Carol Hillhouse, the Ecological Coordinator at the UC Davis student farm, says preparing your garden to survive hot dry days starts with the soil. Hillhouse recommends massaging lots of rich, organic compost into the first three to twelve inches of soil. Compost acts like a sponge that retains and holds water near the roots of plants.
The next step is mulching. Hillhouse recommends laying straw or cardboard boxes over the ground surrounding crops to build a thick carpet.
“Mulching keeps those weeds at bay and keeps the soil cool, dry, dark and reduces the evaporation,” says Hillhouse.Now it's time to plant.