Apparently I had other endearing qualities. I did try to garden, a little. I’d move a plant and a few weeks later it was dead. Same thing the next year. The problem wasn’t the heat. The problem wasn’t the plant. I hate to admit it, but the problem was the gardener.

Fast forward to today. This is what my garden looks like now when I transplant something on a hot day. 

Like the first picture, the plants are in the shade. Never mind that they are sedum, plants that are perfectly happy in full sun with minimal water. They got water and they got shade for a few days. So simple, and it works. I do have a plan for that green grid you’re seeing over the pond. It’s there to keep my fish safe from predators. Stop back in and you’ll soon see what I learned this weekend on one of the Aquascape Pond Tours. Ugly soon to be gone!

Success planting on hot days doesn’t mean that I look for trouble intentionally.  When it is seriously hot, I am more likely to exercise patience than stupidity.  This week has qualified as hot.  I know this for a fact.  Our air conditioning was out for a few days and it was 88 inside.  Today, the temperature will be 97, with a heat index of 110.  I won’t be doing any transplanting.  Even I have limits.

9 comments to Transplanting In The Heat Of Summer

  • Sue Stein

    Carol, I just discovered your blog yesterday, and I love it! I love your garden and your sense of humor. And I also love that I have found a blog written by a suburban Chicago-area gardener! I think I need to go put an umbrella over the daisies I bought on clearance at Home Depot yesterday. I planted them about 5 p.m. last night, and they survived the night.

  • Lucille

    Isn’t it crappy that it is so hot we can’t go out and enjoy our favorite place: our garden!!! A little deadheading and I have to go in and cool off……….

  • That umbrella idea is great. I should try that out. We’ve been at about 100 for almost 3 weeks now and while the sunshine is always nice, it’s super hot and just burns everything. My garden dries out fast and needs some serious shade. How are those shade clothes? Do they work well? | The Best Plant Covers

    • Carol Cichorski

      Hi Jeff – Can’t say I’ve used any official shade cloths, just whatever I can find in my garage. Anything from chairs to towels to kneeling pads propped up by sticks. Its just for a few days. Shadewise, what I could really use is a pergola.

  • When transplanting in summer,early morning or evening is best.Most important of all is keeping the plants well watered until they establish a good root system.

    I never thought of an umbrella or something else to shade them.Very clever:)


  • Makes me feel lucky to live in a country that rains pretty much all the time! However when i do transplant anything during the hot weather i tend to cut about a 3rd off the top which seems to help.

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