Deadhead everything. Plants have their own agenda, and often it has absolutely nothing to do with keeping us happy. They just want to set fruit, make seeds, and then pass on to the great plant beyond. So we have to fake out Mother Nature by keeping the plants from doing this. The best way is to cut off flowers as soon as they are done blooming.

Weed carefully. In our fervor to catch up in the garden, we tend to get a little drastic with the weed-pulling. Last week I was purging the garden with such enthusiasm that I managed to yank out all of the wild milkweed plants so treasured by the monarchs. Furtively looking around to see that no one had noticed, I replanted them, watered heavily, and said a prayer to the plant spirits to forgive my stupidity.

Stay hydrated. With all of these 90-degree days stacking up, we’re starting to get used to sweating a little. But we sweat a lot more than you could even imagine, and it’s hard to keep up our fluid levels. Start out the day by drinking a quart of water. And remember, if you’re not drinking enough water to have to pee every hour, you’re running at a deficit.

Sally McCabe is associate director of community education at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society ( and winner of the AHS Great American Gardener Jane L. Taylor award.