THE EFFECTS OF HEAT STRESS!
I remember the days when we used to have 4 seasons in Santa Fe. Sometime all four seasons were on the same day, but that is another story. Now it appears that we have Winter and Summer skipping Spring and Fall. Customers are coming in with pictures of their newly planted flowers and vegetables with what they believe is a disease or a bug eating their plant. After asking a few questions, we determine it is heat stress.
When temperatures begin reaching the high 80s, the plant will begin to wilt regardless of how much moisture is in the soil. Lately, we even hit 102° which we have only reached twice before, once in 2013 and again in 2016. Whew!!
Plants get sunburn just like people do. Hardening off is not just to acclimate a plant to cold but also acclimating it to the sun and heat. Resist the temptation to over-water as that will also kill your plant. As the temperatures cool in the evening, you will be able to determine if the plant is properly hydrated. It is always best to transplant late in the day and if possible provide some shade in the beginning.
STAY HEALTHY AND SAFE. HAPPY GARDENING!