The recent heat has given us our first real taste of summer and that heat has also affected plants. If the plants in your garden have been kept well watered, they have made lots of growth during the warmth. if however, the plants were kept on the dry side, then they may be suffering from water stress. It is important to water them now if they have not had plenty of water. Even though it is a bit late to do so, the moisture will be appreciated by your plants. In the garden scenario, veggies always need to be kept growing actively or they may turn bitter, stop producing, or go to seed earlier than their life cycle. With fruit trees, and cane, vine and bush fruiting plants, they may abort the crop if kept too dry. With well established plants, the deep roots will be able to tap into moisture to keep the crop on the plant until mature, but the quality may suffer if not enough moisture is proved to the plant. Water is a very high percentage of the fruit’s juices, so any reduction in watering can affect juiciness and quality of the ripe crop. Mealy fruit and partially dry fruits are evidence of a water shortage during the growth period before harvest.
In dealing with ornamentals, Water lovers like azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas, etc. will show immediate stress if not kept well watered. You may save a dry plant if you do not wait too long to wet the soil again if dried out, but the condition of that plant is compromised and likely will drop flower buds, and leaves. Japanese maples like water (with drainage) so the more you give, will help the plant get through any hot periods. Many perennials and annuals like water as well. Ferns are classic shade and water lovers generally. If you let any of these go dry, the plant might completely dry up and die.
Summer pruning of your fruit trees can be continued now. Just pinch or prune off sappy young shoots to slow down that vigorous growth and help the plant redirect that growth to fruiting wood. You will control the size/spread of the tree with just simple little pruning/pinching and the cuts will heal immediately while resulting new growth will be more branched and make the plant more complact. This is only the beginning of the summer pruning period. This simple task has to be done any time you see those sappy shoots. The benefit is that you will not need any ladders for maintenance of the tree, and your fruit harvest will be at arm’s reach instead of having to move an orchard ladder all around the standard pruned fruit tree.
Keep an eye out for any pests that might appear. It is always better to have to control a small problem instead of letting a small problem grow into a big one and then have to deal with those larger consequences. Casual observation can be done while strolling in your garden, just enjoying the plants. Just look to see how everything is doing and you will easily spot any beginning problems.