Vegetable Garden – Making it Work in Heat

Q: I’m unable to have a backyard garden due to all the wildlife. This year I want to grow vegetables on my deck. However, the site gets extremely hot in the afternoon/evening sun. Do you have suggestions on how to make this garden work?

A: Heat won’t hurt vegetable leaves as long as they are supported off the hot deck surface. But heat can certainly hurt roots in dark-colored pots exposed to the sun. Plant roots may shut down at soil temperatures above 80 degrees. Consider wrapping pots in aluminum foil or painting them white to reflect the sun. If your pots are smaller than 14″ wide you could put each into an 18″ pot and fill the space between with packing peanuts or plastic bubble wrap.