Summer heat could affect Las Vegas valley gardens; experts give tips to maintain it

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Since everyone was self-isolated in quarantine, many people have started gardens to pass the time. But now as summer kicks off, some plants and vegetables might take a hit.

As temperatures rise, there are things gardeners need to keep in mind to protect the fruits of your gardening labor. 8 News NOW spoke with experts at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Research Center and Demonstration Orchard about desert conditions various fruits and vegetables, even if they hate the heat. For example, tomatoes.

“We grew four types of tomatoes, and we found that for all the varieties, that just 30% shade over the top, not touching the plants; we had terrific results,” said Angela O’Callaghan, the associate professor and social horticulture specialist at the University of Nevada.

Green veggies like broccoli, spinach, and cabbage favor winter months, pumpkins, squash, cantaloupe, and even sweet potatoes are ideal for summer’s long days and triple-digit temperatures, as long as they get enough water.

“You can be planting cantaloupes, pumpkins; if you plant them right this minute, you could have them in time for Halloween,” O’Callaghan said.

Specialists don’t just study gardening for science; it’s also a service to the community, which means people can become master gardeners.

“We aren’t trying to sell anything,” said O’Callaghan. “My job and the volunteers and the staff of the place is to bring the best information for our people in the area.”

Those interested can also help tend to the garden by becoming volunteers like Ann Casey.

“You might be doing anything, trimming grapes, weeding, planting seeds, harvesting. Right now, there is a lot of harvesting going on,” Casey said.

“Plants will really grow as long as they get a little bit of attention, as long as you make sure you are growing things that have a chance here,” O’Callaghan said.

The research center and demonstration orchards host workshops for gardeners; they also have opportunities to volunteer. For more, go here.

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