"Full Sun" they said...

Pleasant Hill, CA

I'm an amateur gardener in Northern California (east bay to be specific, zone 9 I think) and I'm wondering:
I have a number of plants that are recommended "Full Sun." However, one day of full sun and these plants are wilting and spotting and drying. I try to keep the plants regularly watered (I grow both flowers and vegetables) but I wonder if that is my problem, drought, or if this California sun is just too much.

Your advice is appreciated.

(Zone 7a)

What plants? Some can handle full sun but do need lots of water.

Pleasant Hill, CA

Thank you for your reply. Here are some examples of some plants of mine that struggle in the sun:

Silver mint (potted to avoid it spreading, leaves burn in the sun)
Lemon basil (recently transplanted into my raised bed a few days ago, wilted but puckers up a bit after I water)
Squash (Always spots and dries at the first hot day and remains unhealthy looking through the rest of the season)
Blackberry (potted to avoid spreading, leaves burned up in the sun)

I have a weeper hose set up through my raised beds but not for my potted plants. Should I have the hose on a drip at all times? Would watering my potted plants more frequently be the solution? Or do I need to move them?

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

Potted plants dry out a LOT quicker. So do raised beds. Sounds like you need to water more frequently.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

If you had them in a shadier area (or bought them from a nursery that may have had them in a shadier area) you need to adjust them gradually to being in full sun, otherwise they can sunburn (even if it's a plant that ultimately would be fine in full sun). Also, this area has relatively hot summers (not as bad as some areas of the country, but hot enough!) so sometimes plants that are labeled full sun will appreciate a little shade in the heat of the day. This is especially true for things in pots--I keep all my pots in areas where they get some shade in the afternoon, otherwise the pots get too hot and the roots of the plant get cooked (planting in light colored pots can help with this, as can potting in a larger pot than would normally be ideal, but if they're getting full sun all afternoon this can still be an issue).

This is also a bad time of year to plant things in the garden--I've had really terrible luck with things that I plant/transplant this time of year. Sometimes they'll make it, but they suffer quite a lot of stress along the way and sometimes even though I'm really careful about watering, etc they will die anyway. Late fall when the rains are starting is the best time to plant, or else very early in the spring when it's still raining and you've got a few months before the weather gets hot. For the lemon basil & squash if they're planted out in the garden, you could try rigging up a little shade for them for a few weeks to help them get their roots going without that extra stress from the hot sun every day.

Pleasant Hill, CA

Thanks! Good to hear from a gardener in my area. =D

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