With all the hot weather in these past few weeks, it certainly feels like we're entering the "Dog Days of Summer." But why do we call these sweaty times, "Dog Days?"
Ancient astronomers observed that the hottest, driest part of the year coincided with the rising of Sirius, The Dog Star. Sirius is part of the constellation Canis Major ("Big Dog") and also the second brightest body in the sky.
When Sirius began rising together with the sun, the ancients presumed that the extra heat on earth must be due to the fiery Dog Star. Hence, the hottest stretch of the year became known as "The Dog Days!"
For gardeners, the most important thing to remember in this sizzling season is that our plants will be under extra stress from the heat. As the mercury rises, continue to provide consistent, even watering. You may need to increase watering for patio pots or hanging baskets located in the direct sun. Bugs and fungus also love the hot weather, so keep an eye out for signs of pests and disease and treat accordingly.