Heat Stress

killdozer77August 9, 2009

I have been gardening here in Phoenix for several years and have had some success. But I still haven't figured out how to deal with the intense summer heat. Every summer when the heat gets real bad (above 105) a lot of my plants get knocked back hard. I have a grapefruit tree (about four feet tall) that grows very well all year round and then just gets hammered in the high heat, leaves shrivel up and die. The same thing happens to my bower vine. any suggestions on how to deal with the extreme heat?

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Build a shade structure over them. Little more water

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 1:23AM
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We propagate and grow out citrus and deciduous fruit trees, along with some other odd and rare plants, we've always had the best results with Anti-Stress 550. It's done so well we became a dealer.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 8:13AM
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Better watering schedule.

More, deeper, waterings.

What is your current schedule od watering, and how do you adapt it for higher heat?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 3:08PM
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Lazygardens, currently I have 4 2gph drip heads on the grapefruit tree. During the summer they run twice a week for half an hour and once a week for just over an hour.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 12:59PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Turtle, that Anti-stress sounds really interesting. I did a quick search online. Can you share more about what you use it on etc? It sounds like an interesting product!

Killdozer, good luck with your plants. My young citrus always get zapped during blast furnace summers but eventually grow out of it. I like everyone's suggestions about shade cloth and deeper watering. Let us know what adjustments you make and how they work out.

Take care all,

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 2:39PM
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Right now your grapefruit tree is getting 16 gallons of water per week. While this quantity may be OK, I think your application could be adjusted a bit.

Citrus (and most trees) like to be watered deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry a little in between applications (like wrung out sponge dry, not totally dry). This allows oxygen to return to the soil which is critical for the absorption of nutrients.

A better strategy would be to apply the entire 16 gallons during one cycle, waiting 5 - 6 days and watering again. Adding a 3 inch layer of organic mulch in the basin under your tree will keep roots cool and slow evaporation so you don't need to water as often. Plus, as it decomposes it returns nutrients to the soil.

Depending on the size of your tree you may need to apply more water. Here is a link to a publication from the University of Arizona that shows how much to water and how often.

Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: Irrigating Citrus Trees

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 3:39PM
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